Guardian­ship Tri­bunal Appli­ca­tions — What you need to know

The Tribunal

Pur­suant to the Guardian­ship Act NSW 1987, the Guardian­ship Tri­bunal has the author­i­ty to appoint both Finan­cial Man­agers and Guardians for peo­ple with deci­sion-mak­ing disabilities.

Pri­or to mak­ing any order in rela­tion to Finan­cial Man­age­ment or Guardian­ship, the Tri­bunal will con­duct a hear­ing. The hear­ing is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for the appli­cant, the per­son who is the sub­ject of the appli­ca­tion, as well as oth­er inter­est­ed per­sons, to present their views.

In mak­ing its deci­sion, the Tri­bunal will con­sid­er reports from med­ical and health professional.

Finan­cial Man­age­ment orders

A per­son who is suc­cess­ful in obtain­ing a finan­cial man­age­ment order from the Tri­bunal is known as a Finan­cial Man­ag­er. A Finan­cial Man­ag­er is some­one who is legal­ly autho­rised to make finan­cial and legal deci­sions on behalf of a per­son who is not capa­ble of man­ag­ing their own affairs.

The Finan­cial Man­ag­er can make deci­sions about any aspect of the person’s finan­cial affairs unless the Tri­bunal spec­i­fies that a part of a person’s estate is exclud­ed from man­age­ment. A Finan­cial Man­ag­er does not make per­son­al or lifestyle decisions.

The Tri­bunal can only con­sid­er finan­cial man­age­ment appli­ca­tions about peo­ple who have assets in NSW.

Guardian­ship orders

A per­son who is suc­cess­ful in obtain­ing a Guardian­ship order from the Tri­bunal is known as a Guardian. A Guardian is some­one who is legal­ly autho­rised to make per­son­al or lifestyle deci­sions on behalf of a per­son with a deci­sion-mak­ing dis­abil­i­ty. A Guardian is not autho­rised to make finan­cial deci­sions, though it is pos­si­ble for some­one to be appoint­ed as a Guardian and Finan­cial Man­ag­er for the same person.

The kinds of deci­sions a Guardian can be autho­rised to make include:

  • Where the per­son should live;
  • What sup­port ser­vices the per­son should use; and
  • What health­care and med­ical treat­ment the per­son should receive

A Guardian is a sub­sti­tute deci­sion-mak­er not a case man­ag­er or carer.

The Tri­bunal can only con­sid­er Guardian­ship appli­ca­tions about peo­ple who are res­i­dent in NSW and over the age of 16 years.

Can you be legal­ly rep­re­sent­ed at the Tribunal?

Gen­er­al­ly no. If you wish to be legal­ly rep­re­sent­ed you will need to seek spe­cial leave from the Tribunal.

How can Swaab Attor­neys help?

A Guardian­ship Tri­bunal Hear­ing can be extreme­ly stress­ful and emo­tion­al for all par­ties involved. You should seek legal advice if:

  • you are con­sid­er­ing mak­ing an appli­ca­tion to the Tri­bunal; or
  • you have been served with the appli­ca­tion and oppose it; or
  • you are the sub­ject of an application.

Swaab can assist you with:

  • Advice on the appli­ca­tion process ;
  • Prepar­ing you application;
  • Apply­ing for spe­cial leave to be legal­ly rep­re­sent­ed; and
  • Appear­ing at the hear­ing on your behalf.