MEDIA RELEASE: 27 February 2019
Changes to the Public Trustee SA Wills service ultimately benefits grieving families.
Last Friday Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Vickie Chapman announced that as of 1 July 2019 The Will preparation service provided by The Public Trustee is to be significantly reduced. The Public Trustee prepares approximately 1700 Wills and 450 Powers of Attorney annually, and it is anticipated the changes could halve these numbers, with the service being limited to concession card-holders only.
South Australia has been one of the only jurisdictions to provide a no upfront cost Will preparation service, which on the surface seems hard to resist. Whilst the Public Trustee provides access to Will preparation which may otherwise be unaffordable to some members of the community, it is important to understand that its core business of acting as a trustee, an executor, a guardian and administrator comes at a hefty price. For example, administration costs can mount up, with a Public Trustee commission of up to 4.4% being charged on the value of a deceased person’s estate. Other fees may also apply. Suddenly the no-cost Will doesn’t look like such a bargain.
According to the Government of South Australia about 40% of the Wills prepared by the Public Trustee each year are eventually revoked or re-worked by an external legal service. This double-handling is unnecessary, time-consuming and potentially confusing. Scammell & Co. are one of South Australia’s largest Wills providers. Graeme Hollidge, Managing Partner says that the firm’s experienced and efficient team of Wills and Estate Planning solicitors offer our clients the full spectrum of Wills and Estate Planning services.
A basic Will prepared by Scammell & Co. costs $330 including GST. Discounts are also available to concession and seniors card holders. Hollidge explains that “having a valid Will prepared by an experienced Wills and Estate Planning lawyer provides peace of mind, and enables you to maximise and protect your family’s inheritance.”
For further information please contact Craig Glasson, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Scammell & Co. on (08) 8447 4466.