Financial Management Orders

Financial Management Orders

Financial Management Orders

Financial management orders are needed when a person lacks the capacity and needs support to make financial decisions. The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal can appoint a person to provide assistance with someone’s financial and legal affairs and help support them to make good choices.

Find out more about guardianship and financial management orders, who is eligible, how they are appointed and how changes can be made.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Guardianship?

When someone has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves or manage their own affairs, appointing a person to decide on their behalf may be necessary. A tribunal can appoint a financial manager or guardian if they have not selected a Power of Attorney. A guardian is an alternative decision maker who can make personal and lifestyle decisions on another person’s behalf, and the person may be a friend or family member.

What Is A Guardianship Order?

The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) manages the applications for guardianship, and there is a specialised disability division within NCAT that conducts hearings in NSW to determine guardianship; it is called the guardianship division. The guardianship division adheres to legislation contained in the Guardianship Act, which details responsibilities, functions and principles which must be followed when making decisions on behalf of vulnerable persons.  

A Guardianship order is generally valid for 12 months but can also be up to three years.

What Is A Financial Manager?

A financial manager has the authority to make decisions regarding financial affairs for someone who has lost the capacity to make such decisions themselves. Financial matters may include bank accounts, paying bills, investments, legal affairs, and buying or selling property. As well as managing a person’s financial affairs, they may make decisions in legal proceedings and ensure that their interests are protected for relevant legal matters.

An appointed financial manager may also be referred to as an administrator in other states of Australia. In some cases, financial managers may be appointed to manage only one section of a person’s estate, not all of their finances.

What Is A Financial Management Order?

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal appoints private financial managers to people who require assistance to make decisions about their financial affairs. The order enables the financial manager to maintain the role indefinitely or until the person can manage their finances. The court or tribunal can issue the order.

The order can be revoked if the financial manager is not acting in the best interests of the person whose financial affairs they are managing. 

When making guardianship and financial management orders, strict principles must be followed to ensure the welfare and interests of the person are the priority. They should be protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

How Are Financial Managers And Guardians Appointed?

There are many factors that the tribunal will consider before deciding to appoint a financial manager or guardian. They must be satisfied that the person is incapable of making decisions independently and that the evidence proves that their disability impairs their decision making ability. 

The factors they will consider include:

  • The person’s ability to manage their own affairs
  • Relevant health or medical conditions which may influence their decision making ability (such as mental illness or intellectual disability)
  • What is in the person’s best interests

The tribunal will decide whether the person requires both a financial manager and guardian or whether they only require a single order. They can determine whether the person requested in the application is approved or an alternative guardian is appointed. They can also refuse to make an order based on insufficient evidence.

Private financial managers are appointed via an order from the Supreme Court of NSW or NCAT Guardianship division.

Who Can Become A Financial Manager?

A private financial manager may be a friend, family member or other individual. There are no qualifications required to become a financial manager, but you must be at least 18 and prepared to adhere to the following;

  • Act in the best interest of the person stated in the order
  • Ensure the decisions made meet their needs
  • Consider their views and lifestyle before their loss of capacity
  • Declare any conflict of interests
  • Avoid making decisions which may compromise the person’s best interests
  • Keep communication with them open and consultative
  • Maintain sound financial records and provide annual accounts to the NSW Trustee and Guardian

How Do You Revoke A Guardianship Or Financial Management Order?

To revoke a financial management or guardianship order, a person must apply to NCAT, which must include supporting evidence and reasons why the changes are required. A tribunal staff member will contact the application and arrange a hearing to decide the outcome.

The tribunal can revoke an order if it has become superfluous and is no longer required.

If a person is unhappy with the tribunal’s decision, they can appeal to the Supreme Court of NSW or NCAT appeal panel. 

Summary

Guardianship and financial management orders are used when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves or manage their own financial affairs. It may be necessary to appoint someone to manage a person’s affairs on their behalf. As well as a person’s financial affairs, they may make decisions in legal proceedings and ensure that their interests are protected for any relevant legal matters.

Before granting orders, the court or tribunal must be completely satisfied that the person is incapable of making decisions independently and that the evidence proves that their disability impairs their decision making ability. When making these orders, strict principles must be followed to ensure the welfare and interests of the person are the priority. They should be protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

FAQs

What Is A Financial Management Order?

A financial management order gives a person the authority to make decisions about financial affairs and legal affairs and manage another person’s finances on their behalf. A financial manager is responsible for making decisions regarding financial matters for someone incapable of making the decision themselves. When making these orders, strict principles must be followed to ensure the welfare and interests of the person are the priority. They should be protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

How Do I Revoke A Financial Management Order In NSW?

To revoke a financial management or guardianship order, a person must apply to NCAT, which must include supporting evidence and reasons why the changes are required. A tribunal staff member will contact the application and arrange a hearing to decide the outcome.

The tribunal can revoke an order if it has become superfluous and is no longer required.

If a person is unhappy with the tribunal’s decision, they can appeal to the Supreme Court of NSW or NCAT appeal panel. 

Is A Financial Manager A Trustee?

A private financial manager may be a family member or friend, or another individual. In some cases, the person appointed may be an employee of a trustee company or NSW trustee. The financial management order issued by the court may appoint a trustee to act as a financial manager for a person who is not capable of managing their own financial affairs.

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