Guardianship & Administration

For those navigating the intricacies of appointing a guardian for a loved one, our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers can provide invaluable support. Our guardianship lawyers work with clients across Brisbane, guiding you through the QCAT process and beyond.

Experienced Guardianship Lawyer in Brisbane

The team at FP Lawyers are specialists in matters of family law, including guardianship, administration and powers of attorney.

If a loved one becomes unable to care for themselves, it’s possible to become their guardian and help them take care of their affairs.

In Brisbane, Guardianship is overseen by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). QCAT is responsible for assessing individual matters, appointing guardians, managing complaints and ensuring adults are cared for.

Guardian applications in QCAT involve seeking the appointment of a guardian for an adult who is incapable of making their own decisions. This could be due to factors such as age, disability or illness.

Becoming a guardian is a major responsibility. Some of our lawyers have lived experience as guardians and carers of adults, so we understand how stressful and overwhelming this process can be.

When you work with FP Lawyers, we take a customised approach to legal guardianship and provide expertise and guidance throughout proceedings.

If you need advice, representation or want to know more about guardianship of an adult, book an appointment with our team.

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older woman with hand on her face, looking into the distance

How We Support Guardianship Matters

FP Lawyers provides advice and representation for guardian and administrator matters. A guardianship lawyer can help with:

  • Emergency guardian applications
  • Information about applying for guardianship
  • Information about the QCAT process
  • Support for lodging applications
  • Representation during QCAT hearings
  • Lodging complaints where a person’s guardian isn’t acting in their best interests
  • Connecting you with services that can assist you in your appointment as a guardian or administrator

Guardian applications in QCAT are a delicate and intricate legal process that requires a deep understanding of the law and effective advocacy.

With our proven track record in QCAT matters, we will provide you with expert guidance, personalised representation, and unwavering support throughout the Guardianship application process. 

Guardianship & Administration Specialists.

Applying for Guardianship and the QCAT Process

The QCAT process aims to safeguard the well-being and interests of adults who are unable to make sound decisions for themselves. However, the application process can be complex, involving legal documentation, medical assessments and adherence to strict legal guidelines.

Applying for Guardianship to QCAT is broken into three stages:

  • Stage One: Your guardianship lawyer makes an urgent application to QCAT. This allows you to be appointed as a guardian on an interim basis.
  • Stage Two: The Tribunal schedules a hearing. The adult is invited to attend the hearing where possible. You will need to provide a detailed explanation of what you have achieved in the interim period as the guardian and details of how you plan to assist the adult moving forward.
  • Stage Three: Once you have been appointed as guardian, the Tribunal will generally request that you provide regular updates on your activities and how you help the adult take care of their affairs.

The QCAT process is governed by strict timelines and procedures. If you want to become the guardian of a loved one, or if you want to lodge a complaint about an existing guardian, it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer.

A guardianship lawyer can provide invaluable support in preparing documentation and evidence, presenting your case in the strongest manner, and ensuring the matter is handled according to QCAT’s timeline.

Guardianship Disputes

Guardians and administrators have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the adult they are caring for.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and an appointed guardian may abuse their power, act against the adult’s wishes, or act against QCAT’s decision. If this happens, you can make a complaint to QCAT to have the issue investigated.

You can dispute the appointment or actions of a guardian if the adult is being, or has been, neglected, exploited or abused. You can also raise a dispute if you feel the adult has inadequate decision-making arrangements.

The attorneys, guardians and administrators of an adult may also need to apply to QCAT for help in resolving disagreements.

If you are concerned about the actions of a guardian, administrator or attorney, contact our guardianship lawyers immediately. We can advise on how to lodge and manage your complaint, as well as the supporting documentation you need to provide.

Guardian vs Administrator

When an adult loses their ability to make decisions (temporarily or indefinitely), QCAT may appoint both a guardian and administrator. The two both act as attorney over the adult’s affairs, but each has their role:

  • Guardians are responsible for making decisions about personal matters. This includes living arrangements, medical care and who the adult has contact with. QCAT may set limits on what decisions a guardian is allowed to make. Guardians cannot make decisions about financial and legal matters.
  • Administrators are responsible for making decisions about financial and legal matters. This includes paying bills, banking and investing, buying and selling property, and maintaining the adult’s property. Administrators cannot make decisions about personal matters.

In some cases, QCAT may appoint the same person to the role of both guardian and administrator. If that happens, you can act as an adult’s attorney for financial, legal and personal matters.

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Contact us today to arrange an obligation-free consultation

An experienced guardianship lawyer can provide advice and representation to help you look after your loved ones.

FP Lawyers works with clients across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. We provide support for the QCAT process, as well as advice about all guardianship and administration matters.

We take a customised approach to the advice we provide. With lived experience in guardianship and caregiving, our lawyers can minimise the stress and help you manage your obligations.

Guardianship Frequently Asked Questions

Who is “the adult”?

The Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 refers to “the adult” throughout. The adult is the person about whom the guardianship proceedings are being conducted. The adult is a person with limited decision making capacity, commonly due to age, injury or disability.

What power do guardians have?

In Queensland, guardians have the power to make decisions about personal matters for adults with impaired decision making capacity. This includes matters like:

  • Healthcare and medical procedures
  • Where the adult lives
  • Whether the adult works, their employer, and their role
  • Who the adult has contact with
  • The adult’s ability to drive
  • Day-to-day matters such as diet and activities
  • Legal matters other than for financial or property matters
Who can become a guardian?

Anyone with a personal or professional interest in the adult’s life can apply to become a guardian. A person who is appointed as a guardian must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Not be a paid carer

If appointed as an administrator, a person also must be bankrupt.

QCAT typically appoints close family members or friends as guardians where possible. QCAT may also appoint a professional (such as a guardianship lawyer). If the adult doesn’t have anyone suitable for the role, their guardianship passes to the Office of the Public Guardian.

When is a guardian appointed?

QCAT may appoint a guardian for an adult if:

  • The adult does not have an enduring power of attorney document
  • The adult does have an enduring power of document, but the power of attorney is unable to or can no longer act
  • The adult has a power of attorney who you believe is not acting in the best interest of the adult
  • The adult requires assistance to manage their financial, legal and personal affairs (including health and accommodation needs)
What is the difference between guardianship and an enduring power of attorney?

A guardian and enduring power of attorney both have the power to make decisions for an adult with impaired capabilities.

An enduring power of attorney is a document that allows you (the principal) to appoint an attorney to act on your behalf if you become unable to do so. The power of attorney may be able to make decisions about personal and financial matters, depending on what the principal allows.

A guardian is appointed by QCAT to look after an adult with limited decision making capacity. The guardian only has the power to make decisions about personal matters (including healthcare).

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