When there is nobody else to help

7 August 2021

*name changed

David* was born with cerebral palsy. He is 45 years old, has limited movement and no speech, and he lives in a residential aged care home. He was institutionalised at a very young age and has no support from family or friends.

The Public Trustee was appointed by the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to manage David’s finances after his mother died. The Public Trustee supports more than 9000 vulnerable Queenslanders each year and in most cases, is appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as a financial administrator for people who have impaired capacity.

After his mother’s passing, the Public Trustee investigated a Family Provision Claim on behalf of David. In her Will, David’s mother distributed her estate to David’s siblings but made no provision for him. A Family Provision claim allows eligible persons to make an application to the court seeking that adequate provision be made for their “proper maintenance and support” from the deceased person's estate.

The Public Trustee’s Trust Officers conducted a Needs Assessment for David. This report identified that he did not have access to appropriate equipment to enable him to go outside. Most days he sat by the window in the sun watching the outdoors. His only other activity was a ten minute massage twice each week. Despite the fact David was put into aged care at such a young age, additional support or equipment was never requested on his behalf.

The assessment concluded that David would benefit from a custom-made wheelchair with postural modifications to enable him to sit comfortably and go outdoors. The Public Trustee’s Occupational Therapist prescribed a suitable wheelchair and this was purchased for $10,000 on his behalf with funding from the successful Family Provision Claim.

For the first time in his life, David has the opportunity to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. Through the National Disability Insurance Scheme, David has also been allocated a carer to take him on outings and give him access to the community.

David’s case is a great example of what can be achieved when the Public Trustee advocates for customers to achieve a better quality of life.

With the introduction of the Human Rights Act in January 2020, the Public Trustee is committed to delivering on its obligations. To enable this, the Public Trustee has introduced a Customers First Agenda, developed a Social Responsibility Charter and updated its Strategic Plan 2020-2024.

Private administrators, trusted friends and family members are all considered as the preferred choice before the appointment of the Public Trustee. Where the Public Trustee is appointed, we are committed to protecting our customers’ rights, dignity and interests and ensuring we put our customers at the centre of everything we do.


If you would like more information about personal financial administration visit QCAT Administration for adults, the Office of the Public Guardian or contact the Public Trustee on 1300 360 044 for advice.

If you require legal advice contact the Queensland Law Society to find a solicitor.

Last published: 2/04/2024 4:47:51 AM