The role of the trustee of a trust is an important one, which carries with it the responsibility of administering for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The person establishing the trust may not wish to burden a family member or friend with this responsibility. Alternatively, it may be that the person who will ultimately be the trustee of a trust would benefit from having the assistance of a co-trustee for a period of time and share the trustee’s responsibilities.
de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd is a company associated with de Groots wills and estate lawyers. This company accepts appointments as the trustee or co-trustee of various types of trusts.
When de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd is appointed as a trustee, the team associated with it engages with the beneficiaries of the trust to become familiar with their needs. This personal interaction ensures that the funds can be managed in such a way that those needs can be met while preserving the capital of the trust as much as possible.
de Groots wills and estate lawyers will generally be retained by de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd to undertake the legal work associated with the trust’s administration. Fees for administering the trust are not charged as a percentage of the value of the capital of the trust. Any work required of the firm on behalf of the company is charged at the prevailing rates applying for the firm’s services. It is not the current practice of the company to seek payment of remuneration in addition to the professional fees charged by the firm for work undertaken for the trust.
Currently, de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd is the trustee of a number of family and testamentary trusts. The circumstances of each of these trusts vary. Below is the story of one of those trusts.
Donald and Mary Jones* were an elderly couple who had one child, Alexander. Alexander has special needs and is not capable of managing his own financial affairs. Donald and Mary worried what would happen with the financial resources they left for Alexander after their deaths. They did not want a government department or public trustee company taking charge of Alexander’s financial affairs. They wanted his resources to be looked after by an organisation that would take the time to get to know Alexander personally and ensure that he was provided for in the way they looked after him during his lifetime.
Donald and Mary arranged for de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd to be appointed as the trustee of the trust fund they had set up for Alexander upon their deaths. After their deaths, the company took control of the funds in Alexander’s trust and ensured that they were properly managed to ensure that all of Alexander’s needs were met.
The team associated with de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd have, over time, become familiar with Alexander and his needs through regular telephone contact with him. The team also visits him in his home on a regular basis to check that he has all that he needs to live comfortably. Alexander’s emotional needs are also considered and the team at de Groots is in regular contact with Alexander’s care organisation. Through this interaction, activities and programs have been identified and Alexander’s involvement with these activities has greatly enhanced his enjoyment and quality of life.
Whilst no organisation can replace Alexander’s parents, the personal attention that de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd has been able to provide to Alexander has been invaluable to him at a time in his life when he was grieving the death of his parents and having to adjust to a different lifestyle. He knows our team members personally and knows he can pick up the phone to speak with them regarding anything that is worrying him.
*All names in this case study have been changed, for privacy reasons.
If you would like to know more about the services that de Groots Guardian Services Pty Ltd can provide for your child or another vulnerable person in your life, contact us on +61 7 3221 9744