SACAT Administration Orders
Our role, when we are appointed by SACAT to manage the finances of a person, is to ensure their financial interests are protected. We also work closely with their family members, guardian, and/or any other person nominated in the order to ensure the decisions we make are in the person’s best interests and take into account what the wishes of the protected person would be.
In some cases a person has lost their mental capacity to make their own decisions and to manage their own affairs and has not made any arrangements as to what they would have liked to happen with regard to their financial affairs, including who will take over managing them. In these cases SACAT may legally appoint us, through an administration order, to manage and protect the person’s financial and/or legal affairs. The person will then be considered a “protected person”.
SACAT may make an administration order appointing Public Trustee to manage the whole of a person’s financial affairs (full order) or to manage specific assets (limited order).
When we are appointed as administrator by SACAT under a full order, we are legally responsible for the legal and financial decisions that affect the protected person. Our responsibilities regarding a protected person’s finances may include:
- Collecting income from dividends, shares, rental properties, pension entitlements, and/or interest on bank accounts or investments.
- Payment of accounts including rent or mortgage, personal expenses, rates, repairs to homes, gas, electricity, medical, hospital, and/or nursing home fees.
- Managing the protected person’s real estate which could include renting out their home, purchasing a home, or selling their home in order to pay an accommodation bond or entry contribution to a retirement village or aged care facility.
- Ensuring the protected person’s money and assets are used to enhance their wellbeing and lifestyle.
- Developing an investment strategy on behalf of the protected person.
As an administrator we ensure that our commercial interests never conflict with the interests of the protected person.
SACAT may nominate in the order a person(s) to communicate with Public Trustee. This person acts as a “go between” between us, as administrator, and the protected person. They can help to make decisions in accordance with the principles of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993. This person(s) can also play an important advocacy role. He or she can make suggestions to us about how to spend the protected person’s money to ensure that his or her needs are being met and their quality of life is being maintained, or even improved.
In addition, this person(s) can also give advice to us about when extra money, in addition to a usual allowance given to the protected person, might be required. They can request additional funds to ensure that the protected person has adequate money for items such as clothing, hairdressers, repairs, and/or extra money for an outing, holiday, and/or gifts.
A guardian is legally responsible for making all, or some, of a protected person’s accommodation, lifestyle, and medical decisions.
Public Trustee is never appointed as a guardian by SACAT but we do ensure that we communicate with a protected person’s guardian/s when decisions regarding significant matters are required. This is particularly important when a guardian needs to make a decision that will have an impact on the protected person’s finances. For example, a protected person would like to move to a different location to be closer to their family. This would need to be discussed with us as the protected person’s administrator to see if this would be financially viable.
An administration order made by SACAT remains in force for the time specified in the order, or until it is extended, amended, or revoked by a subsequent order. A protected person has the right to apply to SACAT for a review of their order at any time.
SACAT will, at regular intervals, review the circumstances of the protected person to determine if the administration order is still needed.