Guardianship and Administration Applications FAQs

Why would I need to apply to QCAT?
Some of the many circumstances which might require you to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal include:
  • The appointment of a guardian or administrator for someone who has lost capacity to make their own decisions but does not have an enduring power of attorney.
  • If an attorney is not prepared to accept the appointment and no one else has been appointed.
  • If an attorney is not appropriately qualified to manage the person’s affairs and you seek the appointment of someone who is better qualified.
  • An attorney, guardian or administrator is not acting in the best interests of the person and you seek the appointment of someone more appropriate.
  • You are concerned an attorney or administrator is using the person’s assets to their own benefit and you seek their removal from the position.
  • There is a dispute between family members about a person’s living arrangements or medical treatment.
  • There is some uncertainty about a person’ capacity and you seek a declaration of capacity from QCAT.
  • You are worried the enduring power of attorney is not valid – perhaps because the person did not have legal capacity at the time the document was prepared and executed or because undue influence was exerted on them to appoint someone as their attorney.
 
How do I apply to QCAT for orders about guardianship and administration?
An application is made to QCAT for the relevant order.  If there is an urgent need for a decision, QCAT will arrange for an urgent hearing.
Once an application is lodged, with all relevant supporting documents, the Registry will decide how and when it will be heard.  
 
Do I need a lawyer to make an application to QCAT?
No – it is possible to represent yourself at QCAT.  In fact, you need QCAT’s leave to be represented by a lawyer.  
 
The issues to be determined by QCAT can be complicated and objective discussion of those issues can be difficult.  We can provide expert, objective advice about QCAT applications and discuss realistic expectations and outcomes.
 
What does it cost to make an application to QCAT?
This will depend on the type of application, the complexity of the person’s financial arrangements and family relationships, whether other friends or family members want to be heard on the application, the evidence of the person’s treating doctors and other health professionals and many other considerations.
 
Before you decide to apply to QCAT, we will discuss what will be involved and provide an estimate of the likely costs. We will also discuss how we will charge for our services.
 
Our costs will be reasonable – we will discuss them with you in detail before you instruct us to act on your behalf and will enter into a Costs Agreement with you.  We strongly recommend you seek independent legal advice about the Costs Agreement before you sign it.
 
Will my legal costs be paid for?
Only in exceptional circumstances, but generally no.
 
If there is any prospect of your costs being paid by another party, we will discuss this with you once we know more about your circumstances.
 
Will I need to go to court if I make an application to QCAT?
You will very likely need to appear before QCAT.   This is an informal process with one to three Tribunal members.  In some cases, your application might be heard “on the papers” with no appearance required.
 
If leave for legal representation is granted (and it usually is in guardianship and administration matters), we can appear with you and make submissions on your behalf.