Decision-making for adults
Our focus is always the wellbeing, needs and interests of the adult.
When does an adult need help making decisions?
There are three elements to making a decision:
- understanding the nature and effect of the decision;
- freely and voluntarily making a decision; and
- communicating the decision in some way.
If an adult needs to make a decision, and is unable to carry out any part of this process, they have impaired decision-making capacity.
QCAT decisions about adults
QCAT can decide a range of matters about adults including:
- making a declaration about an adult’s decision-making capacity for some or all matters
- determining if informal arrangements in place are adequate to protect the adult
- appointing a guardian to make some or all personal and health care decisions
- appointing an administrator to make some or all financial decisions
- making a temporary decision to deal with an urgent situation
- making a declaration about the execution and appointment of an enduring power of attorney.
About guardians or administrators
Generally, guardians or administrators:
- can be appointed for up to five years
- must be at least 18 years of age and not, or has ever been, a paid carer for the adult
- can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, but cannot be paid for their services
- can be reviewed by QCAT and removed under a range of circumstances.
Who can request appointment of a guardian or administrator?
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 an administrator or guardian to be appointed. Adults with impaired decision-making capacity can also apply on their own behalf.
Working with other organisations
QCAT cannot act as a decision-maker for an adult. If there is no suitable person to be appointed, QCAT may appoint:
- the Office of the Public Guardian as a guardian for an adult
- the Public Trustee Queensland as an administrator for an 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.