WHY IS AN APPLICATION TO QCAT NECESSARY?
There are many reasons why you may have to make an application to QCAT, or the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, to have an Administrator and/or Guardian appointed for a person.
Some of the common reasons are:
- A friend, loved one or associate has made an Enduring Power of Attorney and is no longer able to make their own financial and personal decisions and these decisions cannot be made informally;
- The friend, loved one or associate may have made an Enduring Power of Attorney, however, for some reason you are concerned that the appointed Attorney is not exercising their powers appropriately or that the Enduring Power of Attorney is invalid;
- Your friend, loved one or associate does not accept that they are unable to make their own decisions and you need QCAT to declare that they lack capacity and to then make a decision about who should look after their affairs.
HOW DO YOU MAKE AN APPLICATION TO QCAT?
A good place to start is by looking at the information and forms available on the QCAT website.
It is very important to bear in mind that you must give enough information to QCAT to enable it to make an appropriate decision.
One of the most important first steps is to obtain medical evidence regarding the person’s capacity to make financial and/or personal/health decisions.
You may wish to consider obtaining legal advice before attempting to complete the forms because some matters are quite complex and it would be beneficial to have input from a Lawyer at some point so that you set out on the right path in relation to the documentation.
You should also bear in mind that it is often beneficial to include a statement from yourself or others setting out background information, the reason the application is being made, and matters that you consider should be brought to QCAT’S attentions.
It can generally sometimes take between four to six weeks for a matter to come on for hearing in the Tribunal.
Some situations can’t wait this long and require QCAT to make an urgent appointment of decision makers.
If your matter is urgent and you need to make immediate decisions to prevent risk to property or prevent harm to their personal wellbeing, it may be necessary to make an application for an urgent interim order.
This can sometimes be done by submitting the right forms to QCAT including an application for interim orders.
QCAT has the power to make interim appointments that can last up to three months pending a full hearing of the matter.
In most situations it will be necessary for you to provide medical reports to the Tribunal. On rare occasions, the Tribunal may be prepared to look at a matter where medical evidence is not available, however, it would be best to speak with QCAT before lodging your material.
The Tribunal generally requires medical evidence in the form of either a report or letter from a medical practitioner or allied health professional such as a social worker or nurse. QCAT’s preference is to receive a completed form being a Report by Medical and Related Health Professional – Guardianship Administration Act 2000. Again, look at the QCAT website for the appropriate form.
This completed report together with any other relevant medical information should be provided to the Tribunal.
APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT AS AN ADMINISTRATOR
You should be aware that, if you are applying to be appointed as a person’s Administrator, it will be necessary for you to provide a proposed Financial Management Plan to the Tribunal. This form is available on the QCAT website.
It is beneficial to include as much information in relation to the adult’s financial circumstances as you are able to provide. In some instances it will assist if you have been able to obtain some professional advice from an Accountant or Financial Advisor in relation to your proposed Financial Management Plan.
You should be aware that, at any stage of an application to QCAT, it is possible, and highly advisable, for you to obtain legal advice and that in some instances, legal representation may, at a hearing before QCAT, be appropriate.
As mentioned, if you intend making the application yourself, you may still wish to obtain some legal advice before embarking on completion of the documents so that you have a greater understanding of the processes and procedure within QCAT.