Public trustees under scrutiny – personal injury lawyers take heed!

Plaintiffs who don’t have financial capacity will need a financial manager or administrator appointed. The Royal Commission’s report into the financial services industry to be released today didn’t cover trustee companies, but they are increasingly being scrutinised.

Prior to the appointment of a financial manager or administrator, families want to know what the options are, what the fees are and what sort of service they will receive. They want to know how they will be treated.

Public Trustee companies don’t make this easy for lawyers or families. In my experience it is very difficult to get clarity on how they engage with their clients, how and when they consult with them, where and how they invest and what information and advice they provide to clients and family.

This article highlights problems being identified with public trustee companies.

Problems identified include that they are too controlling and penny pinching despite their high fees. There is also little accountability, certainly when compared with private trustee companies.

There are big differences in the fees and service that your client will receive post-settlement depending on their choice of trustee.

Clients, families, defendants and the courts will all benefit from more trustee company transparency and accountability.