What is an administration order?

A person with a mental incapacity may be unable to make certain important decisions about their financial matters. They may be unable to manage their money, or their legal or business affairs because of a mental incapacity.

If satisfied of the need for an order, SACAT will authorise another person under an order to make those decisions and manage financial matters for the person. This order is called an administration order. You can apply to SACAT for an administration order.

What does SACAT consider in making an administration order?

SACAT will not make an administration order unless satisfied that the person:

  • has a mental incapacity and
  • there is a need for an order to be made.

SACAT will consider and weigh up evidence to decide if there is a need for an order and, if so, what type of order should be made. SACAT must consider: 

  • what, in SACAT’s opinion, the person’s wishes would have been had they not become mentally incapacitated, if there is evidence available about that
  • what the person’s present wishes are, if these can be expressed
  • whether existing arrangements for the management of the person’s financial affairs are adequate and should not be disturbed
  • what is least restrictive of the person’s rights and personal autonomy, that also ensures that the person is properly cared for and protected.

Personal matters such as accommodation, health and lifestyle decisions

An administrator has no authority under an administration order to make lifestyle, accommodation and medical treatment decisions for the person. This is the role of a guardian appointed by SACAT under a guardianship order or a person acting under an advance care directive (or a medical power of attorney or an enduring power of guardianship) if there is one in place.  

What is a protected person?

If SACAT makes an administration order or a guardianship order, or both, the person is described as a ‘protected person’. This means that their legal rights are being protected under the order made by SACAT.

See also the Public Trustees' South Australian Public Administrators' Guide