By agreement with ACT Government, the Public Trustee and Guardian (PTG) provides specified community services, either at no cost to the client or at a reduced fee, where the client is disadvantaged and is suffering hardship. These services are known as Community Service Obligations (CSO’s).
PTG’s CSO's are provided at no cost to government as PTG is predominantly a self-funding organisation.
Under this agreement, PTG provides the following services to the ACT Community.
Administration of commercially uneconomical deceased estates
PTG administers deceased estates, a number of which are not commercially viable ie:
- the estate is insolvent (where the assets available for payment of debts are insufficient to pay the liabilities); or
- the cost of administration exceeds the estate value.
Managing the commercially uneconomical affairs of adults with impaired decision-making ability
When appointed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) as Financial Manager under the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991, PTG is the financial decision-maker for persons with impaired decision-making ability. In many cases, the cost of management exceeds the client’s ability to pay.
PTG’s role as financial manager extends to their financial affairs including property and involves acting as receiver for any income, payment of accounts and maintenance of property. This work is undertaken in close consultation with family and/or carers. The aim of this activity is to protect the person’s interests while encouraging the protected person to look after themselves as far as possible.
PTG provides both Will drafting and Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) services to those persons who appoint the Public Trustee as Executor or Attorney. The Public Trustee and Guardian has discretion to partly or fully waive fees in cases of hardship however where there is capacity to pay, the standard fee applies.
The objectives of our community service in this respect are as follows:
- provide a social good to disadvantaged members of the ACT community by making their Will and EPA;
- meet the general requirement of government to ensure an orderly succession of property between generations with a minimum recourse to the Courts system;
- facilitate individual members of the community in being able to specify who will manage their assets rather than have that determined by ACAT;
- meet a requirement of a general nature by Government to ensure the correct management of the assets of members of the community with a minimum recourse to the ACAT or Courts system.
Examination of accounts
The Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991 requires a Financial Manager for a protected person to maintain appropriate accounts and documents relating to the management of the financial affairs and property and to file them with the Public Trustee for examination. The Public Trustee is entitled to charge an examination fee, however the fee may be waived on grounds of hardship.
PTG acts as the first point of contact for persons seeking to apply to ACAT for emergency financial management orders. Our officers are available to discuss the application process, the implications around the making of orders and the obligations of financial managers.