QLD Removing the Public Trustee as Executor

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8 July 2017
My father in law recently made a Will, using the public trustee's free service, however they listed themselves as the executor.
He has now decided that he does not wish for the public trustee to act as executor, and would like my partner to take this role. A new Will has been drafted (without the help of a solicitor due to time and financial constraints) which states it supersedes all previously made wills/testaments etc. Will this be enough to remove the public trustee? Would they make any attempts to challenge a new Will? He is very unwell at the moment, but his treating doctors have made it clear that they believe he has capacity and are happy to witness a new Will, at this point.

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
A later valid will revokes all former wills. As long as there isn't a concern as to testamentary capacity the Public Trustee should accept that.

I would suggest the following:

1. Get the new will done by a solicitor. Not only are solicitors properly conversant with establishing proper capacity, it is less likely to be challenged. If the estate is worth protecting, it's worth protecting the right way. Time constraints shouldn't be an issue once you've found a solicitor either - the Courts and the Legal Services Commission tear solicitors to shreds who sit on will instructions with a testator in failing health;

2. With the appropriate authority, once the will is made make arrangements to obtain the old will from the Public Trustee. Some people would say then destroy - some would not. I suggest you get advice on that for your circumstances; and

3. Together with 2 (or independently) write to the Public Trustee and advise them that a new will has been made.