This is basically what is wrong with a public service that is financed by its own revenue. The Public Trustee is supposed to help those who needed affordable expertise in arranging their after-death Will so that their beneficiaries will not be burdened. In brief, the deceased used one of those Free will available which means the Public Trustee is named as the Executor instead of the usual nominated party like a trusted family member. What happened next is even bizarre as the Public Trustee decided to contest the Will which was made 6 years ago on the count that the death certificate shows the deceased had dementia. This is despite no one has even raised this issue nor was there any evidence the deceased was not in her full faculties at the time when the Will was made out. In fact, ABC even stated that based on FOI obtained the Public Trustee actually got a mini-mental test done just 3 days prior to making the will from its Solicitor. The Public Trustee charges its services like a law firm at a charge-out rate of $370/hr including telephone calls leaving the beneficiaries with a 20K bill to be reimbursed from the Will. It also has maintenance services fees for giving no services other than maintaining the account with them at $400.
The second story uncovered that the Public Trustee was supposed to look after the inherited funds for an underaged (less than 18). This usually occurs when one died without a Will, the super-funds of the deceased will go to their family and if one of them is less than 18, then the funds will be managed by Public Trustee until 18. The sad part is that instead of getting a professional fund manager or buying a simple index, the shares in the funds were sold at the bottom of the GFC and then remained as cash for the next 14 years. In short, the inheritance was at 70K before GFC and now only 35K after deducting fees and losses in the GFC. Granted Public Trustee is not a fund manager but the prudent way is to have invested them in fixed deposits or govt securities and not in shares and sold at the bottom.
You can click here to watch the video by ABC https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/queensland%E2%80%99s-public-trustee-agency-faces-questions/14000882
We are currently building a will2probabate system. This means from a WILL to getting Probate semi-automatically. I say semi because not all the processes can be automated as it is within the prerogative of the Court. If you wish to support us go to https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8LX9tTeiC4.