What is a Trustee?

A Trustee is in charge of making investigations into the estate of a bankrupt to examine their financial affairs.  The Trustee will examine the estate to ascertain if any invalid transactions have been made, for example: the Trustee transfers and/or transactions made as preferential payments.

A Trustee has the ability to report their findings to the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (ITSA).  The Trustee will conduct all investigations in an unbiased manner in order to gather an accurate value of the bankrupt estate. After the Trustee has established the value of the bankrupt estate they will make appropriate distributions to creditors to satisfy their debt.

Duties etc. of trustee

(1)  The duties of the trustee of the estate of a bankrupt include the following:

  (a)  notifying the bankrupt’s creditors of the bankruptcy;

(b)  determining whether the estate includes property that can be realised to pay a dividend to


    (c)  reporting to creditors within 3 months of the date of the bankruptcy on the likelihood of creditors

receiving a dividend before the end of the bankruptcy;

(d)  giving information about the administration of the estate to a creditor who reasonably requests it;

 (e)  determining whether the bankrupt has made a transfer of property that is void against the trustee;

(f)  taking appropriate steps to recover property for the benefit of the estate;

(g)  taking whatever action is practicable to try to ensure that the bankrupt discharges all of the

bankrupt’s duties under this Act;

 (h)  considering whether the bankrupt has committed an offense against this Act;

(i)  referring to the Inspector-General or to relevant law enforcement authorities any evidence of an

offense by the bankrupt against this Act;

(j)  administering the estate as efficiently as possible by avoiding unnecessary expense;

(k)  exercising powers and performing functions in a commercially sound way.

(2)  Where a person who became a bankrupt on a creditor’s petition is unable to prepare a proper statement of affairs the trustee may employ, at the expense of the estate, a qualified person to assist in the preparation of the statement.