Administrators - Financial decisions

An administrator makes financial decisions for an Adult who has impaired capacity for making those decisions. Find out more about an administrator’s role and responsibilities.

What is an administrator?

An administrator is a person appointed by the Tribunal to make financial decisions for an Adult who has been found by the Tribunal to have impaired capacity for making those decisions.

An administrator may be appointed to make decisions about, for example:

  • paying bills;
  • making and managing investments;
  • buying and selling real estate.

What happens when the Tribunal appoints an administrator?

When the Tribunal appoints an administrator for an Adult, the Tribunal will issue a written order that sets out:

  • who has been appointed as administrator for the Adult
  • the particular decision-making powers given to the administrator
  • the term of the appointment
  • any other directions the tribunal considers appropriate.

An administrator must follow the terms of the Tribunal’s order.

An appointed administrator will receive several certified copies of the Tribunal’s order.  The administrator can provide these to relevant banks and other agencies to prove their authority to make decisions for the Adult.

The Tribunal may appoint an administrator for an adult if the Tribunal is satisfied on the evidence that:

  • the adult has impaired decision-making capacity for the financial decisions that the adult needs to make;
  • there is a need for a decision to be made, or the adult is likely to do something in relation to the matter that involves, or is likely to involve, unreasonable risk to the adult’s health welfare or property; and
  • without a formal appointment of an administrator the adult’s needs will not be adequately met, or their interests not adequately protected.

If, for example, an adult has made an enduring power of attorney authorising their attorney to make financial decisions and the attorney is making decisions in accordance with the general principles, there may be no need for a formal appointment of an administrator.

If you consider that an attorney is not complying with their duties and obligations, you may wish to contact the Office of the Public Guardian. The Public Guardian can investigate complaints and allegations about the action of an attorney or another person acting or purporting to act under a power of attorney, advance health directive or order of the QCAT.

The Public Guardian has the power to suspend the operation of all or some of an attorney’s power for an adult if the Public Guardian suspects, on reasonable grounds, that the attorney is not competent.

The Public Guardian may also mediate and conciliate between attorneys, guardians or administrators or between attorneys, guardians or administrators or others, for example, health providers if the Public Guardian considers this appropriate to resolve an issue.

QCAT may, by order, appoint an administrator for a financial matter for an adult if:

  • the adult is a missing person;
  • the adult usually resides in Queensland;
  • there is, or is likely to be, a need for a decision in relation to the matter;
  • without an appointment the adult’s interests in the matter would be adversely affected.

QCAT may be satisfied an adult is a missing person only if:

  • it is not known if the adult is alive;
  • reasonable efforts have been made to locate the adult;
  • for at least 90 days the adult has not contacted
    • anyone who lives at the adult’s last-known home address; or
    • any relative or friend of the adult with whom the adult is likely to communicate.

An application for the appointment of an administrator may be made by:

  • the adult’s spouse;
  • a relative of the adult;
  • the public trustee;
  • an interested person for the adult.

Make an application for the appointment of an administrator for a missing person

The QCAT Registry will notify the parties in writing when a review of the appointment of an administrator commences.

The Tribunal may commence a review of the appointment of an administrator at the time specified in the Tribunal’s order, or if the Tribunal becomes aware of a change to the Adult’s circumstances, or other new information that may affect the appointment, including if the administrator is not complying with the terms of the Tribunal’s decision, or their other duties and responsibilities.

The Adult, or a person who has a sufficient and genuine concern for the rights and interests of the Adult, may apply for a review of the appointment of the administrator.  The Tribunal may dismiss the application unless there is some evidence of new and relevant information becoming available since the last hearing, or a relevant change in circumstances has occurred.  For more information see QCAT Practice Direction 8 of 2010.

The Public Trustee of Queensland may be appointed by the Tribunal as administrator for an Adult.

The Public Trustee has a guide to help explain the process the Public Trustee undertakes when appointed as administrator.

Information for appointed administrators

The Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 sets out a number of duties, obligations and rights of administrators.

An administrator must exercise their powers for an adult honestly and with reasonable diligence to protect the adult’s interests.  An administrator must follow the terms of the Tribunal's order.

An administrator is under a continuing duty to advise the tribunal of anything of which the administrator has not previously advised the tribunal and would be required to advise the tribunal if the tribunal were considering whether to appoint the administrator.   For example, if an administrator becomes no longer eligible to be administrator because they become a paid carer for the adult.

Administrators must keep reasonable records, and if required by the tribunal produce them for inspection.

Administrators must keep their property separate from the adult’s property.

An administrator may be subject to a penalty if they do not comply with those obligations.

When making decisions for the adult, an administrator must apply the General Principles.

If there are two or more people who are administrators for an adult they must consult with one another on a regular basis to ensure the adult’s interests are not prejudiced by a breakdown in communication between them.  If it is impracticable or impossible to do so, one or more of the administrators or another interested person for the Adult may apply for directions to the tribunal.

Administrators for an adult who may exercise power for a matter jointly must exercise the power unanimously. If it is impracticable or impossible to do so, one or more of the administrators or another interested person for the adult may apply for directions to the tribunal.

A person who makes decisions for another Adult about financial matters must apply the general principles, which are set out in the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 and the Powers of Attorney Act 1998.

The Principles set out the particular information and other matters the person making the decision must take into account as well as the approach the person must take when making a decision for the Adult.

Attorneys and administrators also have other duties and obligations under the relevant law. The appointment of an administrator will be subject to a review by the Tribunal.

Private individuals appointed as administrators cannot charge for their services or time.

There are fees and charges associated with professional administrators’ management services. It is recommended you obtain an estimate of fees from a professional administrator, the Public Trustee of Queensland or a trustee company.

An administrator is entitled to be reimbursed by the Adult for any reasonable expenses incurred in acting as administrator.

QCAT Registry staff cannot tell you whether you can be reimbursed a particular sum of money or what a reasonable expense is.

The Tribunal may make an order that an administrator be remunerated by the Adult if the administrator carries on a business providing professional services. The remuneration may not be more than the amount the tribunal considers fair and reasonable having regard to particular matters set out in the legislation.

Your powers as an administrator cease when the Adult dies.

You are required to inform QCAT in writing of the death of the Adult within 30 days.  You will need to send QCAT a 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.

No further accounts are required to be provided to QCAT.

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.

Reporting requirements

An administrator appointed by the Tribunal has a responsibility to lodge certain documents with QCAT.  The Tribunal’s written decision will outline what the administrator will need to lodge and the due date.  This may include:

  • notice of interest in land;
  • financial management plan;
  • accounts.

If you are unable to lodge the documents by the due date, you must submit a written request for an extension of time.

Send your request by email to QCAT at enquiries@qcat.qld.gov.au or the email address on the correspondence QCAT sent to you.

If the Adult owns real estate, the administrator must register the QCAT decision with the Titles Registry and then provide confirmation of this lodgement to QCAT.

This process protects:

  • the Adult’s interest in the property by ensuring that only the appointed administrator can conduct transactions such as the sale of the property or registering of any mortgages;
  • the Adult from being coerced by third parties or if the Adult themselves decides to act on the property without the knowledge of the administrator.

To do this, the administrator must:

  1. conduct a search of the records of the Titles Registry to identify any property registered in the Adult’s name;
  2. lodge with the Titles Registry a notice on their prescribed form, with a copy of QCAT’s decision, advising the Titles Registry that any interest in property held by the Adult is subject to the QCAT decision;
  3. lodge with QCAT a copy of the “Lodgement Summary Report”, which is issued by the Titles Registry after any forms are lodged, to confirm that the notice has been lodged for each property the Adult holds; and
  4. lodge with QCAT a copy of the current title search.

Does the administrator need to re-submit a notice of interest in land with a new QCAT decision?

Yes, this ensures that all documentation the Titles Registry holds reflects the latest QCAT decision and fully safeguards the Adult’s interests.

If the Adult purchases a property after the appointment of an administrator, this process will also have to be followed.

If you need help you should contact the Titles Registry or seek legal advice.

The Tribunal’s written decision may direct the administrator to provide a Financial Management Plan to the Tribunal.

The administrator may have provided QCAT with a financial management plan prior to their appointment as administrator.  However, there can be times when administrators may not have full access to, or be aware of, the Adult’s entire circumstances prior to their appointment as administrator. Also, there may be important matters yet to be finalised. In these situations, QCAT may require another plan and this will be specifically directed in the QCAT decision.

The plan should be completed using the Financial Management Plan. Individuals, trustee companies and professionals can elect to provide QCAT with a separate plan as an attachment to this form.

The plan should contain personal and financial information about the Adult as well as proposed care arrangements. The plan should then outline how the Adult’s finances can be best managed, taking into account these considerations.

It should include:

  • details of income and sources of income;
  • details of the assets and where they are situated;
  • debts and when they are due;
  • bank account details;
  • any professionals needed to help manage the financial affairs e.g., an accountant or solicitor;
  • a budget e.g., board and lodging, clothing, money for the Adult’s personal needs, pharmaceutical needs, optical expenses, medical expenses, hospital fees, nursing home fees, dental expenses;
  • what will happen to the Adult’s house;
  • all income and expenditure records;
  • investments the administrator needs to make and investments administrator needs to track;
  • any proposed gifts e.g., birthday and Christmas presents;
  • money to be spent for maintenance of the Adult’s family;
  • legal matters relating to the Adult’s financial or property matters and how the administrator proposes to address these;
  • any additional information relevant to the Adult’s financial and legal affairs.

An administrator can also include any other relevant details of the Adult’s financial matters, life circumstances and future considerations.

QCAT may request additional information if required.

Help?

If you are not sure about any steps in the procedure or how to answer any of the questions, please seek advice from a professional such as an accountant, solicitor or financial planner.

The Tribunal’s written decision may direct the administrator to provide accounts to the Tribunal.   The Tribunal’s written decision will specify the date the accounts are due, which is usually two (2) months prior to the anniversary of the appointment and annually thereafter.  It is up to you to lodge your accounts by the due date.  You will not be sent a reminder.

The Account by Administrator (ABA) form is to be completed (unless an exemption has been granted).

The ABA provides QCAT with a summary of how you have administered the Adult’s financial affairs during the reporting period, as well as an updated list of assets and liabilities. The opening date of the account is either the date you became the administrator or, if you have provided accounts previously, the closing date from your last set of accounts.

The ABA should summarise all receipts and payments made through the Adult’s bank accounts as well as payments made on their behalf.

Please note that there are also various documents that you are required to lodge with the ABA form e.g., copies of bank statements.

For a full list of the documents required, please refer to section 23 of the Account by Administrator.

If an exemption has been approved, the Account by Administrator form is not required, instead you will be advised of the full list of documents required to be lodged either in the QCAT decision, or by separate letter.

Where do I lodge the accounts?

If no partial exemption is approved, where the accounts are to be lodged depends on the amount of the Adult’s assets.

Assets under $50,000

If the value of the Adult’s assets, excluding principal place of residence or nursing home accommodation bond, is under $50,000, the accounts must be sent directly to QCAT.

Assets more than $50,000

If the value of the Adult’s assets, excluding principal place of residence or nursing home accommodation deposit, is more than $50,000, the accounts must be sent to one of the approved panel of examiners.

The current list of approved panel of examiners is:

The Public Trustee of Queensland
Administration Accounts
GPO Box 1449
Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: 07 3564 2148
Email: PrivateAdminAccounts@pt.qld.gov.au
Web: pt.qld.gov.au 

Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd
Assistance Examination Manager
GPO Box 5257
Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: 07 3834 5656
Fax: 07 3834 5662
Web: perpetual.com.au

Vincents Chartered Accountants
Attention: Peter Haley
QCAT - Accounts Examination
PO Box 13004 George St
Brisbane Qld 4003
Phone: 07 3228 4000
Email: phaley@vincents.com.au
Web: vincents.com.au

Fees 

The approved panel of examiners is entitled to charge a fee for this service. Fees vary, and you should contact the examiners directly for further details regarding their fees. QCAT does not regulate the fees charged.

While QCAT does not charge a fee for its services, it reserves the right to outsource matters valued under or equal to $50,000 to one of the approved panel of examiners if necessary. The examiner is entitled to charge a fee for this service.

You will be issued with a tax invoice on behalf of the Adult, and you are authorised and required to pay the tax invoice within 30 days of receipt from the Adult’s funds. Failure to pay the invoice may result in QCAT reviewing your appointment.

Need Help?

If you are not sure about any steps in the procedure or how to answer any of the questions, contact QCAT or seek assistance from another party or professional such as an accountant. Given that the cost is reasonable for this service, you are entitled to be reimbursed from the Adult for the costs involved.

An administrator may be granted a partial or full exemption from the requirement to provide accounts but may be directed to provide certain financial documents to QCAT by a certain date.

If an exemption has been approved, the Account by Administrator form is not required, instead the administrator is to lodge the documents outlined in the QCAT decision or correspondence.

For example, the administrator might be directed to lodge:

(a)  copies of the Adult’s bank statements for the past year;

(b)  copy of the latest accommodation statement;

(c)  copy of receipts for any individual items purchased in excess of $500.00;

(d)  for any shares, investments or superannuation, a copy of all dividend notices or statements received during the year; and

(e)  a signed Declaration as to continuing appropriateness for appointment.

Lodgement

These documents must be sent directly to QCAT.

Further information

Unless the tribunal orders otherwise, an administrator for an adult may give away or donate the adult’s property only if the gift or donation is—

  • a gift or donation of the nature the adult made when the adult had capacity; or
  • a gift or donation of the nature the adult might reasonably be expected to make; and
  • the value of the gift or donation is not more than what is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances and, in particular, the adult’s financial circumstances.

An administrator for an adult may provide from the adult’s estate for the needs of a dependant of the adult. However, unless the tribunal orders otherwise, what is provided must not be more than what is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances and, in particular, the adult’s financial circumstances.

To apply for an order in relation to a gift or a donation you must complete and lodge a Form 12 and attach all necessary documents required to support the application.

An administrator for an adult may enter into a conflict transaction only if the tribunal has authorised the transaction, conflict transactions of that type or conflict transactions generally. A conflict transaction is a transaction in which there may be conflict, or which results in conflict between—

  1. the duty of an administrator towards the adult; and
  2. either—
    1. the interests of the administrator or a person in a close personal or business relationship with the administrator; or
    2. another duty of the administrator.

Some examples of conflict transactions are:

  • the administrator lending the adult’s money to a close friend of the administrator;
  • the administrator buying the adult’s car;
  • the administrator buying the adult’s house.

To apply for authorisation of a conflict transaction you must complete and lodge a Form 12 and attach all necessary documents required to support the application.

Establishing your authority with the bank

You will receive several certified copies of the QCAT decision confirming your appointment as administrator and outlining your powers. The original of one of these copies should be presented to banks and financial institutions to establish your authority to act on the administrator’s behalf.

If you experience problems, 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.

The Australian Banking Association has released a set of industry guidelines regarding banks and administrators. Banks are encouraged to adopt these guidelines and incorporate them into their internal processes, procedures and policies. These guidelines are available at bankers.asn.au.

Bank accounts

No bank accounts containing the adult’s funds should be held in the name of the administrator, any other party or held on a trustee basis. All bank accounts should be in the adult’s name with the administrator as a signatory. All of the adult’s income should be deposited into a bank account in their name and as far as possible all expenses should be paid from this bank account.

  1. New bank accounts: If the adult does not have an existing bank account in their name, one will need to be established. This account should be in the adult’s name solely.
  2. Existing bank accounts: Existing bank accounts can be retained though you may wish to consolidate if the adult maintains a number of them. If the existing bank account is in joint names, for e.g. with the adult’s spouse they can be continued however any new bank accounts should be in the adult’s name solely unless the funds are clearly jointly owned.
  3. Trustee bank accounts: The bank account should not be in your name as trustee for the adult as this is a contravention of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000. The establishment of trustee bank accounts creates significant problems in regards to ownership, taxation, liability and deceased estate administration. Any existing trustee bank accounts will need to be closed.
  4. Account access: If appropriate, the adult can continue to have full access to their bank account. However, if there is a real risk that the adult will use their funds inappropriately, or third parties may attempt to have unauthorised access to the account, you should discuss with the bank what restrictions can be placed on the account to protect the funds. This may involve the opening of a second bank account for the adult’s sole use. Individual banks may have different policies regarding how they allow ongoing access to the adult and how they allow the administrator to access bank accounts.
  5. New QCAT decisions: If a new QCAT decision is issued either renewing or changing your appointment it is your responsibility to inform the bank of these changes and provide them with a copy of the latest decision.

Pursuant to the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000, section 49, an administrator must keep records that are reasonable in the circumstances and that can be produced as reasonable for inspection when QCAT requires.

It is recommended that as soon as you have been appointed as an administrator, you commence a system of keeping records that is easy to understand and maintain. You may choose any method to keep these records such as ledgers, spreadsheets or a commercial software system.

It is important that you use a manageable system that enables you to summarise the records in the annual Account by Administrator form if QCAT’s decision requires.

If you need help in setting up your record keeping system, you may seek assistance from another party or professional such as a bookkeeper or an accountant. Given that the cost is reasonable for this service, you are entitled to be reimbursed from the adult for the costs.

General information

  • Joint bank account: Joint accounts established before your appointment can continue. Records should show the adult’s share of joint income and expenses and the full amount for any that relate solely to the adult. Any joint assets or liabilities should be recorded according to the adult’s share e.g. 50%. The tribunal understands that reconciling records is not possible with joint bank accounts.
  • One-off large expenses: These items should be summarised separately in your records. Receipts should be retained if the individual item purchased is in excess of $500 and a copy of these provided with the annual account of your administration to QCAT.
  • Adult’s personal expenses: If the adult is provided with a smaller regular sum it is acceptable to have a budget prepared and a regular amount deducted and recorded for these expenses.
  • Bank and other financial statements: Please ensure that these are obtained from the relevant financial institutions and retained as they will be required for the annual account of your administration to QCAT.

Examples

The circumstances of adults vary greatly, however below are several common situations and tips that may help you with your record keeping system.

  • Nursing home: Nursing homes commonly issue a monthly accommodation account or statement detailing the charges, activities and medication expenses the adult incurs. It is not necessary to break down these individual expenses outlined on the statement. A single amount in your records for ‘nursing home’ is sufficient. Copies of the monthly statements should be retained for your records.
  • Supported/shared accommodation: In these situations it is common for a regular amount based on an agreed budget to be forwarded to the care provider with additional funds paid on request. It is not necessary to break down the individual expenses the adult incurs in the care situation. A single amount in your records for the amount paid is sufficient. The care provider’s reports should be retained for your records. For any large one-off expenses e.g. a fridge or bed the amount should be recorded separately and a copy of the receipt obtained from the care provider.

Note: In the above situations it is your responsibility to ensure that the level and type of expenses the care provider incurs are appropriate and you are provided with records.

  • Living with the administrator: In this situation it is understood that the expenses of the adult can be mixed with the expenses of the other occupant/s of the house. In this scenario, it is recommended that a budget (suggested format below ) be drawn up for the adult’s share of regular living and household expenses. The budget amount can then be drawn regularly from the adult’s bank account to meet these expenses. There is no need to maintain receipts for items incurred, within this budget and a single amount can be summarised in your records as ‘board and lodgings’ or similar.

Budget

The budget template is optional, but its use is recommended to help in your role. Please make any changes to headings to suit your particular situation. The template can be downloaded as a Word document from qcat.qld.gov.au.

The administrator has a duty to invest only in authorised investments. These duties are described in the Trusts Act 1973 and referred to as the prudent person rule. These duties are detailed in the excerpt below. Note: All references to trustee in this excerpt should be taken as applying to administrators.

Important note: If you have concerns that a proposed investment might breach the prudent person rule, you can make an application to QCAT to have the investment approved.

Excerpt from the Trusts Act 1973, Part 3

22. Duties of trustee in relation to power of investment

(1) A trustee must, in exercising a power of investment -

(a) If the trustee’s profession, business or employment is, or includes, acting as a trustee or investing money for other persons – exercise the care, diligence and skill a prudent person engaged in that profession, business or employment would exercise in managing the affairs of other persons; or

(b)  If the trustee’s profession, business or employment is not, or does not include, acting as a trustee or investing money for other persons – exercise the care, diligence and skill a prudent person of business would exercise in managing the affairs of other persons.

(2)  A trustee must, in exercising a power of investment, comply with a provision of the instrument creating the trust that is binding on the trustee and requires the obtaining of a consent or approval or compliance with a direction for trust investments.

(3) A trustee must, at least once in each year, review the performance, individually and as a whole, of trust investments.

23. Law and equity preserved

(1)  A rule or principle of law or equity imposing a duty on a trustee exercising a power of investment continues to apply except so far as it is inconsistent with this or another Act or the instrument creating the trust.

(2)  Without limiting the rules or principles mentioned in subsection (1), they include a rule or principle imposing –

(a) a duty to exercise the powers of a trustee in the best interests of all present and future beneficiaries of the trust; and

(b) a duty to invest trust funds in investments that are not speculative or hazardous; and

(c) a duty to act impartially towards beneficiaries and between different classes of beneficiaries; and

(d) a duty to obtain advice.

(3)  A rule or principle of law or equity relating to a provision in an instrument creating a trust that purports to exempt, limit the liability of, or indemnify a trustee in relation to a breach of trust, continues to apply.

(4)  If a trustee is under a duty to obtain advice, the reasonable cost of obtaining the advice is payable out of trust funds.

24. Matters to which trustee must have regard in exercising power of investment

(1) Without limiting the matters a trustee may take into account when exercising a power of investment, a trustee must, so far as they are appropriate to the circumstances of the trust, have regard to the following matters-

(a) the purposes of the trust and the needs and circumstances of the beneficiaries;

(b) the desirability of diversifying trust instruments;

(c) the nature of and risk associated with existing trust investments and other trust property;

(d)  the need to maintain the real value of the capital or income of the trust;

(e)  the risk of capital or income loss or depreciation;

(f) the potential for capital appreciation;

(g) the likely income return and the timing of income return;

(h) the length of the term of the proposed investment;

(i) the probable duration of the trust;

(j) the liquidity and marketability of the proposed investment during, and at the end of, the term of the proposed investment;

(k) the total value of the trust estate;

(l) the effect of the proposed investment for the tax liability of the trust;

(m) the likelihood of inflation affecting the value of the proposed investment or other trust property;

(n) the cost (including commissions, fees, charges and duties payable) of making the proposed investment;

(o) the results of a review of existing trust investments.

(2) A trustee -

(a)  may obtain, and if obtained must consider, independent and impartial advice reasonably required for the investment of trust funds or the management of the investment from a person whom the trustee reasonably believes to be competent to give the advice; and

(b) may pay out of trust funds the reasonable costs of obtaining the advice.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.  You will need to complete and lodge an application for a conflict transaction.

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.

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.  You will need to complete and lodge an application for a conflict transaction.

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.

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.

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.

Make an application

As part of an independent tribunal, QCAT registry staff cannot provide legal advice.

Registry staff can explain and answer questions about how QCAT works and its processes.


Registry staff cannot help with:

  • whether or not you should submit an applicationwhether your application is under the correct jurisdiction
  • if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application* recommending a specific lawyer to assist you
  • how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding* contacting a QCAT member or adjudicator directly
  • predicting likely outcomes of a case or appeal
  • helping you to prepare your case
  • advising what orders/decisions you should seek
  • explaining what you should do to follow QCAT directions
  • enforcing an order or decision of the tribunal
  • advising exact timeframes for resolution of a matter – this depends on your individual matter.

QCAT staff cannot provide legal advice (see right hand side bar for more information).

All parties involved in a matter before QCAT must represent themselves. Whether you are represented or not you can still seek legal advice about your rights.

In some cases, a party is automatically able to be represented. QCAT will always agree to representation:

  • for a child or a person with impaired capacity, or
  • if the matter relates to disciplinary proceedings including a review of a disciplinary decision
  • if the enabling Act related to the matter allows it.

Read more >