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Guardianship and administration

Guardianship and administration

I am worried that a relative is unable to make decisions that are in their best interests about important things like money. What can I do?

If you are concerned that a relative is unable to make reasoned decisions or decisions that are in their best interests about their finances or lifestyle, you can apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to have another person legally appointed as a substitute decision maker to make decisions for them.

This course of action is only taken by the SAT when all suitable less restrictive alternatives have been tried and found not to be suitable.

The substituted decision maker is called a guardian or administrator.

What does a guardian do?

A guardian makes decisions about the person's lifestyle or issues such as where they should live, consent to medical treatment or contact with others.


For information on guardians go to the Office of the Public Advocate's website.

What does an administrator do?

An administrator is appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal to make financial and legal decisions in the best interests of someone who is not capable of making decisions for themselves.

For more information on the types of decisions administrators can make and their responsibilities go to the Office of the Public Advocate's website.

Who can apply for the appointment of a guardian?

There are no set rules about who can apply. The person applying does not have to be the person who is being proposed for appointment.

Who can be appointed as a guardian?

A guardian must:

  • be aged at least 18
  • consent to act
  • be prepared to act in the person's best interests at all times and as much as possible encourage the person's independence, personal decision-making and participation in community life
  • not be in a position where their interests conflict with the best interests of the person, and
  • is otherwise suitable to act as a guardian.

Who can be appointed as an administrator?

The proposed administrator must:

  • be an individual of or over 18 or a corporate trustee
  • consent to act
  • act in the best interests of the person they are administrator for
  • be otherwise suitable to act as an administrator.

There are certain conditions to be satisfied for the SAT to appoint a corporate trustee as administrator. Get legal advice if this applies to you.

Who is the Public Advocate?

The Public Advocate is an independent statutory officer appointed under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 (WA) to promote and protect the rights of adults with decision-making disabilities. The Office of the Public Advocate can provide information and advice.

Where can I get more information?

  • Contact the Office of the Public Advocate on 1300 858 455 for more information on enduring guardianship and administration. It has a telephone advisory service from 9.00am -5.00pm Monday to Friday. Recorded information is available at other times.
  • Contact the Public Trustee on 1300 746 212 for information on private administrators appointed by the SAT. 
  • Contact the State Administrative Tribunal on (08) 9219 3111 or 1300 306 017 (cost of a local call) for information on guardianship and administration including the process for appointment of guardians and administrators by the SAT.  

Last reviewed: 13/11/2015

Last modified:


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.