Public Trustee – slow and very expensive

public trustee

How much does the Public Trustee of South Australia charge for administering an estate or doing my probate ?

Answer – a lot !

The Public Trustee will write a Will for free, but there is a catch (there is always a catch when it’s free).

The catch is that: “We will make your Will free of charge when you have appointed us as executor.”

The Public Trustee’s fees for acting as the executor of your estate are publicly listed :

Value of Estate Assets Commission Rate OR Commission ($) on estate value (includes GST)
Up to $200,000 4.4% 4.4 cents for every dollar up to $200,000 (maximum rate)
$200,001 – $400,000 3.3% $8,800 plus 3.3 cents for every dollar above $200,000 up to $400,000
$400,001 – $600,000 2.2% $15,400 plus 2.2 cents for every dollar above $400,000 up to $600,000
$600,001 + 1.1% $19,800 plus 1.1 cents for every dollar above $600,000

On the median house price in Blackwood (as at December 2018) of $531,000 , the Public Trustee would charge commission to administer the estate of over $18,000 ; or about 3.45% of the value of the estate

Our fees for assisting the executor to obtain probate for a similar average estate with a house (or accommodation bond), a couple of bank accounts, maybe some shares would almost always be between $2,000 and $3,000 ; by law, we cannot charge a percentage – we only charge for the work we actually do. See our page : What is Probate and do I need it ?

So, in our view the Public Trustee fills an important role – for people who have no assets.

If your parent has done their Will with the Public Trustee, we can assist them to write a new Will for a fixed fee – call us on 8728 1779

Public Trustee – slow, hundreds of complaints and ICAC recommends an overhaul

It is also the case that hundreds of people have lodged formal complaints about the Public Trustee over the past five years ; see this report in the Advertiser from 1 January 2018

While most of these complaints were about how they are slow to resolve estates, the ICAC Commissioner Bruce Lander has also recommended an overhaul of the office to prevent further cases of corruption ; see this report from ABC News of 26 September 2017

Here are their costs : Public Trustee Costs

Here is their Commission Estimator ; Public Trustee Commission Estimator