NSW Trustee & Guardian Questions

8 questions from our users
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?

John M asked on Sep 20, 2018

Answer this

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 luck

I own my home as tenant in common with my wife 50 percent share each. NSW Trustee & Guardian have a management order on me which states that 1. My estate is subject to management under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 and 2. The management of my estate is committed to the NSW Trustee and Guardian, my question is when they refer to my estate does that mean the 50 percent or the whole home including my wife's share which subsequently is managed by private financial managers (2 of my children) appointed by TAG?

HADENUF asked on Dec 30, 2017

Answer this

Get rid of the Trustee’s , can not be trusted.

I have had my funds managed by the public trustee for a number of years now, because of a diagnosed mental illness. I am very dissatisfied with their service. I was placed under them through a court order. I am well now. My question is: how do you get out of their guardianship?

bremmanuel asked on Sep 02, 2017

Answer this

You can go to NCAT and have a review done of what they have done / not done for you.

Try lodging form for removing the financial order in place and then lodge it with the, Guardianship Tribunal. Would also suggest a positive Dr. Report be completed to further add weight to your case to have the financial control by trustee and guardian voided, removed..

My Mum passed 10 mths ago from dementia she has ten children she did her will with the public trustee in 2007 before she was diagnosed with dementia she left one of my brothers out of her will for her own reasons he said he would contest her will saying she already had dementia back then in 2007 not true so all of his siblings including me decided to write letters to the trustee to say we are all willing to give him his share out of our inheritances the trustee has all our letters it isn't a huge amount of money My mum did not own property that was two weeks ago they received all the letters why is it taking so long to distribute the funds?

Lola asked on May 21, 2017

Answer this

Public Servants appointed to positions of trust are done so on the basis of who is the most belligerent, arrogant and incompetent!
Their sole purpose in life is to make everyone's else intolerable, while they themselves get paid a fortune to achieve nothing at great expense to those they are purportedly and supposedly trying to assist.
Basically, these type of people are appointed to their level incompetence.
The best and biggest liars are put in charge of the most important things and their inability to create or to fix things, justifies their existence, so the more people complain, the more their own existence can be justified!
Expect nothing but the opposite to what you are seeking! Dealing with them is like being in a bad marriage. Once they know what you really want, they will bend over backwards to ensure that your wish is never granted!

I have cared for my Mum for many years. Mum left a very divisive will. Excluding myself who has been her only support for many years. Instead she left the Will to my daughter and my psyche patient disabled brother in trust. Question: Do we stand a better chance with the PT if all parties agree on approaching the Courts with the one solicitor to challenge the will?

Kazzardee asked on Apr 20, 2017

Answer this

Along with many others, personally, I wouldn't trust Public Servants!
Their motivation is different to someone in the Private Sector.
They don't ever need to prove their efficiency and don't care about the outcome because as Public servants, the Laws ensure that they can never ever be challenged, sued or taken to Court!
That's the reality.

My sister has a public trustee she was instated then 3 years ago and my mum passed June last year. I cared for her in mums will my sister not left an equal potlrtuon to me and my younger sister. The public trustee has not made any attempt to send a letter to my solicitor of there intentions subsequently been sent 4 letters from my solicitor. My mums estate is quite big and my older sister has been deemed not to work at 53 years old now does not have a house although been left losts of money over the years by my dad. Why should my sister and I be punished working hard and never giving up. Is there anything we can do thanks monique

monique asked on Feb 06, 2017

Answer this

Sorry to hear about your mum. Do you mean that your older sister is getting more of the estate? Your mum's property is divided according to her will, and only her will, not what the public trustee thinks you deserve. Nobody is punishing you, if you were unhappy with the will you could have spoken to your mum about it before she passed. Maybe she thought that because your sister was out of work she needed the money more?

The Public Trustee is full of incompetent egotistical Public Servants hell bent on destroying people's lives, so I
would suggest that you seek the help of a very competent Lawyer, but don't engage with the Public Trustee nor any of their Agents yourself. They cannot be trusted.

My partner has a $810,000 compensation with the public trustee and gaurdian and asked for them to pay a thew things out of it and now he has $11,000 and about $290,000 over ten years all together he has about $300,000 how is that possible with that much put in and not that much put out?

Worried partner asked on Nov 07, 2016

Answer this

Without the benefit of knowing your circumstances it is difficult to give you a fully considered answer. However, I will say that your complaint is not an unusual one. Your first step would be to obtain copies of their Financial Statements for each year your partner has been under the control of the Public Trustee and from there you will be able to establish how the funds have been spent. The Public Trustee has an earned reputation for being an appalling financial manager and the already low interest earned on the capital (your partner's) is very quickly decimated by the Public Trustee's high fees. The NSW Law Reform Commission is undertaking a review into the operations of the Public Trustee and Public Guardian because of the enormous amount of complaints and you might consider putting in a submission outlining your case.
They will take no action on your behalf but will use your submission in the evaluation process of recommending law reforms in that area. However, that does not help you now.

I presume the Supreme Court or some other Court ordered that the Public Trustee became involved in view of the large compensation amount. From that it follows that the Court considered there was no one available to manage his financial affairs. Also, I do not know if he is also under guardianship, i.e. that he is under plenary guardianship, meaning he is fully controlled by the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee because of his disability.

You could make an application to the Guardianship Tribunal to have the Public Trustee removed although this is very rarely granted as it is a catch 22. He is considered "incapacitated" and therefore requires guardianship but unless he proves that he is not incapacitated (how can he since he is classed incapacitated) then he has no chance. Nonetheless, if you want to be his financial manager, it might be worth a try if you can put forward a strong case (a) that you are his full time carer; (b) you have experience and capabilities in managing financial matters; (c) you can demonstrate (via the Financial Statements) that they have not acted competently in managing the estate and (d) that it is not in your partner's best interests to have the Public Trustee as his financial manager. Even if you did become his financial manager, the Public Trustee is still on your shoulder and you will also have to pay from the Estate, a Surety Bond, amounting to a large amount of money, to insure your partner against any fraud committed by you. Strange that the Public Trustee did not have an insurance policy to cover the fraud committed by their own personnel against a protected person's estate!!

Be aware that if you follow through with the Application and it is refused, you can still have that Decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but the Public Trustee will use your partner's funds to pay legal fees incurred in defending their case against you. This will also reduce your partner's capital base. However, you will have to pay your own fees if you engage a lawyer. Now you will see why I said in my commentary that "once in the lion's den there is no way out". The Public Trustee has no interest in any person under their control, other than to use their money to fill its own coffers as it is the commercial arm of the Government and essentially self-funded, depending on a protected person's estate funds to keep them employed. The Public Trustee needs every head count it can get and that is why almost everyone who comes before the Guardianship Tribunal is put under plenary guardianship.

The Guardianship Tribunal, Public Guardian and Public Trustee have breached almost every statute within the Act under which they operate and continually deny the protected person's basic human rights. They get away with it because the Government has given them far reaching powers to do so. In the final analysis, it is all about money and not about the protected person.

Still, if you are able to show that you are a competent manager (background, work history etc.) you could give it a go and make an Application to the Tribunal. Everything is worth a try. If you are in NSW there is no organisation to help you but if you are in other states there may be advocacy organisations that can guide you.

I know there is nothing of great comfort to you in my response but facts are facts and the Guardianship Tribunal, Public Guardian and Public Trustee destroy people's lives. They are not the benevolent organisations they purport themselves to be - quite the opposite. Unfortunately, it is only when one is under their clutches that the truth really is discovered - they are wonderful spin merchants and their advertising propaganda is the web they use to catch the naive and uninformed.

I wish you good luck in your quest for answers and fairness for your partner.
Bridgette Pace

Without the benefit of knowing your circumstances it is difficult to give you a fully considered answer. However, I will say that your complaint is not an unusual one. Your first step would be to obtain copies of their Financial Statements for each year your partner has been under the control of the Public Trustee and from there you will be able to establish how the funds have been spent. The Public Trustee has an earned reputation for being an appalling financial manager and the already low interest earned on the capital (your partner's) is very quickly decimated by the Public Trustee's high fees. The NSW Law Reform Commission is undertaking a review into the operations of the Public Trustee and Public Guardian because of the enormous amount of complaints and you might consider putting in a submission outlining your case.
They will take no action on your behalf but will use your submission in the evaluation process of recommending law reforms in that area. However, that does not help you now.

I presume the Supreme Court or some other Court ordered that the Public Trustee became involved in view of the large compensation amount. From that it follows that the Court considered there was no one available to manage his financial affairs. Also, I do not know if he is also under guardianship, i.e. that he is under plenary guardianship, meaning he is fully controlled by the Public Guardian and the Public Trustee because of his disability.

You could make an application to the Guardianship Tribunal to have the Public Trustee removed although this is very rarely granted as it is a catch 22. He is considered "incapacitated" and therefore requires guardianship but unless he proves that he is not incapacitated (how can he since he is classed incapacitated) then he has no chance. Nonetheless, if you want to be his financial manager, it might be worth a try if you can put forward a strong case (a) that you are his full time carer; (b) you have experience and capabilities in managing financial matters; (c) you can demonstrate (via the Financial Statements) that they have not acted competently in managing the estate and (d) that it is not in your partner's best interests to have the Public Trustee as his financial manager. Even if you did become his financial manager, the Public Trustee is still on your shoulder and you will also have to pay from the Estate, a Surety Bond, amounting to a large amount of money, to insure your partner against any fraud committed by you. Strange that the Public Trustee did not have an insurance policy to cover the fraud committed by their own personnel against a protected person's estate!!

Be aware that if you follow through with the Application and it is refused, you can still have that Decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal but the Public Trustee will use your partner's funds to pay legal fees incurred in defending their case against you. This will also reduce your partner's capital base. However, you will have to pay your own fees if you engage a lawyer. Now you will see why I said in my commentary that "once in the lion's den there is no way out". The Public Trustee has no interest in any person under their control, other than to use their money to fill its own coffers as it is the commercial arm of the Government and essentially self-funded, depending on a protected person's estate funds to keep them employed. The Public Trustee needs every head count it can get and that is why almost everyone who comes before the Guardianship Tribunal is put under plenary guardianship.

The Guardianship Tribunal, Public Guardian and Public Trustee have breached almost every statute within the Act under which they operate and continually deny the protected person's basic human rights. They get away with it because the Government has given them far reaching powers to do so. In the final analysis, it is all about money and not about the protected person.

Still, if you are able to show that you are a competent manager (background, work history etc.) you could give it a go and make an Application to the Tribunal. Everything is worth a try. If you are in NSW there is no organisation to help you but if you are in other states there may be advocacy organisations that can guide you.

I know there is nothing of great comfort to you in my response but facts are facts and the Guardianship Tribunal, Public Guardian and Public Trustee destroy people's lives. They are not the benevolent organisations they purport themselves to be - quite the opposite. Unfortunately, it is only when one is under their clutches that the truth really is discovered - they are wonderful spin merchants and their advertising propaganda is the web they use to catch the naive and uninformed.

I wish you good luck in your quest for answers and fairness for your partner.
Bridgette Pace

Bridgette Pce replied on Nov 08, 2016

I'm an advocate (non legal) had a similar situation with a client who occupied a Community Housing dwelling with subsidised rent, while NSWT&G managed approx $800k. In August last year my client & his former partner who is now his carer both received Centrelink notices raising a total $54,000 overpayment....why? ..apparently the NSWT&G ..forgot to advise Centrelink of clients total worth. I had Legal Aid assist me in appealing to Centrelink to have the carers portion of that debt successfully overturned. NSWT&G paid clients debt directly to Centrelink. Due to clients managed Trust he was now only entitled to part Disability Pension, the remainder of that shortfall was susidised from his managed Trust. We approached the Trustee (formally) to discuss the purchase of a modest home, in short, they determined her could afford approx $350,000 only or his assets would be depleted withing 2 years... median house price approx $5 - $600,000. My Clients Trust was the result of an inheritance, not Court Ordered Comp amounting to future care costs.
There are so many disgusting incidents associated with this case that I would love to share however, will just cut to the point...
With my clients permission I facilitated an Application to the Guardianship Tribunal in my clients name (as the applicant) requesting a Review/Revocation of current order. We proposed that client choose an alternate Financial Manager to assist with the purchase of a home & assist with the management of remaining funds.
The Hearing was conducted by phone to my Office, from a single member Tribunal visiting Tamworth (we were kind of squashed into that hearing as my clients funds were depleting quickly & we considered it an urgent matter) The Tribunal Member explained why he could not make such an order an stated our only option was to withdraw the application or request a revocation of the order...I hastily & respectfully requested a complete revocation on the grounds that it "was in the protected persons best interests" & under the circumstance how could that be opposed !! ... IT WAS GRANTED...I'm still doing tha chicken dance... Client has now purchased home.
I have written a comprehensive letter of complaint to my State Member requesting an investigation into the Trustees management of my clients Trust...I understand its still under consideration with the (new) Attorney General...
To date, I have had just over 1 million dollars returned to clients through Applications to the Guardianship Tribunal...be well prepared...collect all relevant supporting info..The Tribunal must be satisfied that the protected person is a person with a decision making disability to make orders for an alternate decision maker (being the NSW Trustee or Public Guardian)
WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS...how T&G can be so incompetent in managing large Trusts ????? yet can manage another client with serious social housing rental arrears, who lived on a (Disability Pension) & over an 8 -10 year period, settled all rental arrears...SDRO fines, pay vets bills for the cat...& when we went to Tribunal to again have that order successfully overturned...client, I'm very pleased to say, walks away with $6,000 Trust.. this just doesnt make sense that the Trustee can make $6,000 for someone in serious debt, yet someone with $800k ...they cannot seem to manage any profit...only serious & unexplained depletion... needs intense investigations.

I'm an advocate (non legal) had a similar situation with a client who occupied a Community Housing dwelling with subsidised rent, while NSWT&G managed approx $800k. In August last year my client & his former partner who is now his carer both received Centrelink notices raising a total $54,000 overpayment....why? ..apparently the NSWT&G ..forgot to advise Centrelink of clients total worth. I had Legal Aid assist me in appealing to Centrelink to have the carers portion of that debt successfully overturned. NSWT&G paid clients debt directly to Centrelink. Due to clients managed Trust he was now only entitled to part Disability Pension, the remainder of that shortfall was susidised from his managed Trust. We approached the Trustee (formally) to discuss the purchase of a modest home, in short, they determined her could afford approx $350,000 only or his assets would be depleted withing 2 years... median house price approx $5 - $600,000. My Clients Trust was the result of an inheritance, not Court Ordered Comp amounting to future care costs.
There are so many disgusting incidents associated with this case that I would love to share however, will just cut to the point...
With my clients permission I facilitated an Application to the Guardianship Tribunal in my clients name (as the applicant) requesting a Review/Revocation of current order. We proposed that client choose an alternate Financial Manager to assist with the purchase of a home & assist with the management of remaining funds.
The Hearing was conducted by phone to my Office, from a single member Tribunal visiting Tamworth (we were kind of squashed into that hearing as my clients funds were depleting quickly & we considered it an urgent matter) The Tribunal Member explained why he could not make such an order an stated our only option was to withdraw the application or request a revocation of the order...I hastily & respectfully requested a complete revocation on the grounds that it "was in the protected persons best interests" & under the circumstance how could that be opposed !! ... IT WAS GRANTED...I'm still doing tha chicken dance... Client has now purchased home.
I have written a comprehensive letter of complaint to my State Member requesting an investigation into the Trustees management of my clients Trust...I understand its still under consideration with the (new) Attorney General...
To date, I have had just over 1 million dollars returned to clients through Applications to the Guardianship Tribunal...be well prepared...collect all relevant supporting info..The Tribunal must be satisfied that the protected person is a person with a decision making disability to make orders for an alternate decision maker (being the NSW Trustee or Public Guardian)
WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS...how T&G can be so incompetent in managing large Trusts ????? yet can manage another client with serious social housing rental arrears, who lived on a (Disability Pension) & over an 8 -10 year period, settled all rental arrears...SDRO fines, pay vets bills for the cat...& when we went to Tribunal to again have that order successfully overturned...client, I'm very pleased to say, walks away with $6,000 Trust.. this just doesnt make sense that the Trustee can make $6,000 for someone in serious debt, yet someone with $800k ...they cannot seem to manage any profit...only serious & unexplained depletion... needs intense investigations.

Hi Red Nana.
Could you please contact me at garrydeath@iinet.net.au. Thanks

How did the cost of the Public Trustee compare to a an alternative Executor? Public Trustee are state run departments so what state was this in? Did the public trustee carry out your mothers will and wishes accurately?

TECHCHECK asked on Apr 20, 2016

Answer this

This happened in NSW but this is generally how this organisation operates, unfortunately. Not only in Australia but globally too. Having compared PT's costs with an alternative, I believe the alternative would have been cheaper. As you no doubt know, the PT is self funded and from my and other people's experience, will get money wherever they can. Feel free to look up on internet their "business practices" in the many complaints about them. DO NOT get sucked in by their offers of free wills, it will cost your estate and beneficiaries VERY DEARLY as they have many hidden costs that are much higher than other executors'!!!!!!

The whole case ended up costing us $80K because I successfully contested the will. That included all costs of all involved parties. I'm sure the PT would have carried out mum's wishes according to her will if I hadn't done so. FYI, I certainly wasn't impressed by the total disregard and disrespect of the PT with her property and very dirty and unprofessional machinations over almost 3 years. That saw them lose the case in the end! My mum would have never left her will to them, had she known about this.

I DO NOT recommend the Public Trustee to anyone. DO BELIEVE all complaints you read about them on the net and STAY AWAY from this organisation!!!!!!!

@Disgruntled
Maybe if you weren't so litigious then less of your mothers estate would have been lost legal action. Invariably, legal action that swallows up the estate's assets are the result of people who think they are "entitled" to inherit property, even against the instructions of a will.