Do I earn interest on monies in your trust account?

No. Funds held on trust by law firms are strictly regulated. Banks are required to pay any interest earned on funds held in trust accounts to a fidelity scheme and for other purposes. Therefore, you do not earn interest on monies held in our trust account.

However, the regulations allow you to instruct us to open a separate interest-bearing account for your funds, known as a Controlled Money Account (CMA). On large sums over an extended period, the interest earned can be significant.

For example, interest on $300,000 over a 6-month period at the rate of 3.10% would be $4,650.

If you are an executor or administrator of an estate, you are under a duty to maximise the returns on estate monies pending distribution. We cannot give you financial advice, however you may choose to invest the estate’s funds in a CMA.

Opening a CMA

Opening a CMA requires us to complete significant paperwork and comply with monthly account-keeping requirements to comply with the regulations. We therefore charge a fee for these services, which you must balance against the interest that may be earned to decide whether it is worth instructing us to open a CMA for your funds.

Most large financial institutions will offer the option to open a suitable CMA. If you instruct us to open a CMA with ANZ Bank (our current banking partner), we can usually obtain an account that pays interest at a rate close to the RBA cash rate (currently 3.10% as at 12 December 2022).

Our fees, inclusive of GST, for opening an account with ANZ are as follows:

Opening a CMA$440
Monthly maintenance fee
for each month the CMA is open
Closing a CMA$330

If you wish to open a CMA or to obtain further information, please contact your file manager.


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