Most people with a decision-making disability manage with help from family, friends and service providers. They do not need a guardian or a financial manager.
There are alternatives to applying to NCAT. Before going through the legal process, consider whether there is an appropriate alternative.
If a disagreement is preventing decisions being made for the person, bringing everyone concerned (family, carers, friends of the person with the decision-making disability) together to talk about options might assist to resolve the problem.
Community Justice Centre might also be able to provide advice or mediation to assist with family disputes.
Are you concerned about someone who cannot make personal or financial decisions?
If you said yes to one of the above, then a guardianship order or financial management order may not be required.
Are you concerned about someone who cannot make decisions about medical or dental treatment? Is there already a 'person responsible' to make decisions about treatment on their behalf?
Guardianship Act 1987 a 'person responsible' is, in order of priority:
For more information, read the
Person responsible fact sheet [PDF, 54kB].
There are options for helping someone apart from coming to NCAT. There are a number of organisations can offer help or information on available services (see ‘Useful website’ links at top of page).
These organisations can provide advice on aged care, intellectual disability, mental health, brain injury, legal issues or financial problems.
If the alternatives don’t work, or if there are disagreements among those involved on how to proceed or what is in the person’s best interests, or if the person concerned is objecting to any of the arrangements, you may consider applying to NCAT.
Working out an alternative, as long as it is in the best interests of the person concerned, may be better than having to go through the legal process for appointing a guardian or financial manager.
My Aged Care
Department of Family and Community Services
Brain Injury Association of NSW
Council on the Ageing NSW
Community Justice Centres
NSW Elder Abuse Helpline
Intellectual Disability Rights Service
Mental Health Advocacy Service of Legal Aid NSW
Mental Health Association NSW
Planning Ahead Tools
Seniors Rights Service