An administrator makes financial and legal decisions, including decisions about:
- buying or selling property
- banking and investing
- paying bills and managing debts.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can appoint an administrator for an adult who, because of adisability, is unable to make their own reasoned decisions.
An administrator may be a friend or relative of the person with a disability, or a solicitor, accountant or an organisation. If there is no suitable person or organisation, State Trustees Limited or a private trustee company may be appointed as an administrator.
The Public Advocate is not appointed as an administrator.
An administrator makes only financial and legal decisions related to the estate of a person with disability (the represented person), such as banking, paying bills or selling property.
An administrator cannot make personal and lifestyle decisions, such as where a person lives or what health care they may need.
Roles and responsibilities
An administrator must make decisions that:
- are in the best interests of the represented person
- take into account the represented person’s wishes and give effect to those wishes wherever possible
- are least restrictive of the person’s freedom of decision and action as possible in the circumstances.
Importantly, an administrator should encourage and support the represented person to make their own decisions, where possible.
An administrator’s financial interests must not conflict with those of the represented person.
Administrators are accountable to VCAT for the decisions they make. Further safeguards to ensure that administrators act in the best interests of the represented person include:
- the requirement for administrators to regularly lodge an account of the represented person’s finances for examination, as directed by VCAT
- the provision of support and advice from VCAT at any time
- the provision of support and advice from OPA
- VCAT’s reassessment of an order if is in the best interests of the represented person to do so.
Administration for missing persons
VCAT may appoint an administrator to manage the property and financial matters of a missing person if it is satisfied that:
- it is not known whether the missing person is alive
- reasonable efforts have been made to find the missing person
- for at least 90 days, the missing person has not contacted anyone who lives at their last-known address, or any relative or friend with whom the person is likely to communicate.
Generally, only a professional administrator is entitled to a fee.
When no remuneration is specified in the administration order, an administrator can apply to VCAT explaining the reasons and the basis on which the fee should be calculated. For example, an hourly rate or a percentage of the estate or its income.
An administrator can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses by deducting these expenses from the estate.