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 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: