Guardianship orders

NCAT can appoint a guardian under the Guardianship Act 1987 for a person with a decision making disability.

Guardianship applications are managed through NCAT's Guardianship Division.

What is guardianship?

A guardian can make decisions about the person's health, accommodation, services or other lifestyle matters. If financial decisions need to be made, consider applying to NCAT for a financial management order.

Applying for guardianship means you are asking NCAT to appoint someone as a guardian for a person with a decision making disability.

A guardian is authorised to make personal and lifestyle decisions on behalf of the person under guardianship. These include decisions about where to live, what services to use and consenting to medical and dental treatment.

A guardian is not authorised to make financial decisions. However a person can be appointed as both guardian and financial manager.

How to apply for guardianship orders

Complete the guardianship application form and lodge with your attachments to NCAT's Guardianship Division.

How does NCAT make guardianship orders?

To make a guardianship order, NCAT must be satisfied by the evidence before it that:

  • the person the application is about has a decision-making disability
  • the disability results in the person being partially or wholly incapable of managing themselves, and
  • there is a need for the person to have a guardian appointed.

If the person already has informal decision making or an enduring guardianship appointment in place that are working in their best interests, NCAT may not make an order.

Read the following Guardianship Division fact sheets to find out what to expect at a guardianship hearing and what will happen if an order is made.

Review of guardianship orders

Guardians are appointed for a specified period of time. NCAT reviews guardianship orders at the end of its term as a legal requirement. 

If you have a genuine concern for the person under guardianship, you can request a review of the guardianship orders.

Who can help me?

If you have any questions about a guardianship application, please read our Who can help you with your application fact sheet (PDF , 77.5 KB) and contact NCAT's Guardianship Division on 1300 006 228.

Fact sheets

A wide range of helpful fact sheets about applications dealt with by NCAT's Guardianship Division are available on the Guardianship Division fact sheets page.

Last updated:

19 Nov 2023

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