Guardianship Division application process

What happens when you make an application to NCAT's Guardianship Division.

Before you make an application

Before you make an application to the Tribunal, consider whether you need to apply. Most people with a decision-making disability manage in the community with help from their family, friends and service providers without the need for a guardian or financial manager to be appointed for them.​

Working out an alternative, as long as it is in the best interests of the person concerned, may be better than having to go through the legal process of appointing a guardian or financial manager.

Making an application

Anyone with a genuine concern for the welfare of the person they consider incapable of making their own decisions may apply to NCAT.

If you need help making an application, please read our Who can help you with your application fact sheet (PDF , 77.5 KB) and contact the Guardianship Division. We can help with questions about:

  • The role and functions of the Guardianship Division
  • Tribunal practice and procedure
  • Planning ahead through appointment of enduring guardians and enduring power of attorney
  • Issues relating to guardianship, financial management, consent to medical or dental treatment, review of enduring power of attorney and review of enduring guardianship appointments.

After you make an application

When you make an application, it begins a formal legal process which NCAT controls. Guardianship Division applications can only be withdrawn with the consent of the Tribunal.

When preparing an application for hearing, a NCAT officer will contact the applicant and the person who is the subject of the application.  

The applicant is responsible for providing the relevant evidence to support the application. Supporting information includes medical and professional evidence about the person’s capacity to make his or her own decisions and information about any risk to the person.

Read the Providing information to the Guardianship Division factsheet (PDF , 193.6 KB) for information on confidentiality and disclosure of information.

Read our Guardianship Division FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions.

How long before a hearing is held?

All applications in the Guardianship Division are reviewed to determine whether there is any risk being experienced by the person who is the subject of the application (‘the person’).  The time taken for an application to be heard depends on a range of factors including:

  • The risk to the person
  • The time required to gather the necessary evidence to prepare the application for hearing.

You must notify NCAT of any changes

Applicants are advised to notify NCAT if from the time of application the person’s circumstances change and there is an increased risk to the person.


Last updated:

19 Nov 2023

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