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Public Trust Lower Charges And New Services

The new Public Trust Act 2001 came into effect today 1 March modernising Public Trust, and enabling the introduction of new services and lower charges.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the Public Trust, Jim Anderton welcomed the changes that have resulted in lower fees for estate administration charges and introduced innovative, world-first services. These included on-line wills and pre-paid estate administration.

“The new Act will greatly benefit the Public Trust’s many customers,” Jim Anderton said.

“Public Trust was constrained by a range of outdated rules enshrined in its previous legislation that prevented it from functioning effectively.

“This Act ensures Public Trust will be more competitive in the modern business environment while, at the same time, continuing to meet its important public responsibilities,” said Jim Anderton.

Free wills continue to be available to all New Zealanders and people are now able to create their own will on-line at the Public Trust website. These services are free of charge providing you nominate Public Trust as the executor of your will.

Administering and managing estates remains Public Trust’s core business. The new legislation allows Public Trust to set its own charges, and it has responded with big reductions. Previously its estate administration charges were set by regulation.

In addition, all funds that have carried a Government guarantee will continue to do so.

Under the new Act, Public Trust ceased being a Government Department and became a Crown Owned Entity governed by a Board who are responsible to the Minister. The Chief Executive Mr Tim Sole is responsible to the Board for operational management.

The new Act also expressly requires Public Trust to act independently from direction by the Government in managing estates and trusts. Customer privacy and confidentiality is also specifically assured.

Details of these and other Public Trust services are available from its website, www.publictrust.co.nz

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