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Who can apply for the appointment of a guardian

Family members, close friends, professionals or anyone who has a genuine and continuing interest in the welfare of an adult with impaired decision-making capacity can apply for a guardian to be appointed. Adults with impaired decision-making capacity can also apply on their own behalf.

Appointees must be over 18 years of age and not a paid carer for the adult. A paid carer performs services for the adult’s care and receives remuneration other than a carer payment or benefit from the Commonwealth or State Government.

Sometimes there is no one close to the adult who is willing to accept the responsibility.  There may also be a dispute about who should act as the guardian or concern about the suitability or competence of a proposed guardian. In these situations, QCAT may appoint the Public Guardian to act on the adult's behalf.

QCAT can appoint guardians on the following basis:

  • a single guardian to make decisions on all or on a specified personal or health care matter only, such as where the adult is to live and with whom
  • more than one guardian, giving each guardian specific decision-making authority. Each guardian then has the authority to make decisions on different personal matters
  • two or more guardians to make decisions together or to make decisions separately on behalf of the adult.

Descriptions of QCAT's jurisdiction on this website are general information only. They do not definitively describe the types of applications on which QCAT can make decisions. The relevant legislation determines QCAT's jurisdiction. If you are unsure about your legal rights, you should seek legal advice. Your individual circumstances should guide any actions taken to resolve your dispute.

Last reviewed
9 November 2011
Last updated
7 October 2015

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