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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 1, 1929)


The business transacted by the Public Trust Office during the year ended 31st March exceeded all previous records, according to a recent announcement by the Prime Minister (the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Ward), giving details of the year's operations.

“At the beginning of the year (on 1st April, 1928),” said Sir Joseph, “the value of the estates under administration by the Public Trustee was £44,155,548, and on 31st March last, after allowing for the estates that had been closed during the year, it had increased to £48,334,790. In each of the two years preceding the one under review, the net increase in value had exceeded £3,000,000, but the present occasion was the first in the history of the office when a net increase of more than £4,000,000 had been recorded. This notable increase was accounted for by the great volume of new business reported during the year, estates representing a total value of £7,091,350 having been accepted for administration. This also was a record, representing the largest volume of new business that had ever been written on the books, and it afforded ample proof of a growing desire to take advantage of the facilities which the Public Trust Office was able to offer in the conduct of trustee business. The difference between the value of the new estates accepted for administration and the net increase in the total value of estates under administration represented the value of the estates that had been wound up and distributed. With the special facilities of the Public Trust Office for handling large numbers of estates it was possible for the Public Trustee, in those cases where the trusts under which estates were held and the beneficiaries desired it, to complete the administration and distribute the assets with great dispatch.

As an indication of the remarkable growth of the Public Trust Office, it was pointed out that the new business for the year was greater than the total value of all the estates under administration less than twenty years ago. In fifteen years the value of the business had been almost quadrupled. There had been a net increase of more than £10,000,000 in three years.”

Some particulars of the growth in the value of the estates under administration for the past thirty years were given by the Prime Minister as follows:—
YearValue of Estates
1899… … … …2,110,316
1929… … … …48,334,790

Sir Joseph Ward stated that it was in every way probable that this increase would be exceeded in the near future, as the number of wills deposited in the office by living testators who had appointed the Public Trustee their executor had been constantly growing until the number held was over 63,000, representing assets of a present estimated value of £251,000,000.