Frequently asked questions

Where can I find more advice for administrators?

The Public Trustee of Queensland has a range of resources to help administrators in their role, including a Guide for Financial Administrators.

How do you prove your authority to act?

You will receive several certified copies of the QCAT decision. The decision outlines your authority to act on behalf of the adult for financial matters. You will need to present this document when you carry out your duties e.g., visiting banks and financial institutions where the adult has funds invested.

What if the adult owns real estate?

If the adult owns real estate your appointment as an administrator must be registered with the Titles Registry. QCAT refers to this as a notice of interest in land.

For more information on how to complete the forms, please make an online enquiry with the Titles Registry or phone 1300 255 750 or 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Do I re-submit a notice of interest in land with a new QCAT decision?

Yes. You must submit a notice of interest in land every time a new decision is made by QCAT. This ensures that all documentation the Registrar of Titles holds reflects the latest QCAT decision and fully safeguards the adult’s interests.

How do I establish a bank account for the adult?

If the adult does not have an existing bank account in their name, you will need to establish an account for the adult. You will be required to present the certified copy of the QCAT decision to the financial institution.

Important note: Bank accounts cannot be held in trust for the adult. Please refer to Keeping property separate.

What happens when the adult dies?

Your powers as an administrator cease when the adult dies. No further accounts are required to be provided to QCAT. You are required to inform QCAT in writing of the death of the adult within 30 days.

You will need to send QCAT an original or certified copy of one of the following:

  • the death certificate, or extract of the death certificate
  • the death or funeral notice published in a newspaper
  • notification of death by a professional such as a doctor or director of nursing who was involved in the care of the deceased.

If there is a valid will appointing an executor, the executor has the power to take over and administer the deceased estate. Alternatively, if the adult died without a will (intestate) the estate will be distributed in accordance with the law.

You must make sure that the adult’s assets are protected until control is handed over to the executor. You should provide records to the executor up to the adult’s date of death.

For further advice about deceased estates and wills, you can seek legal advice or contact the Public Trustee of Queensland.

Can a complaint be made about an administrator?

If you have the appropriate facts to support a complaint against an administrator, you can lodge an application with QCAT for review of an administrator. QCAT can suspend the administrator’s powers for a three month period in appropriate circumstances.

If an administrator is suspended, the Public Trustee of Queensland is automatically appointed temporary administrator for the period of the suspension.

Can QCAT review an appointed administrator?

There are various different types of reviews QCAT can conduct in relation to an appointed administrator. A hearing is held which gives interested persons an opportunity to put forward their views in writing about the actions of an administrator as well as any new or relevant information about the adult's circumstances that may affect the appointment.

Anyone with an interest in the matter can request a review at any time, including a guardian, administrator, family member, the Public Guardian, the Public Trustee of Queensland or the adult concerned.

What happens if the adult’s decision-makers disagree?

If the adult has a guardian appointed or a statutory health attorney, the administrator/s should consult them about major financial decisions which are likely to affect the lifestyle or health of the adult.

Where there is more than one administrator appointed, all administrators should work closely together to ensure the best interests of the adult are protected.

If agreement cannot be reached, an application may be made to QCAT for a review of the administrator, at which all issues can be heard.

Can I be reimbursed for the adult’s expenses which I paid?

All expenses should be paid directly from the adult’s bank account where possible.

Administrators can be reimbursed for expenses paid on the adult’s behalf, such as a chemist bill, however reimbursement as a regular method of paying the adult’s expenses should be avoided.

If the expense is substantial and severely impacts the adult’s finances, consideration should be given to delay a full reimbursement at one time.

Can I be reimbursed for my own expenses including travel costs?

An administrator is entitled to reimbursement from the adult for reasonable expenses incurred in acting as administrator, however, they cannot be paid for their services or time.

Administrators must decide what is reasonable, taking into account the adult’s financial circumstances and ensure sufficient funds are retained for the adult’s care.

Administrators must keep records detailing what was reimbursed, and retain copies of receipts for individual items more than $500.

For travel costs, an administrator can be reimbursed for reasonably incurred expenses such as air travel, accommodation and petrol costs. In relation to fuel costs, a set rate per kilometre is acceptable, though this should be reasonable with regards to the adult’s financial situation.

Administrators may be required to justify their expenses to QCAT.

Can I purchase a motor vehicle for the adult?

As administrator, you may purchase a motor vehicle to be used solely for the adult’s benefit. The purchase must be in the adult’s best interests and the cost reasonable considering the adult’s financial situation. The motor vehicle should be purchased in the adult’s name.

If the motor vehicle is used for any other purposes (e.g., by other family members), QCAT would expect that costs of the motor vehicle would be paid on a pro-rata basis.

Can I sell the adult’s real estate?

An administrator appointed for all financial matters is able to sell the adult’s real estate without the approval of QCAT. The best interests of the adult should be considered and other interested parties (including any appointed guardians) consulted.

Important note: If the real estate is being sold to someone in a close personal or business relationship to you such as family, friends or other associates, the sale will be considered a conflict transaction. Approval from QCAT is required prior to the conflict transaction occurring.

The sale price should be at current market value. Any proceeds from the sale must be deposited into the adult’s bank account, and a copy of the settlement statement provided with the annual accounts.

Any impact the sale may have on the adult’s pension needs to be considered. Administrators may need to liaise with the appropriate organisation (e.g., Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs) to determine the impact of the sale.

Can I rent out the adult’s principal place of residence?

The administrator has the power to do this without seeking approval from QCAT. The rent received should reflect current market values.

If the real estate is being rented to someone in a close personal or business relationship to you such as family, friends or associates, this will be considered a conflict transaction. Approval from QCAT is required prior to the conflict transaction occurring. If rent is below market value, reasons for this should be outlined in the conflict transaction application.

What if the bank doesn’t recognise me as administrator?

Initially, you should discuss the matter with the bank’s branch manager who may have to refer to the bank’s head office or legal section for advice. If this does not result in a satisfactory solution, you can lodge a complaint with the bank’s centralised complaint line.

If this does not result in a solution, please contact QCAT with details of why the bank has refused to recognise your appointment.

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.