WA Removing Executor in Favour of Public Trustee?

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Debra Hall

15 July 2015
I am acting on behalf of my 3 stepchildren whose mum passed away in 2010. Her estate was left in trust for them to their grandmother who is in her 80's and lives in the UK, until they reach the age of 25. They are currently 18 (twins) and 20 years old.

A clause in the will states that they or a guardian can make application for ongoing needs such as education, medical etc. They have recently asked for a little help as are about to start Uni. She refuses to consider their request and states their dad should pay.

This has been her response to a couple of previous requests. She also says its too hard to do. We have no idea how the money is held for the children (we think about $300,000 between the 3). She also refuses to send any financial statements etc., stating they don't need to know until they are 25.

We have always supported the kids but feel the estate is not being managed correctly. My question is how difficult (and expensive) is it to remove her as executor of will and put funds in hands of Public Trustee? Also does she have the right to refuse them financial statements and information regarding where money is?


Hi Debra,

Assuming there is no way of negotiating with the grandmother to make a distribution of the trust for their uni fees etc, I believe your only real alternative would be to get a court order directing the grandmother to make a distribution or, as you have stated removing her from her role as executor. However, a court will only remove an executor or trustee in exceptional circumstances as the court respects the testator's choice of executor / trustee.


31 August 2015
Hi Debra,
My son's father passed away in February 2014 and his life insurance was left for Public trustee Qld to manage until he turns 18. For my experience in dealing with the Public Trustee in QLD, they are as tough as your Grandmother.

You are right, there is a clause there saying that the funds can be accessed for medical, education but honestly.... try! I am getting quite frustrated as I could not yet access maintenance for my 8 years old son after more than a year of paper work.

And public trustee doesn't even give me statement or anything, just like your grandmother!


Well-Known Member
20 August 2015
Hi Debra

The grandmother as the trustee is under a duty to render to the beneficiaries a full and truthful record of her stewardship of the trust.

The children are entitled to inspect the accounts and other documents related to the trust.

The grandmother can be removed by the court under s 77 of the Trustee Act WA.

The court can remove her if she resides abroad permanently.

The cost for her removal might be significant if she decides to put up a fight.

Best course of action for you is to see a lawyer specialising in estate administration.
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