Listed below are some frequently asked questions to help guide you. Click on the question for more information.
What are the Fiji Public Trustee's duties in managing minor later trusts?
Like any trustee, the Fiji Public Trustee must protect trust assets and ensure they are handled, invested and distributed appropriately until the minor turns 18 or other age specified in the trust document.
Our office has policies in place to help our trust administrators in making decisions about minor trusts.
The Fiji Public Trustee’s duties as trustee are to:
- Hold and protect trust funds until the child turns 18.
- Invest the funds during the term of the trust.
- Make appropriate disbursements from the trust.
- Pay out the funds to the child after he or she turns 18.
Why does the Fiji Public Trustee administer minor trusts?
As a trustee corporation Fiji Public trustee may be appointed under Section 8 (1) of the Trustee Act, Cap. 65 to lawfully act as the sole trustee in respect of any trust.
Fiji Public Trustee takes on the important role of administering minor’s trusts as it is the leader in professional management of estates and trusts, through adherence to relevant Acts and sound partnership with customers and stakeholders.
Our duty to administer a trust could arise in a number of ways, including the following:
- FNPF/Superannuation minor nomination. On the death of a FNPF contributor, funds nominated to minors will be administered under section 35(2) of the Fiji National Provident Fund Act, Cap. 219. These funds are held in trust and administered for the benefit of the minor by the Fiji Public Trustee.
- Compensation payment to a minor whereby the court appoints the Fiji Public Trustee as trustee of the trust fund.
- When a minor is entitled to receive life insurance proceeds or money from an estate or trust and there is no other guardian of the child’s estate willing or able to act.
- At the request of a member of the public when it appears appropriate to do so.
Can a minor use any of their trust money before they turn 18?
Yes, they can by the Fiji Public Trustee.
Under section 27 (2) of the Fiji Public Trustee Corporation Act 2006, funds administered by Fiji Public Trustee may be applied for the maintenance, advancement or education of the minor in accordance with the policy developed, endorsed and applied in consultation with FNPF.
The guardian of the minor may apply for the withdrawal of the trust fund monies for this purpose such as school fees, lunch expenses, bus fare.
How is trust money invested?
A trust account is established for each individual minor. Money in these accounts is invested in a common pool fund which is managed by the Fiji Public Trustee. These funds earn better interests than single accounts.
Investment decisions are made by the Board of Directors maximizing high returns within prudential guidelines.
Does each trust account earn interest?
Yes, all interest earned from the investment of money is paid to the trust account annually.
Does the Fiji Public Trustee charge fees to administer a trust?
Yes, the Fiji Public Trustee does not receive funding from government, so we must charge fees to pay for our services. These fees are set out in our Fee Schedule.
When is trust money paid out?
The money is paid out to the child as soon as possible after he or she turns 18, or other later age specified in the trust document, or if the minor marries or a court orders us to pay it.
How is trust money paid out?
Refer to the Withdrawal Application Process
Is there a minimum withdrawal?
The minimum would be 50 % of the capital or the principal sum.