Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What happens if I die without a Will? Does it go to the Government?


2.    What happens if a person dies suddenly and it is unknown if they have a        valid Will?


3.     Can I make changes to my Will at any time?


4.     What role can Public Trustee play in managing someone’s financial and          legal affairs?


5.     What does a Financial Administrator do?

6.     What does a Manager do?


7.      What does an Attorney do?


8.       What are the differences and the roles performed by the South           Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT), Public Advocate           and Public Trustee in protecting vulnerable clients?


9.      How can I protect myself from financial abuse?


10.     What does Public Trustee charge to manage a customer’s financial



The first thing you should do is to conduct a search (which may involve contacting family and friends, searching personal items, files and belongings). You should contact the deceased person’s solicitor or enquire with the trustee companies. Every effort should be made to ascertain if there is a Will.

If no Will can be located, then a person is deemed to have died ‘intestate’ (without a valid Will) and in the absence of a valid Will the South Australian laws will dictate how the estate will be distributed.

When trying to locate the Will it may be prudent to gather information relating to assets, income and liabilities of  the person who has died (for example, this may include bank accounts, superannuation, life insurance, assets such as cars, property or shares and any liabilities).

For further information, contact Public Trustee, which can assist with information about this process. 

© 2020 by Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.