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An administration order appoints an individual or organisation as an administrator to make financial and legal decisions for a person with mental incapacity. A person under an administration order is called a protected person.
The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) will only make an administration order if it is satisfied that:
- the person has mental incapacity*
- there is a need for an order to be made.
*The Office of the Public Advocate website defines mental capacity and mental incapacity.
Appointing an administrator
An administrator may be a relative, friend, solicitor or accountant or an organisation like the Public Trustee or other trustee company. They are legally responsible for making some or all of a protected person's financial and legal decisions. This includes decisions about the person's income and property.
In deciding who should be appointed, the Tribunal considers:
- what the wishes of the person would have been prior to becoming mentally incapacitated
- the present wishes of the person, unless they are inconsistent with his or her proper protection
- whether or not there are existing informal arrangements for the management of the person's financial and legal affairs
- whether or not this is the least restrictive alternative.
Enduring power of attorney
If a person with a mental incapacity has previously made an enduring power of attorney, then the person appointed under that document will be responsible for making the protected person's financial decisions unless an administration order is subsequently made by SACAT.