What is Financial Administration?
Sometimes in life, person needs assistance with their financial affairs. This may be due to an intellectual disability, psychiatric illness, acquired brain injury or an age related illness. Without support, the person’s needs may not be met or they may be vulnerable to exploitation or neglect.
For example, a customer may not budget effectively to meet their needs, adequately insure their car or home or apply for their full government pension benefits. The Public Trustee can assist by acting as Financial Administrator or Financial Attorney.
We provide personal and ongoing support tailored to the needs of our customers who have impaired decision-making capacity, and they are unable to manage some or all of their financial affairs.
When the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or the court appoints us to act as a financial administrator, our job is to work in partnership with our customers regarding financial matters, to provide security and peace of mind.
As the largest and most experienced administrator in Queensland, the Public Trustee is uniquely placed to meet the diverse needs of Queenslanders.
The Public Trustee provides independent and impartial services as administrator or attorney and can assist in managing financial matters for an individual, ensuring the correct income is received, accounts are paid and a budget is maintained.
When we work with our customers the Public Trustee:
- Seeks and takes into account our customers’ views, wishes and preferences to the greatest extent practicable
- Works to safeguard assets and protect our customers from financial abuse, exploitation and neglect.
- Makes decisions that are least restrictive of our customers’ rights, interests and opportunities
- Actively encourage and support customers to make their own financial decisions to the greatest extent practicable
Personal Trust Officer
A dedicated Trust Officer will assist the customer with the management of their financial affairs. If the dedicated Trust Officer is not available, another Trust Officer will assist.
To achieve the best possible outcomes, a range of qualified professionals in taxation, financial investments, property management and law, support the Trust Officer.
Payment of Accounts and Bills
As part of an individual’s budget, we can pay some, or all, of an individual’s bills. This includes accommodation, living expenses, insurance, registration, rates and medical expenses. We’ll also make sure considerations are included in the budget so funds are available when required.
Income and Investments
Part of our service is to ensure that our customer receives their full entitlements, such as any relevant Centrelink benefits. As required, we manage all income including pensions, rent, dividends from shares, interest from bonds, and any other investments.
Financial Management Plan
The Public Trustee is bound to ensure we manage finances effectively and responsibly.
With an understanding of the customer’s views, wishes and preferences, we will work with them to build a personal financial plan (budget).
The plan will detail all income and expenses, as well as future capital expenditure. It will support their personal goals and lifestyle. As their circumstances and priorities change, we will work with them to change their plan.
Statement of Account
The Public Trustee maintains clear and accurate records, including receipts of all action taken on the individual’s behalf. We will provide annual financial statements showing:
- Income received
- Bills paid
- Assets and liabilities
If there are other financial investments, investment income is also reported via regular investment statements.
Customer’s funds can be invested to provide future income and help maintain quality of life. Investment strategies are designed to ensure that the individual’s financial needs are met today and into the future.
It is important that we spend time getting to know our customers, so we can help manage both their short and long-term financial needs. This understanding helps inform preparation of the customer’s investment plan.
External financial planning advice is obtained where required. Our internal investment unit reviews all financial advice provided by licenced financial service providers.
We can also develop or continue to help manage any existing investment portfolios.
In partnership with the customer and their support network, we will review the customer’s investment plan at least once a year.
Real Estate Management
If a customer owns property, we can help to manage it for them. This may include organising regular property inspections, attending to local council and state government requirements, payment of rates, or overseeing repairs and maintenance. If required, we can also arrange valuations and property sales.
Our qualified tax agents provide tax advice and attend to taxation requirements, including the completion of annual income tax returns.
The Official Solicitor to the Public Trustee can provide legal services to the Public Trustee on legal matters relating to an individual’s finances or property.
Disability Support Officer
Our Disability Support Officers are qualified Occupational Therapists who provide specialised expertise and advice to Trust Officers on matters such as:
- Specialist medical equipment
- Home and vehicle modification
- Accommodation support services
- Government and non-government disability services
We will always look out for a person’s financial security.
How we support our customers to make decisions about finances
The Public Trustee places the human rights of individuals, especially the most vulnerable, at the heart of our service delivery.
We support customers to make or participate in financial decisions to the greatest extent practicable, taking into account their views, wishes and preferences.
In practice, what this means is we will involve each individual in decision making, and support them to think through the impacts of their desired outcome.
The Public Trustee charges fees for acting as Administrator or Financial Attorney. The fees are based on the level of service provided to each customer. However, our services are provided to all Queenslanders irrespective of whether they can afford the actual cost of the services provided. See Fees and Charges for more information.
How is an administrator or guardian changed?
The appointment of an administrator or guardian can be reviewed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. At the review hearing QCAT can decide that
- the current appointee will continue as administrator or guardian
- a different person should be appointed as administrator or guardian
- the adult does not need an administrator or guardian any more.
Where the Public Trustee has been appointed as your Administrator you can ask QCAT to have a hearing and review the Public Trustee’s appointment. To get the review process started you will need to fill out the Application for administration/ guardianship appointment or review.
For more information please visit the QCAT website.
Our staff are available to discuss our services in greater detail. You can call us to answer any questions you may have toll free on 1300 360 044. You can also obtain further information on our Administrator service and other services online.
Learn more about important reforms to Queensland’s Guardianship Laws here
The Public Trustee has extensive experience and expertise in acting as administrator and financial attorney.Request an appointment