Key Ruling: everyone taking on a PT should know about.
‘88 It should not be overlooked that the role of the Public Trustee in administering estates is not a philanthropic one. The Public Trustee expects not only to be reimbursed for its activities, but also to receive by way of profit a commission, to which it has a statutory entitlement and for which it (unlike a private administrator or executor) does not require to make application to the Court.
89 Further, the Public Trustee does not merely have the duties and responsibilities which are required of every administrator and trustee. The Public Trustee is a statutory entity, of which the highest standards of integrity and efficiency are expected. In the instant case those expectations were not fulfilled.’
LOTS OF GOOD STATEMENTS IN THIS 2010 NSW SUPREME COURTJUDGEMENT STATEMENT
‘In a further example of the Public Trustee’s abandonment to blind bureaucratic management in substitution for its legal responsibility to administer the estate of the Deceased, the letter went on to state,
Any further queries relating to the matter will incur a fee, which will be assessed and payable prior to any action.’
‘66 The Public Trustee did not attempt to offer any explanation for the conduct of any of the persons responsible for the administration (or, rather, non-administration) of this estate. The evidence by the case officer, Ms Campton, and by two former Public Trustees, Mr Darwen and Mr Whitehead, was made available only as a result of those persons being called under subpoena by the Plaintiff. The Public Trustee did not choose to proffer any evidence at the hearing by anyone who had any direct involvement in the administration of the estate, as distinct from legal officers who have participated in the conduct of the present proceedings. Neither were any of the foregoing three persons cross-examined on behalf of the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee did not attempt to offer to call Mr Lewis, or to offer any explanation for his absence. Appropriate inferences can be drawn from the absence of any evidence from that person.’
‘8. I direct that the exhibits be retained in the Court file.
- I direct the Registrar to furnish a copy of this judgment to each of the following:
(a) the Attorney General of New South Wales
(b) the Ombudsman of New South Wales
(c) the Independent Commission Against Corruption
(d) the Auditor-General of New South Wales
(e) the Treasurer of New South Wales.’