Legal Hypothetical – Financial manager’s hands tied


Financial manager’s hands tied

Sally and William have been married for 30 years.

They own their matrimonial home jointly.

At the age of 75, William is diagnosed with dementia and soon loses the ability to manage his affairs.

Unfortunately, William had not executed a power of attorney or an appointment of enduring guardian, so Sally makes an application to the Guardianship Division of NCAT, seeking orders granting her the power to manage her husband’s affairs.

Sally is appointed as William’s guardian, giving her the power to make arrangements for William to obtain a placement in a nursing home and to make other decisions regarding his personal care and medical treatment.

However, in considering whether to make orders regarding the management of William’s financial affairs, the Tribunal hears that Sally wishes to sell their home and down-size on the basis that she is having difficulty maintaining the property on her own and meeting the expenses.

The Tribunal informs Sally that if she wishes to sell the property as his financial manager, she will only be permitted to use half of the proceeds of sale to purchase another property, because William is entitled to the other half of the proceeds of sale.

Sally is also informed that as William’s financial manager, she would also have to submit accounts to the NSW Trustee and Guardian as part of a regular audit process.

Accordingly, Sally withdraws her application and has no alternative but to continue living in the house.

If William had executed a power of attorney while he had the capacity to do so, these issues could have been avoided and the involvement of the Tribunal and the NSW Trustee and Guardian would not have been necessary.

If YOU would like a particular issue addressed, please email Manny at [email protected] or call him on (02) 6648 7487.


By Manny WOOD, Solicitor.

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