We hold Public Trustee files about:

  • deceased estates
  • estates administered under the Administration and Probate Act
  • administration of estates under the Mental Health Act
  • administration of convicts estates

Public Trustee records can be useful for family historians because they hold information on the deceased person, their estate and their relatives.

Most records relating to this subject were created by the Public Trustee Department (GRG33), and the Public Trustee Office (GA311).

Access conditions

Records containing financial information are typically open for general public access after 60 years.

Indexes and special lists

Microform indexes are available in the Research Centre.

Records held

Files relating to deceased estates (Testamentary Causes Jurisdiction) – ‘I’ files, 1878 – 1991 (GRG 33/1)

Files relating to the administration of convicts estates, c1880-c1977 (GRG 33/4)

Files relating to estates administered under the Administration and Probate Act – ‘A’ files, 1881 – 1957 (GRG 33/2)

Register of estates administered under the Administration and Probate Act, 1927 – 1934 (GRG 33/12)

Decorative Image: GRG 33/2 unit 31 file no. A 2373. Files relating to estates administered under the Administration and Probate Ace 'A' filesFiles relating to the administration of estates under the Mental Health Act 1935-1967 and previous Acts, 1911 – 1973 (GRG 33/5)

Register of estates administered under the Mental Health Act, 1865-1940 (GRG 33/11)

Ledgers of deceased and other estates, 1849 – 1926 (GRG 33/13)

Estate files, numerical series - Public Trustee, 1910 to current day (GRS 747)

Index of estates - Public Trustee, 1955 – 1962 (GRS 14580)

Estates administration files, numerical series - Public Trustee Department, later Public Trustee Office, 1957 – 1989 (GRS 1175)

Orders to administer estates in the Northern Territory, 1905 – 1910 (GRS 13857)

Index to administrations, 1866 – 1905 (GRS 13867)

Judicial advices books for deceased estates - Public Trustee, 1895 – 1967 (GRS 14034)

Record of estates, numerical series - Public Trustee, 1945 – 1989 (GRS 14579)

Key facts

The Public Trustee was established under the Public Trustee Act, 1880. One of the functions of the Public Trustee is to administer deceased estates and the estates of people dying without a will (intestate estates).

The Public Trustee also administers the estates of people unable to do so because they are minors, or for reasons such as mental illness or imprisonment.