An Administration Order has just been made by SACAT appointing you as an administrator. You will now be responsible for managing the financial affairs of a protected person.
This is a good place to help you get started.
Make sure you understand the scope of your responsibilities outlined in the Administration Order.
You should also familiarise yourself with the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 (the Act). You do not need to read it cover to cover but you should understand its contents and the sections that specifically apply to your role and duties as administrator.
Also read through the Private Administrator's Guide (PDF, 1.7 MB).
Before you do anything else, you need to work out a budget or a financial management plan.
You will need to identify the protected person’s assets, their sources of income, their expenses and debts.
This plan will help clarify what you should do for the protected person.
It is important to safeguard the protected person’s assets. The person’s property will continue to remain in their name, even after you are appointed as administrator.
Under the Act you may consider the lodgement of a caveat to safeguard the protected person’s interest in any real estate.
Make sure assets are insured where appropriate and that items are physically secured.
At this stage, you should contact an officer in the Public Trustee’s Regulatory Services Team to discuss your new responsibilities.
You may wish to attend an information session to understand your role and seek advice from the Public Trustee.
These sessions are generally held on the first Thursday of each month and prior booking is essential.
Contact the Public Trustee's Regulatory Services Team:
Phone: (08) 8463 7441
Specific people and organisations will need to be told you have been appointed as administrator.
These organisations will generally need to see a certified copy of the Administration Order.
You should notify all organisations where the protected person has investments or has any financial dealings. These might include:
- banks and financial institutions where the person has accounts
- companies in which the protected person has shares
- Centrelink or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
- anyone who owes the protected person money
- organisations to which the protected person owes money.
We recommend that you open a bank account in the sole name of the protected person to use as a ‘working account’.
This will be the account where all income and expenditure is paid. Having one account makes it easier to keep track of the protected person’s finances.
You may use one of the protected person’s existing accounts by adding your authority as administrator to operate the account.
You might then decide it is more practical to close any other accounts and consolidate them into the working account.
The bank will need to see a copy of the Administration Order before this can be done.
When you are first appointed as administrator you need to lodge the Initial Statement of Assets & Liabilities form.
Use one of the following templates:
This statement and the supporting information must be sent to the Public Trustee within the timeframe indicated in the Administration Order. It is usually within 28 days.
You are required to keep full details and documentation of the protected person’s assets, income, and expenditure including:
- statements accompanying cheques received
- bank statements.
You are also required to provide a detailed statement of accounts for each financial year (beginning 1 July and ending 30 June).
Some of the decisions you make as administrator may be affected by the terms of the protected person’s Will.
It’s important to find, store and check the protected person’s Will and keep it in a safe place, like a safety deposit box at a bank.
If the Public Trustee has prepared the Will, it will be held free of charge in safe custody at Public Trustee.
Remember – a Will is a confidential document and its contents should not be disclosed to anyone, except with the authority of SACAT.
What if I can't undertake this role?
You cannot delegate your responsibility as administrator to someone else – you need to formally resign.
You must write to SACAT explaining the reasons for your resignation and suggest someone else who would be willing and suitable to take over the role.
You can also be replaced by someone else if you:
- do not comply with your obligations, e.g. by not lodging annual statements of accounts or not complying with a direction from Public Trustee
- move interstate or overseas
- have a conflict of interest
In these cases, SACAT will appoint a replacement.