Private Administrator Support: Public Trustee

The Public Trustee provides guidance and support to Private Administrators concerning their roles and responsibilities. Private Administrators are those who have been appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal to manage the finances of another person.
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The primary role of a Private Administrator is to make decisions and act in the best interests of a Represented Person (a person who is deemed to lack the ability to manage their own financial affairs).

When a Private Administrator is appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) they are required to provide the Public Trustee with:

The Public Trustee's role is to examine the accounts under s80 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990.

The Public Trustee determines whether these accounts are:

a) 'allowed' (they are prepared correctly); and

b) an accurate account of the Represented Person's financial estate and show that the administrator's decisions were made in the best interests of the Represented Person (see more in Frequently Asked Questions).

The Public Trustee’s annual examination of the accounts helps to ensure the Represented Person's estate is protected, and helps Private Administrators by providing an independent review of the accounts.

Private Administrator's Guide and Information

This booklet is designed to inform administrators of their role and responsibilities:

Private Administrator Training

The Public Trustee and the Office of the Public Advocate provides a three-hour seminar to assist Administrators understand what is required of them in their role. The seminar is appropriate for newly-appointed Administrators and those who require a refresher on how to prepare the annual accounts.


  • $25 per person
  • can be paid/reimbursed from the Represented Person’s funds.

All seminars are held from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, in the Argyle Room, 1st Floor Public Trustee Building, 553 Hay St (corner Pier St) Perth, and attendance is also available remotely by Teams. To secure your place, please book online using the TryBooking links below.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Wednesday 7 August 2024

Wednesday 6 November 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

What are allowed accounts?

Allowed accounts are those where the record keeping is of an acceptable standard and the estate has been administered in the best interests of the Represented Person.  If the Public Trustee finds that the accounts are in good order, the Public Trustee will inform the administrator in writing.

If the accounts are not allowed, the Public Trustee will generally report the circumstances to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).  Where a loss is determined, the Public Trustee may issue a certificate for the loss and the Private Administrator may be held personally responsible for that amount.

Can I be paid (remunerated)?

You are not paid for your time and/or expertise, unless this is specifically noted in the SAT Order.

However, you may reimburse yourself for reasonable 'out of pocket' expenses, which does not include loss of wages or salary.

Can I gift, or give away money or assets?

You cannot gift or give away a Represented Person's money/assets, unless this is specifically noted in the SAT Order.

Gifting includes: donating to charities; buying presents for yourself; family or friends; transferring real estate to another person; or giving away personal property or other assets of the Represented Person's estate.

Do I have to liaise with the Private Administrator Support (PAS) team?

No, s80 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 only requires you to submit accounts (annually or as otherwise required) to the Public Trustee for examination.

However, many Private Administrators initially find the role challenging and seek guidance and clarification. The SAT does not offer this support. The Office of the Public Advocate's telephone advisory service provides assistance and generally refer callers to the Public Trustee's PAS team.

The PAS team offers guidance about your role and reporting obligations, but is unable to provide legal or financial advice.

Please contact the PAS team in the following circumstances:

  • change of address and contact details of the Represented Person and the Private Administrator;
  • on the death of the Represented Person or joint administrator; or
  • requests for extensions of time to lodge the Private Administrator Estate Information Form or annual accounts.

Can I get a bookkeeper or accountant to help me prepare the accounts?

Yes, you can employ bookkeepers or accountants to help you, the cost of which is paid by the Represented Person. 

Does the Public Trustee charge a fee for the examination of accounts?

The Public Trustee does not charge a fee where the Represented Person's assets are less than $5,000 (excluding principal place of residence, household furniture, personal effects and jewellery).