Should I use the Public Trustee for my will?

The Public Trustee in Queensland is set up by government and is necessary where suitable family members, friends or professionals are not available to handle the affairs of people who lose capacity or pass away.

For many years free wills have been offered by the Public Trustee to encourage people to make a will and enduring power of attorney. However, like most things in life there is no such thing as a free lunch and so when the Public Trustee is appointed as executor or attorney they charge fees for handling the affairs and estate.

A recent report by the Public Advocate has been critical of the handling of person’s affairs by the Public Trustee and in particular concerning transparency on fees and charges. The money charged goes to the Public Trustee and is part of the government revenue like tax.

If family members or trusted friends are able to assist it is always preferable to allow them to handle the family’s affairs and deceased estates.  Generally family and close friends are on the spot to step in and care most when a person loses capacity to deal with their affairs. After all family should be the first to benefit from the hard earned money and assets when someone passes away.

If you have concerns or know that  a will or power of attorney is held by the Public Trustee and you want to change that then it is a simple procedure to instruct us to prepare a new Will and Enduring Power of Attorney where you can appoint trusted family members or friends who would generally not charge for their services. Please call, email or access our website and click on Will and Estate planning online to start the process. An experienced professional will be available to help.

Whilst we charge a limited reasonable fee for simple wills and enduring powers of attorney we can make sure your family or trusted friends retain control of your affairs. If legal help is needed we can provide that and are open and upfront concerning our charges and how we can help in the process. If there are no trusted family or friends then trusted professionals may be appointed to assist.

The original will and enduring power of attorney needs to be kept in a safe place and McLaughlins Lawyers offer to hold original wills and powers of attorney in our safe custody at no charge.  We can also provide certified copies if and when required. A power of attorney only operates while you are alive so it is important to ensure you have an up to date will as well.

McLaughlins Lawyers have been helping people with wills, powers of attorney and capacity issues for over 60 years. We understand how important it is to make sure your trusted family and friends can deal with your affairs if something happens – call or email Teresa Kearney or Dianne Ball on 07 5591 5099 and [email protected] for  help.

McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you and are here to help you and your family.

 

Author: Teresa Kearney Senior Associate

Director: Ian Kennedy

Date: 15 March 2021