Build Codicil online to Remove Public Trustee from your Will

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Remove Public Trustee but keep the ‘free’ Will – build Codicil online

A nice person, from the government, gave me a ‘free’ Will

Remove Public Trustee

How ‘free’ is the government Will?

Did the Public Trustee make your spouse and children the Executors? Did they then quietly slip in the “Public Trustee” as an Executor as well?

As Executor, the Public Trustee charges a percentage of your estate.

You paid tax all your life. Now the government wants to take a percentage of what is left in Executor fees.

Whether alone or with others the Public Trustee charges as your Executor. As your Executor the Public Trustee makes money. Instead, most people appoint their family members, only, as Executors.

Normally, in Australia, your spouse and then children are the Executors. Who do you trust more? The government or your family?

Build a Codicil online. Remove Public Trustee as Executor. The Will still operates, but with your own Executors.

The Public Trustee is a Death Tax

The Public Trustee is a Death Tax

The ‘free’ Public Trustee Will is often drafted without advice from your accountant or financial planner. Did the Public Trustee contact your accountant or adviser for advice? In my view, the Public Trustee should not be giving financial planner or accounting advice. This is irrespective of what the legislation allows it to do.

Can I remove my lawyer and professional trustee as Executors?

It is not only the Public Trustee that tries to make money out of being your Executor. Some lawyers and professional trustee companies attempt to make themselves Executors. Build the Codicil online to remove them as well.

Can I get back my physical original Will?

You have the right to get your original Will from the Public Trustee, law firm or professional trustee. You don’t have to give them a reason. Often, you and your spouse may need to pick them up personally. (They won’t make it easy for you.) Take in your passport and drivers licence. You need to first listen to a long story about how it is better to keep the original Will with them to ‘help your loved ones’. After that, by law, they must hand them over.

Build your Codicil online here. Telephone us for help in answering the questions.

Adjunct Professor, Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, LLM, MBA, SJD
Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors
National law firm
Mobile: 0477 796 959
Reception: 1800 141 612
Email: [email protected]


  1. Peter Sinclair says:

    My mum appointed the State Trustee. It was a simple estate. It took 5 years for the State Trustee to administer the estate. I could have done it with my brothers in months.

    During the time, a 22 year old kid from the government kept giving us financial planning advice about ‘investing’ the money in their own bank. And one of my brothers is a financial planner! We complained about how they invested the money, but they said it was ‘safe’ and that we had no say in the matter.

    The Public Trustee charged over $26,000 to administer the estate. Most of this was because mum owned a family home.

    Get out of any Will that makes a lawyer, professional trustee or a State Trustee the Executor.

  2. Alec says:

    Bret, you could not have picked better matter on which to exercise your considerable law skills. Ask the PT how many suits they are defending at the moment for overcharging, misconduct, misinformation etc. Bet you don’t get a true answer. My friend Geoff took them to the AAT years ago for mishandling his father’ estate. Their favourite trick is to delay the process as long as possible thereby cranking up the monthly fees amongst other things.
    I will send out a letter to my client base to see who the unfortunate are. In the meantime I wish you every success with your crusade..

    Best as usual

  3. annon says:

    Hi Brett , I wanted to take the time to thank you and Mark ( and your receptionist) for the help you gave me recently to change a detail on the wills of myself and my wife. I had contacted the Solicitor who originally drew up the Will in 2000 but he was less than interested in helping us and ignored my many calls.
    So I gave up and put it aside. But since my retirement I realised I knew I had to do something as one of the Executors is seriously ill, so a change was necessary.
    I then contacted a ” Family Lawyer” in Adelaide who quoted me $440 to make the change, by adding a Codicil to both Wills! That was a cost we simply could not afford as we are now on a pension and have a very limited income. In desperation I began searching the Internet and came across your site and your offer. Being both wary and somewhat cynical being in the helping profession for over 30 years, I knew to accept none of what you read and half of what you hear), but after talking to you I knew that I had made the right decision.
    I was so impressed with you and Mark and the kind and gracious way you both treated me, an unknown person, that frankly I was lost for words.
    In less than a day my worry had been solved and amazingly. I still find it hard to believe. But after looking at your CV etc, on the Nett I can understand, albeit, in a very small way, the kind of person you are and what a great Firm of legal professionals that your Company employs..
    I will be forever grateful to you and whilst in the scheme of things it was for you, perhaps a small and simply issue, to me it was a large one!
    So once again, I thank you and will not hesitate to contact you should the need arise in the kindest regards

  4. Disgusted Public Trustee Employee says:

    Many decades ago the Government made a policy of encouraging as many people as possible to make a Will. To assist this policy, the Public Trustee formed a Wills Section in 1941 which provided a free Will preparation service primarily aimed at servicemen and the lower socio-economic sector of society. This is no longer the case. The Public Trustee now seeks to make money out of the public..

    Even Concession Holder pensioners are charged a minimum of $344 for a very basic Will where a family member (and not the Public Trustee) is appointed as Executor. From 01/07/16 they no longer receive a discount. However, they are charged a nominal $50 for a single simple Will if they appoint the Public Trustee as sole Executor.

    An extremely expensive software program has been purchased to assist in the preparation of Wills and this requires expensive ongoing costs to maintain and bring up to standard – all at the expense of Government. Robots now make the Wills.

    The Public Trustee also seeks to make money out of administering Deceased Estates – which the children could have done for themselves, for free.

    When the Deceased Estate Section was initially formed at the Public Trustee it was the Executor of Last Resort with the service primarily aimed at servicemen and at the lower socio-economic sector of society. This is no longer the case.

    Years ago, legislation (Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act) ensured that all deceased estates for intestate indigenous people were managed by the Public Trustee. This has not been the case ever since the relevant Section in the legislation was repealed in 2013. Now they are left to their own devices.

    Where low value Estates are referred to the Public Trustee and they see limited or no revenue expectation, we often refuse to undertake the ‘business’ and tell families to do it themselves.

    Deceased estate files are managed by non-legal public servants under the supervision of people who are not lawyers. However, matters can be referred to the Legal Section on another floor for opinion.

    People’s Wills are stored in an archive room with minimum security on an empty floor in the Public Trustee building rather than a secure vault

    When the Public Trustee occupied 565 Hay Street, all Wills were stored in a proper fire-proof security vault and there were two security officers present at all times when the vault was open for business.

    Now that the Public Trustee Wills are housed in an unoccupied archive room on an unoccupied floor. Security is limited to a standard door with simple swipe card access. All staff have swipe card access because surplus files from other Sections of the office are stored in the same room.

    I have found tradesmen wandering alone on the unoccupied floor where they store their materials in the main empty office space when they are doing repairs in the building.

    Deceased estate jewellery handed into the Public Trustee is stored in filing cabinets in an open plan office rather than a security room or secure vault.

    When the Public Trustee occupied 565 Hay Street, all jewellery was stored in a secure security room with metal door protection and access was limited to few security officers.

    Now that the Public Trustee is located in the renovated office, jewellery is kept in simple filing cabinets in an open plan office with keys held by section managers.

    Any staff member on the floor (indeed in the office) who knows where the managers leave the key overnight will have access to the jewellery.

    The office policy states that jewellery may be retained in the filing cabinets for up to 14 days before being transferred to a secure location.

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