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Public Trustee

The Public Trustee is a statutory corporation under the control of the Minister for Consumer Affairs. Its power includes administering deceased estates. The trustee charges for work done as an executor for its clients.

Since 1 July 2019, eligibility criteria has applied to Public Trustee services. Please see the Public Trustee websitefor more information.

Concession holders and people with protection or administration orders issued by the South Australian Civil and Administration Tribunal (SACAT) or the courts may continue to access the Public Trustee’s free service to manage Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney. Non-concession holders are no longer eligible to access the Public Trustee for new Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney or to make changes to existing Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney.

When deciding whether to appoint the Public Trustee if eligible (or any trustee company) as executor, or to appoint an individual who may need to employ a lawyer to administer the estate, it is of value to compare the potential fees and charges of the Public Trustee with what a lawyer may charge.

The cost of administering an estate depends on the value of the estate and the amount of work involved.

The rate charged by the Public Trustee is 4.4% (GST inclusive) of the value of the estate up to $200 000. The rate reduces for that part of an estate above $200 000, but an additional lump sum is also charged for estates over $200 000. See the Public Trustee's publication 'Fees and Charges'.

Note that the value of the estate for calculating the commission is the value of the assets before debts are taken into account.

Different rates apply to the transfer of a matrimonial home to a surviving spouse and to the collection of rent and other income. Further charges may be made for the preparation of documents or for other services additional to a normal administration. There is no charge for joint tenancy property.

The Public Trustee drafts wills free of charge for people who are eligible provided it is appointed as executor.

See the Public Trustee website for more information.

Public Trustee  :  Last Revised: Thu Jun 27th 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.