Trusts administered by the Public Trustee are usually established by making a Will or executing a deed that sets out the terms of the trust.

This specifies:

  • who can receive the benefits from the trust
  • what assets make up the trust
  • what benefits the beneficiaries can receive from the trust.

Trustee duties

The responsibility of a trustee is ongoing, complex and involves many obligations.

A trustee must:

  • identify and protect the trust assets
  • provide outcomes that balance the beneficiary's wishes with the terms of the trust and the law
  • distribute trust income and assets in accordance with the trust instrument
  • provide financial reports on the trust's assets and the distribution of any assets or income from assets
  • comply with the Trustee Act 1936 and prudently invest the trust funds
  • maintain accounting records to show compliance with the trust authority and the law
  • lodge any necessary annual tax returns for the trust.

The Public Trustee offers over 140 years experience in managing trusts and provides a sound understanding of legal, accounting, investment and taxation matters. The Public Trustee is both prudent and impartial, and acts in the best interests of both the trust and the beneficiaries.

If you are a trustee and are unable (or no longer wish) to perform the duties required of a trustee, you might be able to transfer those responsibilities to the Public Trustee.