Carers, Guardians, Administrators and Powers of Attorney

Carers, Guardians, Administrators and holders of Powers of Attorney owe a duty of care towards the person they represent. This means that they are obligated to act in the best interests of the represented person.

11.1 Carers
It is incredibly important that people who require care ensure that their relationship with their carer, or person who looks after them, is legally recognised. This is especially important if there is a chance that the person may become mentally incapacitated due to a medical condition. If such a person loses their decision-making and does not have a legally recognised relationship which provides for someone to manage their property and financial affairs, or to make personal and lifestyle decisions, then the government will appoint someone to make those decisions for them.

Therefore, it is recommended that people who require care who may have further problems in the future or do not have a good quality of life seek guardianship or administration orders. This is not necessary for people who have a good quality of life and do not have any potential for further problems and are being cared for by family, friends or carers who have their best interests at heart.

11.2 Guardians and Administrators
Guardians and Administrators are entrusted with making sure that the best interests of the represented person are protected, where the person needs additional support and assistance.

A guardian makes personal, medical and/or lifestyle decisions in the best interests of someone who is not capable of making those decisions for themselves – such as work, living arrangements or medical treatment.

An administrator makes financial and legal decisions in the best interests of someone who is not capable of making those decisions for themselves – such as the sale of assets, payment of debts or investment of money.

Applications to appoint a guardian or administrator are made to the State Administrative Tribunal. More information can be found at
http://www.sat.justice.wa.gov.au/G/guardianship_and_administration.aspx, or by contacting the State Administrative Tribunal by phone on (08) 9219 3111 or 1300 306 017.

11.3 Enduring Powers of Attorney
Powers of Attorney is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf, whether temporarily (ordinary) or permanently in the case that the individual loses full legal capacity (enduring). Further information is available at
http://www.publicadvocate.wa.gov.au/E/enduring_power_of_attorney.aspx?uid=4607-1285-4846-1893.

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