Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Public Trustee gets major overhaul after 60 years

    1/07/2008 12:00 AM

    From today, financial and estate services offered by Western Australia’s Public Trustee will be expanded to ensure that clients have access to modern financial services and more attractive fees.


    Attorney General Jim McGinty said amendments to the legislation governing the Public Trustee made its services more competitive with other providers.


    “The Public Trustee’s legislative framework has remained largely unchanged for over 60 years,” Mr McGinty said.


    “One of the most important changes will be to allow the Public Trustee to offer clients more options in investing their money.


    “This legislation will allow the Public Trustee to set up a number of funds with diverse investment strategies to meet the short and long-term needs of the different types of clients it services.


    “Previously, there was no opportunity for capital growth in its fund - only interest payments - so the Public Trustee will now be able to provide capital growth investments in strategic funds for long-term clients.


    “Fee structures have also been amended to make the system more equitable to all clients.  Under the old legislation, the fees charged by the Public Trustee did not reflect a client’s ability to pay, resulting in some of the service’s more vulnerable clients paying fees while some clients who would afford to pay receiving services free of charge.”


    Other key improvements contained in the new legislation include giving the Public Trustee the power to:

    ·          enhance the services it provides by acting as an agent for executors and administrators, without having to take on the entire role;

    ·          assist an executor or administrator of a deceased estate in performing their duties;

    ·          provide estate planning services to clients, and to provide investment management services; and

    ·          delegate some of its powers or duties to other Government agencies.


    Any changes to the Public Trustee’s services or fees will still require the approval of the Attorney General and Treasury.


    The Public Trustee provides trust management, estate administration and will services to many Western Australians including the elderly, disabled and children.


    In the past year, the Public Trustee prepared 3,800 new or updated wills, administered more than 800 deceased estates and provided financial management services to approximately 4,300 people who were not capable of managing their own finances.


    Attorney General's office - 9422 3000