Do you need to apply?

SACAT will only make a guardianship order or an administration order for a person with a mental incapacity after considering the situation for the person, under the current arrangements. 

You should consider other options first before applying to SACAT.

Consider these options first

A. Informal arrangements
In many situations, a person with a mental incapacity can manage well in the community, making decisions about their finances, living circumstances, health and self-care with the support and assistance of family and friends and service providers. Consent to medical treatment for a person with impaired decision making capacity can also be provided by a 'person responsible' (under the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act). 

If so, the person does not need a guardian or a financial administrator and you do not need to apply to SACAT for an order.

B. Formal arrangements

In many situations, a person will have planned in advance when they still had mental capacity and are assisted with decision-making under a formal arrangement such as an enduring power of attorney (EPA) or an advance care directive.  If these formal arrangements are working well there is no need to apply to SACAT. 

For further help about the supports and services available and about whether you need to apply for an order you can contact the Office of the Public Advocate

When to apply for an order

In some cases the existing arrangements are not working, for example there may be disagreements between family members about making decisions for the person with mental incapacity or people may not be able to continue to provide assistance.

Or sometimes there are concerns about the conduct of the attorney under an EPA or that person may no longer be able to act as the attorney. If so, you should apply to SACAT for a guardianship order or an administration order.

SACAT can appoint an administrator for a person with a mental incapacity in some circumstances where an EPA is already in place. The administrator can then cancel the EPA.