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NSW Trustee & Guardian

NSW Trustee & Guardian

1.1 from 52 reviews

Very unprofessional

I can’t believe the way my mothers estate is being handled. So far I have spoken with 4 different people and not one of them can give me the information I have asked. I was sent the declaration paper work early December which I completed and returned via registrated post, I know these documents were received 2 days later. I have since called and spoken to someone to confirm this information was received, this was confirmed and I was told this was now with the processing team. Today I received an email following up on the declaration as they were still waiting on it. I followed this up with a call and the man I spoke to said he may have received it and that it’s most likely in the mountain of paperwork on his desk, being extremely unhappy with this reply and advising this wasn’t good enough and they had received this paperwork nearly 2 months ago and it’s confidential paperwork he told me to hang on while he had a look for it. He then proceeded to tell me he had it and would update his system. I requested an update to be told he was handling it. I’m most upset at the way this is being handled considering the importance of the matter and how sensitive this matter is after losing my mother. I understand this is not any easy process and the high volume of work you would have on a daily basis however this is the most unprofessional dealing I have ever had with anyone.i would not recommend your services to anyone.

Unprofessional, incompetent and lazy.

I wish I could give them a minus raiting Our father passed away just over a year ago. All he had was a bank account to be divided between 3 of us. No communication despite numerous calls from me and my 2 siblings. The person handeling our fathers estate was allways away that day had just left or was on holiday. So I guess she worked 2hrs a week and had holidays on a fortnightly baisis. So after 7 months we get contacted, they have lost our proof of identity papers and want us to re submit them ( are you kidding me how do you loose something like that ) so after resubmiting them another 7 months of nothing. Unprofessional, incompetent, unbelievable

Utterly Inefficient

I had a Will made up by NSW TAG. Dealing with staff at the Lismore branch was like dealing with a bunch of incompetents! They appear to be untrained volunteers such is their level of disoargansiation, poor communication and incompetence. I was very clear about what wanted in my Will, and they kept omitting certain requests I had in the draft copies that were emailed back and forth. The emailing of drafts took about 8 months as they were extremely slow in responding. In the end I just gave up in trying to get what I wanted in my WIll as each draft they would omit certain things e.g. items to be left to certain beneficiaries (only two things), and that I wanted my body to be cremated. Then when they posted the final copy of my Will I didn’t receive it. I waited about 6 weeks as I knew by this time that they took forever to action anything. Finally I contacted them. They told me they had posted out my WIll some weeks ago. When I checked the address, I discovered they had sent it to an incorrect PO Box !!! I was mortified as I live in a small community and was afraid someone I know would have opened the WIll. I spoke to staff at the post office and left a note for the PO Box owners who had received my WIll. I heard back that they had received it but as there was no return address on the letter and they had thrown it out. So I asked TAG Lismore to send me another copy. Once again I told them my address and asked them to send it registered. The WIll arrived in my PO Box, unregistered, and with no return mail address on it! Today, a few years later, I contacted TAG Lismore again as I want to make changes to my Will. Nothing has changed! In fact, they still had my INCORRECT PO Box number on their file. After reading all of the other comments, I will not be using TAG to make my next WIll or as Trustees and Executors of my estate.

Don't make them executor of your estate. Especially not if you have overseas assets

NSW Trustee and Guardian are a business and act accordingly, that is, they aim to make money for themselves. Their name is totally misleading. Let them make your will if you must, but don't appoint them executor of your estate. Especially not if you have assets overseas. They are not qualified in international law. Find someone who is. It might cost you more, but in the long run you'll be better off.

I am close to suicide because of these people

I am under a financial management order with these people since 2005. Because I had some problems paying my rent, my life has been a living hell since. I am mentally competent, I have a high IQ. I am sick to death of being treated like a animal, of having to walk into shops getting a quote for everything. They refused me money to go to my father's funeral in mudgee. They made a claim for my fathers estate against their wishes. I can't handle this anymore. I am going to end up in front of a jury for murder. What can I do?

Woeful and far from Professional

I received a 'Plan of Administration' from TAG. Whilst the covering letter of two pages is addressed to me, the 'Plan of Administration' was intended for someone else. It is my mother's estate which they are supposed to be administering however, the 'Plan of Administration' pays condolences to my lost 'Defacto' and refers to a proposed 'Plan of Administration' that does not align or reflect my late mother's will. However, this 'Plan of Administration' identifies my mother's estate.

As best as I can determine, TAG staff appear to conjure information and I can't begin to guess for what purpose this serves.

In regards to my mother's internment, the officer from TAG provided an assurance that it would be paid in August however the cemetery looking after her internment did not receive funds until November?

I have received four letters from TAG in one they promise a high level of professionalism. Instead, they pave litany of lies, underpinned by information that is offensive. They have lost a stat dec complete with certified identity and they do not follow up as they promise.

My experience with TAG is met with disgust, incompetence and lack of attention to detail. Considering these people are to be administering estates, I do not trust them; they are a shambles. I can not recommend this organisation as capable or apt in dealing with the sensitive matters it handles. I would highly recommend to all, not to have TAG execute a will.

Taking years to finalise

Goodness me, it has taken so far 4 years and we are still waiting. They are so slow, do not answer correspondence, keep taking money out of the Estate for searches in the 4 years and still haven't been able to find people, it's amazing, I think if they didn't get paid until they finish we would see them moving a lot faster but having the right to just take costs out all the time and not be accountable isn't right. I wouldn't recommend them at all

Crooks, Liars, they are just White collar theives

Trying to get information from them is next to impossible, when you ring to speak to one person in particular they are away or unavailable, they never return phone calls and they lie. So what does a person do to get help if it's a government run company and everyone you ask for help is a lieing crook. What has our World come to, No wonder elderly abuse is rife because the one's that are supposed to help them don't because they are too busy trying to rob them.

Stay Clear

We have been with TAG for quite some time. They are in charge of our daughters estate since the age of 13 after a MV accident, Our daughter is now 38 yrs old.
It has never been easy all they are interested in is $$ they have no insight of the clients needs or their wants.
This is only one example, We put in a request for a security system for the house which was allocated in the budget. The last email received I received to follow up on the request I was told it was with the property division to make sure the client is not financially exploited. What a joke as when I send through emails advising them of charges of exploiting they do nothing about it as it has met TAG rules and regulations. TAG have their own rules and regulations and they are defiantly not about the client. You are always treated as someone that is going to take advantage of the one you are caring for. They make constant changes within the department at one time you had a manager now you send your inquire to a team then it goes to a manager. No wonder they want 15 working days to answer a request. These are true stories on this review site Stay clear of this government organisation.

Read these review first before you even consider using NSW Trustee and Guardian.

My mother (and myself) was falsely made to believe for years that the NSW Trustee and Guardian is a trust worthy Government Department and will take care of her and for her best interests. The worst mistake you can ever make.
She was forced to live in Nursing Home against her will. She was labeled as having dementia and whatever she says no longer mean anything according to their rules and they can do whatever they like. They will get away with lies and incompetence as they have been doing it for years and Tribunal will not question them or investigate about their lies only you.
If you or your love one think you can trust them, you will be a one very sorry victim of their false advertising .
I thought public servants don't lie as I had been one years ago. Perhaps job security is most important above all to these people.
Read all those reviews first very carefully as they are TRUE and came from people who had experienced dealing with them. I wish I did and I would have helped my mum to do a living will and all other legal documents for her self and never to trust them. There is no justice with them. All about keeping their job.

Unlike Other Reviews, My Experience with NSW Public Guardian & NSW Trustee Was Positive

The NSW Public Guardian and NSW Trustee were appointed by NCAT to manage the affairs of an elderly friend. It would have been an unusual situation with this case, But I honestly found the department very understanding and the information provided was very helpful.

However I was surprised that they receive quite limited documents to commence a case file, which is probably why matters tend to take some time to process. Although they can often be difficult to access via telephone calls, in my experience, emails were always answered. When I have been successful with a phone call, I found them to very pleasant.

It was only through this situation that I learned that after a person is deceased, the file is closed by each of the appointed departments, as the file then becomes the responsibility of the Executor of the Will. The NSW Trustee were very understanding with the need to access an item for the funeral of the deceased, and fast tracked the process for the Executor to access the item given the urgent time frame.

In many cases, it may be more about the intense emotions that people are feeling about a particular matter or person under the appointment, that contributes to the frustrations.


The trustee has their own office dictionary. Two words have been used by the trustee to convey a time frame to distribution of funds. We have to understand that the Trustee operates under a form of Cosmic Time. "Soon" - the time somewhere between now and the collision of the Andromeda Galaxy with our very own Milky Way. More recent 'Imminent' - the time between now and the expansion and contraction of our sun in converting to a red dwarf. In the days when a percentage of the estate was seized as a commission, the trustees building occupants moved with the speed of a thousand startled Gazelles. Now they move slightly slower than a team of Thunderbirds puppets. The slow down occurred around the time the Trustee shifted to monthly fees, purely coincidental of course. Our relative passed away in 2015, still waiting. An extra star because the officer we are dealing with is quite polite.

After Husband stole by fraud the Trustee awards him

NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 section 16 (s) & (t), states that the Trustee is to protect estate and commence criminal actions regarding property.
12 months down the track still no action, going to Federal Circuit Court and Trustee agrees with husband's demands in a Consent Order and he manages to get another 60% of the estate.
Police don't investigate even though the NSW Tribunal found that mortgage fraud was committed, intimidation, abuse and threats were all documented with witnesses.
Federal Court Judge is unapproachable and he will most likely agree with the NSW Trustee.
Who says that crime doesn't pay!

Extortion and appalling service

If I could give minus stars I would. I have lost count of the staff members that the estate has been passed between. Ever time you ring it's "oh, that has just come on to my desk". It's 8 months after probate and we are still waiting for them to calculate their fees so we can have titles changed. If a solicitor handled it would have been over $10,000 cheaper and over 6 months quicker. Its a very simply estate but unfortunately they have no staff to process anything. Sadly my Great Aunt thought she was doing the family a favor by using this service, she would be horrified by what has happened.

Useless and inefficient staff - don't waste your time with them

If there was an option for half a star I would rate them as such and that is only because they finally answered the phone after a long wait and then I was greeted by a surly switchboard operator. They don't listen to you or ask questions and I am referring to the spelling of a person's name. Had they asked me how to spell my name correctly in the first place I would not have had to wait online while they used their interpretation of the spelling and therefore were unable to locate my details. Very relieved I have now changed who is in charge of my will as I would be very concerned for a family member having to endure dealing with them.

My mother’s estate

If I could give this government department less than one star, I would, preferably in the minus numbers.

Other than the death of my mother, having to deal with these people was absolutely the worst experience of my life. We had to deal with incompetence, lies and an attitude “ go away, this has nothing to do with you” for the whole time my mother’s estate was being dealt with by them. At one point , when I had a question I was told “we don’t deal with a third party”. The only way to deal with the first party in this case would have been a seance. I had to take out a loan to pay their exorbitant fees. A simple will with only a house as assets and 2 beneficiaries and no issues took these people almost 2 years to settle, just under the wire before we would have had to pay Capital Gains Tax on the sale of the house. Which would have been paid, funnily enough also to the NSW government. The ombudsman’s office was no help.

If you have heard the “ we are here to help “ touchy freely advertising this department runs and are considering using their nonservice I would advise you to run a mile in the opposite direction . They are not there to help you or your beneficiaries, they are there to protect their own jobs and to raise money for the NSW government. My mother was taken in by their advertisements. She thought she was making a difficult time easier for us. A will made by a solicitor doesn’t cost much and will be dealt with much more expeditiously. Unless you hate your relatives.

Slow and expensive

A simple estate of 2 assets and less than $10000 h as been with tag 10 months and still 2 months minimum from finalising. It has taken 8 officers, 10 months to look at the estate and say "2 more months". The estimated fee is around $17000 for a simple estate.
Don't go near them unless you want your family to suffer delays and frustration over your estate.

Don't do it - don't sign with the public trustee & guardian : incompetence and above market fees

Don't even think about signing over your estate, trust, Will, Power of Attorney or apply for Guardianship via this incompetent bunch of public servants that will end up taking your money via high fees, incompetence, power, and arrogance.

Did you know there is no Ombudsman in NSW that can investigate the Public Trustee & Guardian? There is no way of making a complaint against them, unless you have the money to take them to the Supreme Court of NSW.

Too many people in NSW have been duped by this Government mob - they won't act reasonably, they have incompetent staff and are on the 'gravy train' of public service. There is ZERO accountability and they will take your money via above market fees which are high, 5% of $100,000 - look at their website to review their fees which are much higher than CPI - they go up every 12 months. I would advise you to get some legal advice and hear what the Legal fraternity of NSW has to say about, first hand experience with this mob - it's quite negative and rightly so.

RUN FOR THE HILLS - Trust me, you would be better donating your money to a charity and having an agreement drafted or, sell your property and get the money into your account, before you even think of signing with this incompetent and very financially damaging Government department. They are not to be trusted as their values stipulate:

They are not the first choice trustee of people in NSW - what a lie? What evidence is there 'out there' to back up this claim??!!! Who said they were the first choice of 'Trustee' of people in NSW - READ THEIR ANNUAL REPORT ... MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND - DO SOME CRITICAL THINKING ... Trust me, you need to understand the power that this mob has. Find people in NSW that have had experience with them - listen to them, understand what they endured - loss of money and absolute incompetence and worst, arrogance, they turn pretty nasty when you start to question their decisions, which are not your decisions and never will be. They will not listen to your wishes because there is legislation in place to protect their procedures, you can't win against them once they are signed up and it will take MONEY in legal fees to get rid of them once you have signed up - Don't do it.

They don't work with your family - in fact, they will work against your wishes ... I've experienced it and I'm appalled in how I got treated - it's a common theme with thousands of families in NSW - Do your research - it's called due diligence - do not sign up with the nsw trustee & guardian - you will regret it and it will be very traumatic for years to come due to lost assets, income and poor investment strategies.

They will lose your money - mismanage it; sell property at a fire auction without any care of giving you the chance to present it how you would want it presented to market - they don't care and they won't listen to you nor listen to your wishes - trust me, this happened when I sold a property with them. I was able to stand up to them, because I got legal advice and I managed to get $70,000 more because I got a second appraisal that advised to go private treaty, not at Auction. Everyone knows, in a down market, selling property at Auction is fraught with danger and its pure moronic stupidity - savvy buyers know that Public Trustee & Guardian Auctions are 'a bargain' - why do they sell valuable properties at Auction - do you understand the Auction process - if you don't then you need to find out why agents sell at Auction - it is always in the Agents best interests, not the vendor - put a caveat on the property if you have to - Stand up to these fools as they don't care what price you get, as long as they meet their legal obligations which is to sell at 'market value' whatever that means - stand up to them and do what you have to do, to stop the sale from going ahead because they will steam roll you due to the Power they hold as a Government Department - their legal team is pretty vile to deal with - very aggressive and arrogant - but I managed to hold my ground and they turned really nasty and vexatious. The in house solicitor turned quite vile - he swore at me and I managed to show him up - he didn't like it but I won! And you can to, just do whatever you can to beat them, move in, get it tenanted, change the locks, apply for a caveat and get a number appraisals done to refute their first choice of agent - all real estate agents know what it's like to deal with the Public Trustee when selling property - they don't have to work hard and they will get their commission - they don't care what price your property sells for - savvy buyers always look out for Public Trustee & Guardian property Auctions - you will get a bargain. There won't be any 'Price of Application' selling method with this mob - are you kidding?

Values - they have none except to drain your estate in high fees in order to raise revenue for the Government - run in the opposite direction ... You will regret it - it would be like signing your life to a used car salesman but worse because of the power they hold - Lay people don't realise what these people are capable of doing, talk to someone that has dealt with them - it won't be favourable.

Do not sign up with this mob - find a solicitor in NSW instead, it will be a better use of money as solicitors have much more regulation as Officers of the Court - they can get in trouble and lose their practicing certificate - and are accountable but the NSW Trustee & Guardian are untouchable - make sure you do your research - Stay well away from them - do not go to their workshops or office - stay well away!

Do not trust what they say but speak , find people who have had experience with them, this is your evidence of just how awful and financially damaging they are - they will take your money.

This Company needs to be shut down

They will feel you how difficult it is to manage an elderly person,so let us take the pressure off you and your family. Thats how they suck you in, however they have caused more grief for the family since taking charge. They put my mother in a nursing home against her will she was there for a year as they would not allow me to look after her, I asked a trusted friend of mine who has done aged care nursing if she could care for her mum as a live in carer that was in 2014. She managed to get my mum home, however after 3mths she had to leave and look after her own mother, so they arranged home care. In 2017 she was placed back into a nursing home again and they sold her home of 50yrs without her consent,which caused her to have a heart attack. My friend has now taken up the position of caring for her again, this time she has assets and the financial management are rude incompetent and will not release her money for her to buy another home. Don't be fooled they have no compassion towards the elderly or their family's and there just after their money. They ruled her out as having dementia, however the next test she had made an improvement.When questioned about this as we all know you don't improve from dementia, they then said she had alcohol brain damage.Really! We will be taking them to the media as they need to be exposed, so other people wont fall into their trapp. If your with them get out now before its too late. Appoint a power of attorney with a solicitor and not with them, have nothing to do with them.

Avoid if you can

I made an appointment to create a new will at one of their Outreach centres.
We arrived before time, but it appears some one else went before us. This wasn't verified by the officers.
So of course when our turn came, they were running behind schedule. We were now the last appointment for the day and were rushed through it. Many of our questions went unanswered.
They were supposed to ring us the very next day with answers, but the call never came. Eventually I rang after 4 days and still no answers. I was just told that a rough draft will be mailed out to me next week and I should check that.
After one week, no draft ! So rang again.... But this time, I just asked for a refund.
And thats when it went from bad to worse.
I'd say, avoid them at all costs to create a will or PoA. Talk to a solicitor, lawyer. There are plenty to specialise in Wills. I spoke to one over the phone later on, and he seemed so much informative over the phone on what we had to bring to the interview. As compared to the NSW TAG officer, who only responded to our questions. She didn't offer any information to someone who is creating a Will for first time.

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Questions & Answers

appointed as a POA. Can I be removed from office for taking Due Care?
No answers

How come have to give my tax files number?
1 answer
Don't give them anything. Completely cut any arrangements you have with them and get as far away a possible. They are a useless, incompetent, unprofessional waste of time. On a scale of 1-10 I give them negative 10.

Public Trustee is taking matter to Federal Circuit Court under the family Act. I assume that I am not a party to the proceedings and the Judge is to rubber stamp a Consent Order that we disagree with. How can I approach the Judge and supply him with background information (the Trustee is deliberately ignoring) so that a fair decision can be arrived at?
2 answers
The Public Trustee is a vile and not fit for purpose organisation. You can try to be added as a party to the proceedings and try and get a Stay of the Consent Order. You really need to engage a solicitor to do this because he/she will have more clout than you in that the Public Trustee can be forced to comply with legal procedures whereas they will try and intimidate or, as they have already done, ignore you. If you are in Newcastle Catherine Henry Lawyers are excellent and know about this draconian trustee regime or if you are in Sydney, try Esplins Lawyers. Lawyers are not cheap but in order to get some form of justice you have no choice to engage them. Otherwise try a company called Law Path that do things on line. As a last resort, because they usually do not or cannot help, try the Community Justice Centres - the one in Darlinghurst, Sydney seems to be OK. God luckCatherine Henry Lawers office vacant