Your responsibilities when taking care of their assets
When someone loses the mental capacity to manage their own financial affairs — and they haven’t already got an enduring power of attorney (EPA) for property in place — you can apply to the Family Court to appoint a property manager to look after matters for them. Public Trust can also be appointed to uphold these responsibilities.
Property managers look after the financial affairs of a person who is deemed mentally incapable. The property manager will usually be a family member, friend, or trustee company.
There are laws that govern how a property manager must act, and what they can do for the protected person. Read on to find out what your responsibilities are as property manager, or call us for advice.
The property manager is accountable to the Family Court and must provide regular financial statements, according to the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988.
There are various documentations that need to be prepared, including:
Property statement (first time)
Within 3 months of appointment by the Family Court, the property manager must prepare a statement of all assets and liabilities within the protected person’s property, correct as at the date of the order.
An annual statement of the protected person’s property is due to the court on each anniversary of the order. This must cover the management of all property (assets and liabilities), including a summary of receipts and payments during the year.
When the property manager’s responsibilities end (due to discharge of the order or death of the protected person), a final statement must be submitted to the court within 30 days. This report must cover the management of all property, including a summary of receipts and payment up to the cessation date.
For further information about the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act or your responsibilities as a property manager, please contact your local court or legal representative, or refer to the information found here.
How is Public Trust involved?
Public Trust can be appointed to manage property through an enduring power of attorney for property. The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (PPPR Act) prescribes how property management is to take place.
Section 46 of the PPPR Act outlines Public Trust’s role in this process: that we are required to review the statements submitted by property managers, and report back to the court.
The court uses Public Trust to check the property manager’s financial statements and ensure that the statements reflect what is occurring with their assets, liabilities and funds under management under management.
We will review the statements against the supporting documents provided and file a report with both the court and the manager on completion of the review.
For more information about Public Trust’s examination of financial statements, please get in touch.
As described in the PPPR Act, property means “any real or personal property, and includes any interest in any property, and also includes any money, any business or undertaking, and any right or power exercisable in respect of any property”.
There are three types of report the property manager needs to file: the property statement (within 3 months of the commencement date of the order), an annual statement (within 30 days of the annual anniversary of the date of the order), and a final statement (within 30 days of the end of the order).
These reports must cover management of all assets and liabilities, including a summary of receipts and payments made.
Download our handy checklist of supporting documentation to submit with your financial statement.
The date differs according to the type of report (see above).
The property manager can apply to the court to have the annual anniversary date moved to a more suitable date such as the end of the financial year (31 March).
Property managers file statements directly with the Court and not Public Trust. This is because the Court controls matters directly with Court-appointed managers.
Yes. When prepared professionally, Public Trust will still be required to examine the statement with supporting documents and will charge based on a time and attendance basis.
A fee can be paid to a professional for their work preparing the statement (as long as they are not the property manager).
No, unless the manager has obtained an order from the Court authorising payment for their services. However, reimbursements for expenses can be claimed out of the protected person's assets.
If a manager chooses not to provide supporting documents or further information as required within the 30-day period, Public Trust may issue an examination on information on hand (adverse report). This may lead to the court following up with the manager.
If statements are not filed annually or in accordance with the Act, the court can choose to take action in accordance with Section 45 (4) of the PPPR Act.
All statements must be examined by Public Trust unless a corporate trustee is the property manager.
Public Trust aims to submit completed examinations to the court within 3 months of receiving them from the court (subject to conditions being met). Should Public Trust require further information/clarification from the manager, the manager has 30 days to respond.
The current cost of Public Trust's examination is outlined in the PPPR Act, (Section 46 (6) and Regulation 6(1)) and set at $132 (including GST) per hour on a time in attendance basis. Public Trust invoices as the examination progresses. The PPPR Act confirms that Public Trust's costs are to be paid out of the property of the protected person.
Public Trust has a responsibility to report to the court on all aspects of the subject person’s finances. If an account is overdue from the previous year Public Trust will bring this to the attention of the court in the next report. The court may take action as per Sec 46 (6) of the PPPR Act.
Please email your supporting documents to Public Trust. Public Trust no longer has physical files and all documents get scanned and destroyed so please do not send original documents.
Please note that we can only receive emails with a size up to 12MB. If your document is larger than that you can send the documents in a smaller batch or ZIP file.
Yes. As the protected person’s property manager, you need to disclose your position to anyone you are dealing with before entering into any contract or arrangement on behalf of the protected person.
Yes. Anything above the specified sum ($120,000 - Schedule 1(3)) in the court order will require Court consent (Section 38 of PPPR Act). Contact your legal representative for more information about this.
Yes, up to a total sum of $5,000 per annum. Amounts above this will require Court consent. Note: some property orders do have restrictions to gifting. Please check to ensure you do not have a restriction. Please be aware that there is a variance between the PPPR act authorized gifting and that of the WINZ regulations.
As an interest received from an estate or through gifting is considered a personal asset, such money or assets should firstly settle in the individual’s name and then by consent of the court (Sec 38).
The court can authorize the money or assets to be transferred to a trust for the benefit of the subject person. Such consent can be obtained from court proper to receive such money or assets. Contact your legal representative for more information about this.
The manager should seek direction and consent from the court for loans from the assets of a subject person. Loans should be formulated in a proper document such as an acknowledgement of debt. Contact your legal representative for more information about this.
The manager should apply to the Court for further guidance in relation to the manager’s powers and duties, such as the requirements when selling a property.
No. Public Trust's role is to undertake the examination on behalf of the Court. For advice and guidance, please contact your legal representative or your local court.