Legal Hypothetical: Public Trustee removed as financial manager


Public Trustee removed as financial manager

DUE to a cognitive impairment as a result of a medical condition, Wendy is the subject of orders granting the Public Guardian and the New South Wales Trustee and Guardian (‘Public Trustee’), management of her affairs.

Several years later, Wendy’s condition improves and she retains a solicitor to make an application, removing the Public Trustee from her management.

Wendy instructs her solicitor that she would like her aunt to make significant decisions regarding her affairs on the basis that she trusts her aunt to act in Wendy’s best interests.

Wendy has a substantial amount of money in her bank account.

She also wishes to relocate to more appropriate accommodation.

The Tribunal hears that Wendy’s aunt had experienced difficulties in communicating with the Public Trustee, who had considered her offensive, condescending and insulting.

The Tribunal finds that Wendy is still a ‘person in need of a guardian’ but that she has capacity to participate in the hearing, and that her wish, to remove Public Trustee as managers of her affairs, should be respected.

The Tribunal also finds that the appointment of Wendy’s aunt was in-line with the principles of the legislation which aimed to ‘preserve a person’s existing family relationships’.

The Tribunal decides that Wendy’s aunt is an appropriate person to manage Wendy’s affairs because she is ‘willing and able’ and can objectively act in Wendy’s best interests.

However, the Tribunal also decides that it is necessary to appoint Wendy’s sister as an alternative guardian as additional ‘assurance’ and orders are made that Wendy’s aunt and sister be appointed for 12 months.

The Tribunal also directs Wendy to obtain legal advice in relation to the execution of a Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian with a view to protecting her in the future.

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By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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