As an administrator, you will often have to work with others involved in looking after the protected person.

Your paramount consideration should always be the protected person’s best interests - that means making decisions so they can continue living their life as close as possible to the way they would have if not for their incapacity.

It can be helpful to try and 'stand in the shoes' of the protected person.

Things to consider

You should consider the protected person’s:

  • immediate and long-term needs
  • views - to the degree their incapacity allows
  • previous, current and hoped for lifestyle
  • family commitments.

You should also consider:

  • views of their family, any guardian/liaison person, and other interested parties
  • the financial resources available
  • any arrangements made by the protected person before the administration order was made
  • the rights and views of the probable beneficiaries of the protected person’s Will.

Consulting with the protected person

You should try to involve the protected person as much as possible in the decision-making process.

There are several ways to find out what they may need or what will add to their quality of life.

Some administrators might assume that because someone has become a protected person they have nothing useful to contribute to their own situation.

It might be difficult for the protected person to communicate what they want, but you should try to find out.

Some suggestions include:

  • Taking the protected person shopping and gauging their reaction to a variety of goods. Are they delighted by a colourful piece of clothing they see or do they stop to watch a movie that might be playing in a store that sells DVDs?
  • Finding out what the protected person likes to do by exposing them to various activities.

It may sound obvious, but many administrators forget to ask family and friends about the protected person’s wants and needs.

Professionals, like social workers, therapists, and psychologists can provide useful strategies on how to meet the protected person’s wants and needs.

Your job is to strike a balance between meeting the protected person’s day to day needs, requirements for long term care, and the purchase of extra, unplanned items.

See the Private Administrators guide (PDF, 1.7 MB) for more guidance.

Working with a guardian

In some cases, a protected person will have a guardian appointed to make major life decisions for them relating to accommodation, health, or lifestyle decisions.

SACAT can appoint a guardian as well as an administrator.

Sometimes this is the same person. If not, it is important that you and the guardian work closely together.

You should consult with the guardian about major financial management decisions that will significantly affect the protected person or the functions of the guardian.

When SACAT appoints the guardian, it will specify what their role and functions will be.

Decisions you can’t make

There are some decisions that you are not authorised to make as an administrator. This includes:

  • consenting to medical treatment on behalf of the protected person
  • forcing the protected person to move into a nursing home
  • changing a Will
  • appearing for the person in court on a criminal matter
  • deciding what the protected person will eat and/or drink
  • donating large amounts of money where the protected person would not have done so had they not been incapacitated.

Most of these decisions fall within the scope of decision making by a guardian.