For Lawyers and Insurers
Administration fee and investment management fee estimates for Court and Public Trustee Sanctions
The Public Trustee can provide an estimate of its fund management fees to administer damages to be paid as a result of an injury.
The term “fund management fees” is used to describe the combination of:
- trustee administration fees (only applicable for clients under 18 years of age) or financial administration fees (for clients the subject of an Administration Order made in accordance with the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 or a Protection Order under Part 6 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 ) and,
- investment management fees.
How do I lodge a request for a fee estimate?
You should download the estimate request software, and enter the required information to generate a fee estimate request file.
Email this fee estimate request file to RequestFeeEstimate@pt.qld.gov.au. You will be emailed a letter outlining the fee estimate, generally within two business days.
Fee Estimate request software
2. Open the zipped folder RequestFeeEstimateApp.zip.
3. Run the Windows Installer Package by double clicking the file RequestFeeEstimateApp.msi.
4. A shortcut icon will be created on the desktop. Launch the application by double clicking the icon.
Instructions for Use
To request a fee estimate, enter the details requested and click Finalise. A file will generate – save the file on your device, and email it to RequestFeeEstimate@pt.qld.gov.au.
Fields marked with a red asterisk * must be completed in order to finalise the estimate request.
Want to finish completing the form another time?
Click Save, save the file to your device, then close the application. When you wish to resume, open the application and click Load to load your earlier data. You can then finish entering the remaining data.
Use the Previous and Next buttons to move through the application. You can click Clear to remove all data from the application and start again.
Click Exit to shut down the application. If you do not save or finalise your fee estimate request before exiting, you will lose your data and need to re-enter your data upon re-opening the application.
Who may I contact for assistance?
Should you require any assistance in requesting a fee estimate, please email RequestFeeEstimate@pt.qld.gov.au or telephone 07 3213 9201.
How does the Public Trustee calculate the fee estimate?
To calculate fee estimates, the Public Trustee uses a sophisticated calculator developed by Vincents Chartered Accountants, a respected Australian accounting firm. The calculator employs the principles set out in Gray v Richards  HCA 40.
No allowance is made for fund management on fund income.
An allowance is made for fund management on fund management.
The calculation of fund management fees is undertaken as follows:
1. Calculate the life expectancy of the client;
2. Calculate the level of annual drawings that would be made by the client from their fund in order to exhaust the fund by the end of their life expectancy, assuming there are no fund management fees payable;
3. Prepare a financial projection of the fund, assuming:
(a) The same drawings as calculated in (2) above;
(b) Fund management fees are payable by the client;
(c) The client’s funds will be exhausted at the end of their life expectancy,
4. Calculate the higher initial level of funds required to be provided to the client in order for the assumptions in (3) above to be satisfied;
5. Calculate the applicable Public Trustee fees on the balance of the fund in each year, assuming the higher initial fund which incorporates the required amount for fund management fees (i.e. as calculated in (4) above); and
6. Discount the fund management fees calculated for each year to a present value as at the date of the calculation.
The application of this methodology is circular in nature as the higher initial level of funds required to be provided to the client in step (4) above incorporates the fees and associated outlays payable to the Public Trustee, however the amount of the investment fee payable will vary depending on the level of funds. This is an inherent complication of the “fund management on fund management” approach required by Gray v Richards  HCA 40.
The Public Trustee overcomes this difficulty through the use of a macro-enabled calculator developed by Vincents Chartered Accountants, which calculates the higher level of initial funds required to pay the management fees whilst simultaneously varying the applicable fees (e.g. to allow for the change in investment strategy as the level of funds under management varies).
NOTE: The methodology for funds held for a minor who will be capable at eighteen years of age is to maintain the capital until eighteen years of age, and will not provide for annual drawings.
Legislative authority for the Public Trustee’s administration fees
Section 17 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 allows the Public Trustee to fix the fees and charges for services provided by the Public Trustee. These fees are reviewed yearly and published by way of a Public Trustee Fees and Charges Notice in the Government Gazette and can be viewed at http://www.pt.qld.gov.au/about/fees-and-charges/. Depending on the proposed Public Trustee’s authority, the service level fee will be calculated in accordance with schedule 4, 5 or 7 of the Notice. An asset management fee in accordance with schedule 6 of the Notice will apply to the management of the funds irrespective of whether the Public Trustee’s authority is as trustee, administrator or manager.
The fees and charges set in accordance with section 17 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 form the basis for the calculations of the fee estimate request software.
What are the Public Trustee’s Sanction Fees?
If you wish to apply for a sanction from the Public Trustee, and not the Court, the Public Trustee will charge a Sanction Fee.
Sanction Fees are reviewed yearly and form part of the Notice published in the Government Gazette referred to above. The current Sanction Fees appear in schedule 14 of the Notice.
For the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, the Public Trustee’s Sanction Fees are as follows:
Amount of Sanction
Fee (including GST)
Up to $1500
$1501 to $12,000
$12,001 to $50,000
Fee estimates for minors who will not have legal capacity at 18 years of age
Fee estimates for minors who are expected to have capacity when they reach the age of 18 years are based on schedule 7, Trust Service Level Fee of the Notice rather than being based on a Personal Financial Administration Fee in accordance with schedules 4 and 5 of the Notice.
Supreme Court Practice Direction 9 of 2007 envisages that following the sanction of the compromise of a damages claim for a minor who will not be capable at 18 years of age, the court will appoint a Trustee to hold the funds until an Administrator is appointed pursuant to the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 to administer the balance of the compromise sum. The Public Trustee’s fee estimate request software allows you to request a fee estimate on this basis.
However, the Public Trustee’s fee estimate software also can provide fee estimates for minors:
1. who are not expected to have legal capacity upon attaining the age of eighteen years, and
2. for which the amount of funds to be received by the Public Trustee will exceed $400,000 and
3. for which the sanction is to be issued by the Court
based on the premise that the Court will make a Protection Order in favour of the Public Trustee and QCAT will issue a Full Administration Order in accordance with the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 in favour of the Public Trustee to commence upon the minor reaching 18 years of age.
What is a “Protection Order”?
The Public Trustee has powers under the Public Trustee Act 1978 which are unavailable to private trustee companies.
Part 6 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 sets up a regime for what are known as Protection Orders which can be ordered by the Supreme or District Court for a minor. A Protection Order comes to an end when the minor attains the age of 18 years.
An application for a Protection Order can be made by the minor’s litigation guardian in any action in the Supreme or District court by a minor for damages for personal injury (see section 67 of the Public Trustee Act 1978).
The broad powers of the Public Trustee as a Manager under a Protection Order are set out in section 80 of the Public Trustee Act 1978. The Public Trustee has the full power and authority, subject to any contrary order of the Court, to do anything a child could do, in respect to property, if the child was not under a legal disability.
These additional powers set the Public Trustee apart from private trustee companies. If a Protection Order is in place, the Public Trustee has the capability to consider the use of superannuation based strategies in the manner most beneficial to the minor. The benefit of having the Court make a Protection Order at the time of the sanction hearing means that the Public Trustee can, if appropriate, invest funds in superannuation within 90 days of the Court order and thereby take advantage of the taxation laws relating to personal injury awards.
The suggested wording for a Protection Order is as follows:
1. Service of notice of this Application as prescribed by section 67(3) of the Public Trustee Act 1978 on XYZ be dispensed with.
2. By reason of the physical infirmity and age of the plaintiff, XYZ, a Protection Order pursuant to Part 6 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 be made in respect of the plaintiff.
3. The Public Trustee of Queensland (“the Public Trustee”) be appointed Manager to take possession of, and to control and manage, all the estate of the plaintiff with the powers and duties defined in the said Act.
The Public Trustee is collecting personal information on the Fee Estimate Request File in order to estimate administration and investment fees and for related, internal management processes. Before you complete the Fee Estimate Request File, please read our Privacy Statement.