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Some adults who receive government payments have difficulties managing their money and remembering to pay their bills. Informal trusteeship is a no-cost way to authorize someone, known as an informal trustee, to manage the adult’s finances.

An informal trustee is helpful for adults who:

  • are having problems managing their money
  • might not have the mental capacity to manage their finances
  • don’t have assets like real estate or investments

What an informal trustee does

An informal trustee:

  • manages the adult’s money and bills — but they can’t manage investments or sell property
  • has the legal authority to access the adult’s financial accounts and talk to:
    • banks
    • tax services
    • financial institutions

Other options

Trusteeship or enduring power of attorney are other legal options for adults who need help with their finances.

Who can be an informal trustee

An informal trustee:

  • must be over 18 years old
  • must have a trusting relationship with the adult
  • may be a relative or friend of the adult

The adult who needs an informal trustee must be receiving a regular payment from a government program, such as the following:

Name an informal trustee

Step 1. Contact the government

You must contact the government department that issues the adult’s payments directly to name an informal trustee.

Step 2. Fill out the forms

The department that issues the payment will tell you:

  • what forms you need
  • where to get the forms
  • how to fill out the forms

Step 3. Submit the forms

The department that issues the payment will tell you how to submit the forms. There’s no court application.

The time it takes to name an informal trustee varies by government department.