Easy Read Guide for Financial Management Customers
This guide is to help explain the process the Public Trustee undertakes when we are appointed as financial administrator or financial attorney, and how we will help you during this time.
Why the Public Trustee?
At times, individuals in our community need assistance with their financial affairs; this is where we can help. We provide personal and ongoing support tailored to the needs of individuals, who due to disability, illness or injury are unable to manage some or all of their own financial affairs.
If we have been appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or a court to act as your financial administrator, our job is work in partnership with you to help manage your financial affairs.
What happens now?
We will work with you to manage your finances, helping provide you with security and peace of mind. Together, we will create a budget with your views, interests and rights in mind.
The main steps: what are they?
- We are appointed by QCAT or a court to administer and protect your financial affairs.
- We meet with you and your support network to seek your views, wishes and preferences about how your finances are managed. We then review your regular household bills and with your input, develop a budget so that we can arrange payment of your bills and everyday living expenses.
- We identify and collect any income you are entitled to or income from other sources, including pension entitlements.
- We contact your creditors to assist with the management of outstanding debts.
- We maintain accurate records of your finances and provide you with a statement of account.
A unique plan that genuinely reflects you
What we will do for you:
Your Trust Officer
A dedicated Trust Officer will assist you with the management of your financial affairs.You can contact your Trust Officer directly by phone or email, or visit them in person.
Financial management plan
- With an understanding of your views, wishes and preferences, we will work with you to build a personal financial plan (budget).
- Your plan will detail income and expenses, as well as future capital expenditure.
- Your Financial Management Plan supports your personal goals and lifestyle. If your circumstances and priorities change, your Trust Officer will work with you to change your plan.
Paying your accounts and bills
With your financial management plan in place, we can pay some or all of your bills.
This includes accommodation, electricity, groceries and other living expenses, such as insurance or medical and pharmacy costs.
Income and taxes
As your administrator, we will review your current income and work on your behalf to secure any additional income that you are entitled to receive from Centrelink or the Department of Veteran Affairs.
We will also take care of your tax return each year, if required.
Statement of Advice
The Public Trustee can prepare an investment plan for you, and when required, financial planning advice is obtained. We will seek your input when developing this plan, called a ‘Statement of Advice’, which will be reviewed each year.
Statement of account
Each year, you will receive a statement, which shows your income, payments made, and/or any liabilities and assets.
What the law says?
- act honestly and carefully to promote and safeguard your rights, interests and opportunities
- follow any directions given by QCAT or a court
- not do anything that may be a conflict of interest
- keep accurate records—these can be audited
- respect your human rights and fundamental freedoms
- work with others (such as a guardian) appointed to assist you
- always follow the law when dealing with real estate or investments
Real estate management
If you own property, we can:
- arrange annual inspections for you
- deal with any local council or government requirements (e.g. pay rates)
- oversee repairs and maintenance, and
- organise insurance, valuations and sale of the property if required.
Disability support officer
We have Disability Support Officers who can provide support to our Trust Officers with things such as:
- disability services
- specialist medical equipment
- home and vehicle modifications, and
- NDIS queries.
We aim to act in a way that promotes and safeguards your rights, interests and opportunities.
Wherever possible, we will represent your views, wishes and preferences..
We work to protect you from financial abuse, exploitation and neglect.
We will assist you to make decisions that are the least restrictive to you, and wherever practicable we will encourage and support you to make your own decisions.
What we don’t do?
We do not make personal or health care decisions, such as where you will live and what services or health care you will receive. However, QCAT or a court may appoint a guardian to help you with these decisions.
What is an administrator?
At times, people in our community need help with their financial affairs; this is where an administrator, such as the Public Trustee can help.
An administrator must act in line with the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 and the directions of QCAT or a court.
What is a guardian?
The Public Trustee is not the same as the Public Guardian.
A guardian is a person appointed by QCAT to assist a person with impaired decision making capacity, in relation to personal healthcare decisions.
The guardian ensures an adult’s needs are met and interests are protected by making certain personal and health care decisions on their behalf.
The Public Trustee is committed to providing you with clear and transparent information about our fees and charges.
We will tell you in the beginning how much our fees may be, which will reflect the level of support and personal contact required.
Our service is based on experience and empathy, and your financial wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.
We are here to help you and we will work with you to find solutions.
If you have any concerns, please speak to your Trust Officer. If you’re not happy with the answer you receive from your Trust Officer, you can contact the regional manager or your Public Trustee office.
When we receive a complaint, we will ask you for all the details. We will then review this and let you know the outcome by phone, email or letter.
If you are not happy with our response, there are other avenues open to you, such as the Queensland Ombudsman.
For feedback, concerns or to make a complaint, please contact us by:
Phone: 1300 360 044
Mail: The Public Trustee, GPO Box 1449, Brisbane QLD 4001
You can contact the Queensland Ombudsman by:
Phone: 1800 068 908