The NSW government’s controversial surety bond scheme has been scrapped after a court last week deemed it unlawful. The scheme was introduced last year to protect Trustee & Guardian’s (TAG) clients from being “ripped off” by family members who were managing their private estates.
TAG required all managers to purchase a bond, costing up to $12,000 a year, from Aviva Insurance – a Scottish company which had won a tender. It did not give managers the choice to find another provider. The bond was designed to operate as insurance against mal-administration of estates.
This meant that parents, siblings and spouses who had been competently managing the financial affairs of their loved ones were being forced to fork out thousands of dollars to continue doing so. The scheme reduced the amount of funds available for the care and welfare of the person subject to the financial management order.
Norm Mackenzie (pictured), who had been managing his disabled daughter’s large estate for years, called the policy “cruel and exploitative”. (Sydney Morning Herald)
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week found that TAG had “without power” forced the scheme upon nearly 4000 managers across NSW.
The NSW Trustee & Guardian has ended the scheme. This is welcome news for both managers and estate holders who have been adversely affected.
Image: Sydney Morning Herald