Public Trustee and Guardian

A Public Trustee can be named as the executor of an estate in a person’s will or appointed by the court when a person dies without a will. A Public Guardian can be appointed in relation to various aspects of a person’s life, when they are unable to manage those aspects themselves.

In the ACT, these two roles are combined into one independent Territory Office, the Public Trustee and Guardian (PTG). The PTG provides a wide range of services, including:

  • management and Guardianship of individuals, under order of ACAT
  • will making
  • administration of deceased estates
  • accounts examination on behalf of people with impaired decision-making ability.

A full list of the services offered by PTG can be found on their website.

Complaints about the PTG can be investigated by the ACT Ombudsman.

This can include complaints about:

  • failure to communicate with a complainant about the progress of the complaint
  • failure of case workers to stay in touch with clients
  • letters that are difficult to understand.

What we cannot help you with

The ACT Ombudsman is unable to:

  • remove a guardianship order
  • remove the PTG as an executor or trustee.

If we decide not to investigate your complaint, we will explain the reasons why.

See Who else can help for a detailed list of other complaint-handling agencies.

Before you make a complaint

Before making a complaint to the Ombudsman, we ask you to try and resolve the issue with the PTG. They can be contacted on (02) 6207 9800 or at ptg@act.gov.au.

How to make a complaint

If you have been unhappy with the handling or the outcomes of your complaint by the PTG, you can make a complaint to the ACT Ombudsman.

You can make a complaint via our online complaint form or by calling us on 02 6276 3773 (select option 1).

When writing your complaint keep it simple and stick to the facts. Be as specific as possible about dates, names and other important details. Make sure you include:

  • a description of your issue, incident or decision
  • dates of events
  • contact with the Public Trustee and Guardian
  • who was involved, including witnesses
  • details of telephone conversations or meetings
  • reference numbers you received when dealing with the Public Trustee and Guardian
  • evidence such as financial records or plans
  • steps you have taken to sort out the problem
  • the outcome you would like to see as a result of your complaint.

An overview of what we do with your complaint is available here.

How to get help with making a complaint

If you need support to make a complaint please call us on 02 6276 3773. We will do our best to help you.

You can call us on our dedicated Indigenous number 1800 060 789 or our Indigenous language interpreter service.

If you are a non-English speaking person, we can help through the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450. You can visit our brochures page for information in many community languages.

If you are hearing or speech impaired, please use the National Relay Service:

  • speak and listen, call 1300 555 727
  • for TTY call 133 677

How we have helped

A person contacted the ACT Ombudsman with a complaint about a financial guardianship order by the Public Trustee and Guardian. They believed the money made available to them was not enough to support their lifestyle. We enquired with PTG about this complaint. We were told the complainant needed to repay a large debt and this impacted how much money they had left over for day to day expenses. We passed on this explanation to the complainant. While not entirely happy about the decision of the PTG, they left our service with a better understanding of the reasons why the decision was made.