Reasons for Appointing the Public Trustee
Once appointed as the executor, the Public Trustee can deal with property and money after the person dies. The main reason for the appointment would be if:
- No suitable person is willing and able to act as the executor after the death. An eligible person would be someone over 18, not bankrupt, and without a criminal conviction.
- The beneficiary of the will is a ‘vulnerable’ person. A typical example would be someone with a mental disability. It usually means they would be unable to manage their own finances and property.
The Official Solicitor and Public Trustee (OSPT) works with the Ministry of Justice. Their role is to help vulnerable people or the young take advantage of the services offered by the justice system.
Much like any other named executor, the Public Trustee can also deal with wills, probate, and inheritance. But, you cannot appoint the Public Trustee as executor of your estate if:
- The execution of the estate would involve managing a business.
- The estate is insolvent (e.g. there are more debts than assets).
Naming the Public Trustee in a Will
You can name the Public Trustee to act as your executor when writing a will. You should send a copy of the will and a letter that explains your situation to their address. They would make the decision of whether to accept the appointment after your death.
The Public Trustee
London WC2B 6EX
Contacting the Public Trustee
There are several ways to contact their office if you need some extra help or advice (e.g. by email or by phone).
Accepting the Appointment (after you die)
The Public Trustee will not execute the will ‘automatically’ after the death. First, they will check to see if any other person is suitable, able, and willing to administer the estate.
Note: In most cases, they would usually determine that on one else can do it. Even so, the Public Trustee can still refuse to accept the appointment of executor.
Public Trustee Fees UK
If they decide to accept the appointment they will charge a fee for acting as your executor. The amount that the Public Trustee charges will get paid out of the estate of the deceased person.
They base their fee as a percentage of the total value of the estate (before tax deduction). So, the total amount they take would depend on the actual value of the estate after death.