Who can SACAT appoint as a guardian?

SACAT can appoint

  • A family member or friend, or a person who knows the protected person well and is interested and able to assist that person. This is the preferred type of appointment in most cases.
  • If there is no suitable family member or friend the Public Advocate can be appointed.
  • A single guardian or joint guardians. But if there is more than one guardian appointed as a joint guardian, they must agree on the decisions that they make (subject to the words in the order). 
  • Two guardians to act as 'joint and several' guardians. This means one of the guardians can make a decision with or without the other guardian. 
  • The Public Advocate as a joint guardian with a family member or friend.
  • An alternative guardian can be appointed who could become the guardian in the event of the death, absence or incapacity of the origional 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. 

Suitability of appointment

SACAT will consider the evidence and weigh up certain principles to determine the suitability of the proposed guardian.

In deciding if a person is suitable to act as a guardian, SACAT can also take into account:

  • Whether the potential guardian and the person are compatible
  • Existing family relationships
  • Whether the potential guardian is available and has the skills to assist and make decisions
  • Any conflict of interest

How long is a guardianship order 

A guardianship order generally starts on the day SACAT makes the order. It can be for a fixed period. It is usually an ongoing order and remains in place until another order is made by SACAT. It must be automatically reviewed at least every three years to see if the orders should be in place or if any changes are required. 


  1. An application can be made to SACAT to change or cancel a guardianship order at any time if there is new information or a change in circumstances. 
  2. A guardianship order must be regularly reviewed by SACAT, at intervals of not more than three years. This is an automatic review.
  3. An application can be made to SACAT for a Review of a SACAT decision (also called an 'internal review') to make guardianship order with the permission of the Tribunal.