Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 – new procedure and VCAT orders in practice

The new Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 passed through the Victorian parliament in May 2019 and received royal assent on 4 July 2019. It will commence once proclaimed and otherwise no later than 1 March 2020.

While VCAT has retained its powers in relation to making guardianship and administration orders, there have also been significant changes to guardianship and administration laws and reflect a more modern understanding of decision-making, capacity and disability.

For example, the Act provides for:

  • Presumption that a person has decision-making capacity unless evidence is provided otherwise.
  • Recognises that a person has decision-making capacity if the person can make decisions with support.
  • Consideration to be given to a wider range of matters in making an order, such as the will and preferences of the proposed represented person and the wishes of any primary carer or relative.
  • New eligibility requirements for proposed administrators and guardians, and a dispute resolution process for administrators and guardians who are appointed for the same represented person (with the decisions of the guardian to prevail over those of the administrator unless otherwise agreed or determined by VCAT).
  • Orders to be more tailored to the individual.

There are also provisions designed to improve VCAT’s processes, including:

  • More robust notice requirements.
  • A presumption that the represented person must attend the VCAT hearing, unless they do not wish to attend or it would be impracticable.
  • Video links and other systems to conduct proceedings.

Moores welcome the reforms.

How we can help

If you seek further advice about the guardianship and administration regime, or require specific assistance with a guardianship and administration matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

This article is part of our Guardianship and Administration Bill series:
Guardianship & Administration Bill 2018 – Overview
Guardianship & Administration Bill 2018 – Administrator liability and new offences
Guardianship & Administration Bill 2018 – Supported Decision-Making