SACAT can appoint a person to make accommodation, health and lifestyle decisions to support someone who has mental incapacity - this person is called a guardian.

Who can SACAT appoint as a guardian?

In most cases, SACAT prefers to appoint a family member, friend, or someone who knows the protected person well and is interested and able to take on the role.

If there is no suitable family member or friend the Public Advocate can be appointed.

Joint guardians

SACAT can also appoint joint guardians - if there is more than one guardian appointed, they must agree on the decisions they make.

Some orders allow for two guardians to be appointed where one can make a decision without the other.

The Public Advocate can also be appointed as a joint guardian with a family member or friend.

An alternative guardian can be appointed who would become the guardian in the event of the death, absence or incapacity of the original guardian.

SACAT will not appoint

  • a person unless they first consent to the appointment
  • a company or statutory body.
  • a person who cares for or works with the protected person on a professional basis.

Guardian suitability

When deciding if a person is suitable to act as a guardian, SACAT will take into account:

  • whether the potential guardian and the protected person are compatible
  • if there are any existing family relationships
  • whether the potential guardian is available and has the skills to assist and make decisions
  • any conflict of interest.

Where to get more information

Being a first time guardian can be challenging. You need to have some understanding of your role and responsibilities within the law.

The Office of the Public Advocate can help.