Protecting Thomas’ Financial Rights


‘Very early in my time at NSW Trustee and Guardian, a manager said to me that we need to do for our customers what would we do for our own family.’

When a NSW Trustee and Guardian staff member learned that Thomas*, a financial management customer, had been taken advantage of and lost out on a sum of money intended for him through his father’s Will, she set out to put things right.

‘Very early in my time at NSW Trustee and Guardian, a manager said to me that we need to do for our customers what would we do for our own family.’ ‘That’s always stayed with me, so I knew I had to get to the bottom of what had gone wrong with this matter.’

Thomas’s father made his Will with local solicitors, and the document contained a clause with instructions to obtain a financial management order for his son.

Also, within his Will was a clause that said Thomas should receive the entirety of his superannuation funds.

‘As it happened, Thomas’s father had a de facto partner at the time of his death, and 90 per cent of the funds went to this person, leaving Thomas with only 10 per cent.’

‘I wrote to the superannuation company and asked a few specific questions to try and understand what happened and why.’

At that time, she didn’t know if she was going to be able change things, but at the very least wanted to get an explanation and offer Thomas’s family some resolution and closure.

When the superannuation company wrote back to say they had reviewed the matter thoroughly and offered to pay Thomas an amount of money equivalent to 100% of the entitlement, she was blown away.

‘It was such a great day when that correspondence came through – it reinforced to me that we can make a real difference in the lives of people.’

Senior Solicitor Kay Papadopoulos also worked on the matter.

‘On the back of her communications with the superannuation company, not only do we have the full superannuation benefit for Thomas – as his father intended in his Will – we have also managed to have him determined as a taxation dependant.’

‘That means more money in the hand for him and less to tax, because the superannuation company are now aware of his situation and background.’

It’s this kind of collaboration between teams that enables better outcomes. ‘We can do so much for our customers when we work together.’

‘I look forward to further collaboration with our specialist teams as we consider how best to manage the funds, including the possibility of purchasing a home for Thomas to live in.’

I’m very proud to have been part of this outcome. Once I see that money land in Thomas’ trust account, that will be the highlight of a very long career with NSW Trustee and Guardian!’

* Names and identifying details may have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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