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Court Awarded Protection Orders

A protection order is made when the Court has come to the decision that the management of the financial affairs of an individual should become the responsibility of either us, an individual person or body corporate, and has appointed us or them as manager. A protection order made by a Court is different to an administration order made by SACAT as it specifically applies to people who have been awarded damages for personal injury.

Sometimes the District, Supreme, or Magistrates Court awards damages for personal injury to a person who, as a result of that injury, suffers or is likely to suffer from a mental and/or physical disability that will make it difficult for them to manage their own affairs. In these cases, the Court has the authority to put in place a protection order, which covers the administration and management of the awarded funds, but may also extend to apply to the whole of the person’s estate.

We are responsible for making the financial and legal decisions that are set out in the protection order.

We will begin managing the estate or award funds as soon as we have received the order from the Court and when the funds are received.

As soon as possible after we receive the protection order we will consult with the protected person, their authorised liaison person, and/or carers to determine how we can best manage the affairs of the protected person.

Unless the Court has stated otherwise in the protection order, we have the power to:

  • Take possession of the protected person’s estate (including all bank accounts, investments, property, and/or assets) and recover any of these items that are being held by other people.
  • Repair and insure the property of the protected person (including their house and contents).
  • Demand, recover, and/or receive money (e.g. pension/Centrelink payments) and personal effects that are either payable or belong to the protected person.
  • Use the protected person’s money for the maintenance of their lifestyle.
  • Use the protected person’s money to maintain the lifestyle of their spouse and/or children (f they have them), which might include the education of their children and any payments of debts and liabilities.
  • Continue any business or trade previously undertaken by the protected person alone or in partnership with another person or people.
  • Take over the duties the protected person would have otherwise undertaken in relation to a deceased estate, if the Court has made a special order in its probate jurisdiction (meaning that the Court has appointed us as administrator of the deceased person’s estate in place of the protected person).
  • Purchase and/or sell residential property and acquire personal assets for the benefit of the protected person, such as a motor vehicle and/or furniture.

We are required, as a protected person’s manager, to file a statement of financial affairs and a manager’s affidavit annually with the Court.

The protection order will cease either on the death of the protected person or if the protected person can satisfy Court they have the ability to manage their own financial affairs. In some cases the Court will extend the protection order for a period of up to two months after the date of the death to enable finalisation of any complicated or critical matters in regard to the administration.

Click here to view a case study prepared by Public Trustee.