Who to appoint?

A suitable person can be nominated or VCAT can be requested to make a determination.

VCAT may appoint a relative, friend, solicitor, accountant, private trustee company or State Trustees Limited as administrator. VCAT’s emphasis is to take the least restrictive path and so they are likely to appoint a family member before a friend or a professional. They will, however, discount a family member where there is a dispute between family members or because no family member is considered suitable.

Note that in some cases a social worker or other health professional may apply for appointment as guardian or administrator where they believe an older person is at risk of abuse. Your client and/or their family may want to challenge this application.

Families in conflict

Often families can be in conflict and not agree over issues such as where and how a parent should live and financial management matters. It might be best to refer a client to mediation services, the Family Mediation Centre, Relationships Australia, Dispute Settlement Centre or a private mediation service. (OPA can provide advocacy support to the older person in such circumstances.)  Note that the preservation of family relationships may in fact be your client’s first priority and that mediation may be appropriate where the parties have a desire to preserve relationships.