Private Managers

A private manager is a person who has been appointed by either the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Equity Division Protective of the Supreme Court to manage the financial affairs of a person with a decision-making disability. Sometimes more than one person is appointed and the private managers then act jointly. A trustee company, such as a solicitor or an accountant, can also be appointed as a private manager.

Who is eligible to be a private manager?
What happens once I am appointed as a private manager?
What should I do if I believe the private manager is not acting in best interests of the managed person?
How do I get a financial management order reviewed?
How do I get the order revoked?
Why do I need a copy of the Will of the managed person?
Am I allowed to make gifts/donations on behalf of the managed person?
What happens when a joint manager dies?
What happens when the managed person dies?

Who is eligible to be a private manager?

You do not need any formal qualifications or experience, however you need to:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be prepared to always act in the best interests of the managed person and to make decisions which meet their needs and take into account the views and chosen lifestyle of the person prior to loss of capacity
  • be prepared to declare any possible conflict of interest and avoid making financial decisions about the person’s financial affairs which could compromise your capacity to plan in their best interests
  • be prepared to maintain close contact with the person and consult them, where possible, about decisions relating to the management of their financial affairs
  • be willing and able to keep records of all income and expenditure for the person and provide annual accounts to NSW Trustee & Guardian 
  • understand that the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 requires us to direct and authorise you in your role in regard to financial management. This often includes the appointment of an independent specialist in disability (called an Authorised Visitor) to visit the person with a disability and provide a comprehensive report to the office on his/her needs and circumstances

What happens once I am appointed as a private manager?

While you may have been formally appointed as private manager, in most cases you have no power or authority to manage the person’s financial affairs until you are issued with a document called 'Directions and Authorities' by NSW Trustee & Guardian.

The Directions and Authorities document provides you with all the necessary authority to manage, details the specific financial actions which you have authority to perform, and provides a basis for the annual examination of accounts which NSW Trustee & Guardian requires of you. The format of these accounts will be explained to you by our staff.

Every effort is made to discuss your role with you as soon as possible but there may be a delay from when the order is made and when NSW Trustee & Guardian receives the necessary tribunal or court documents. You are encouraged to ring the Private Management Team on (02) 8688 2600 for general information on what will be involved and what preparations you could be making in the meantime, such as collection of necessary financial information.

Once the notification of the order and your appointment is received, we will contact you and ask you to:

  • provide all relevant information and copies of documents relating to the financial affairs of the person
  • provide some form of security to be lodged with NSW Trustee & Guardian, such as title deeds to the person’s property or a sum of money from their financial affairs
  • keep records of all income and expenditure
  • prepare annual accounts to be lodged for examination by us.

What should I do if I believe the private manager is not acting in best interests of the managed person?

If you are dissatisfied with the private manager you can have their appointment reviewed by NCAT - Guardianship Division or the Supreme Court, dependent on if NCAT or Supreme Court made the order.

Contact NCAT - Guardianship Division on 02 9556 7600 for more information on how you can get the financial management order reviewed.

Please note NSW Trustee & Guardian has no role in the appointment of the private manager.

How do I get a financial management order reviewed?

There are different ways in which a financial management order or decision made by NCAT - Guardianship Division can be reviewed or appealed.

A review is different from an appeal. A review is conducted by the NCAT - Guardianship Division whereas an appeal is conducted by either the Supreme Court or NCAT. More information about the differences between appeals and reviews is set out below.

a. Statutory reviews - the NCAT - Guardianship Division can state in a financial management order that the order will be reviewed in a specific period of time.

b. Requested reviews - anyone with a genuine concern for the welfare of a person under a financial management order can request a review to revoke or vary the order. The NCAT - Guardianship Division may refuse to deal with the application to revoke or vary the order if:

  • there are no grounds in the application to warrant a review; or
  • the order has been reviewed before

c. Own motion reviews - the NCAT - Guardianship Division can decide on its own motion that a review should be conducted. At a review hearing of a financial management order, NCAT - Guardianship Division will consider evidence from professionals and other involved in the life of the person whose affairs are under financial management.

How do I get the order revoked?

The NCAT - Guardianship Division can only revoke a financial management order if it is satisfied that:

  • the managed person is now able to manage their own financial affairs; or
  • it would be in the best interests for the managed person to have the order revoked.

What happens if the managed person has a Will?

You need to read the managed person's Will because some of its terms may affect the decisions you make about the managed person's estate. For example, if the managed person was leaving a gift of real estate in their Will, you would only sell the property when the proceeds were essential to their ongoing care. A Will is a confidential document and the contents should not be disclosed to other people. You will be requested to send a copy of the Will to NSW Trustee & Guardian so that this information is available when approving proposals.

Am I allowed to make gifts/donations on behalf of the managed person?

NSW Trustee & Guardian must give prior approval for all gifts. Where the managed person had previously made small gifts, for example for birthdays and Christmas, approval will usually be given. In other cases the manager will need to demonstrate why they believe such a gift should be made, the effect on the estate and provide the views, if possible, of the managed person and other immediate family members.

Under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 private managers do not have authority to lend the managed person’s money.

What happens when a joint manager dies?

If either of the private managers die or is relieved of their management role, the remaining manager takes on full responsibility for the estate.

What happens when the managed person dies?

Your role as private manager ends when the managed person dies. Your final duties as private manager are to:

  • advise the executor of the person where there is a Will. If there is no Will, advise the next of kin of the person's death and details of their estate
  • complete and keep a form of accounts from the date of your last reported accounts (or the date of the financial management order if no accounts have been submitted) to the date of death or revocation of the order and provide the original documents to the executor/administrator
  • send NSW Trustee & Guardian a certified copy of the death certificate and details of the executor or administrator of the person's estate and the lawyer acting on probate/administration of the estate.

Upon the death of the managed person the appointed executor/administrator will then administer the managed person's late estate and you should send them all documents relating to the estate and advise them that NSW Trustee & Guardian will be claiming fees from the managed person's estate. After payment of any outstanding fees and on production of probate or letters of administration, NSW Trustee & Guardian will release any funds or documents held as security in line with the written instructions of the executor/administrator.

If the estate is worth less than $10,000, NSW Trustee & Guardian may release any funds or documents without production of probate or letters of administration. Contact your Client Service team for information on what you should do in this case.

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