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The Green Bag

in collecting, verifying and classifying information concerning investments in all parts of the world. Investments may be made in any safe security author ized by the instrument creating the trust, and generally, upon taking over an estate, the public trustee finds that he can improve not only the character and stability of the capital, but also the income. In investing the money of an estate he distributes it geographically as well as commercially, so that it may not be subject to the fluctuations and risks of a single locality, or of a single industry. His varied and extensive experience and absolute disinterested ness make him a better guide for the care and investment of an estate and its moneys than any other corporation or individual can possibly be. A private trustee can rarely hope to do more for the estate than give it the benefit of his judgment in selecting those upon whose opinion in such matters he must rely, and is generally without means for keeping under ready observation the investment when made and thus minimizing the risk of loss or depreciation. Economy. One of the conditions which the public trustee must meet is that his services shall be so cheap as to be avail able to all classes, rich and poor. In ac cordance with the provisions of the Public Trustee Act the fees are to be arranged from time to time so as to pro duce an annual amount sufficient to discharge the salaries and other expenses incidential to the working of the act and no more — the public trustee's office is to be self-supporting, but not profit-earn ing. The fees charged, originally low enough to be considerably less than the average expense to estates and trusts for like services, have been once reduced because they were found to be more than sufficient to pay expenses, and further reductions are expected to be made in

the future. In addition to the low fees, savings are undoubtedly made in most cases through the expert knowledge brought to bear upon the administration of the estate and the placing of invest ments. And by employing the public trustee an estate is ever afterward saved the expense of securing and appointing a new trustee because the first one has died or become otherwise incapacitated. Security. The public trustee's respon sibility is insured by an ample govern ment fund, the state guaranteeing his honesty. Moreover, all the officers and employees of his office are placed under bond for such sum as the Treasury may from time to time require. His books and accounts, and the money and prop erty in his hands and under his control, are regularly audited, checked, and verified by government auditors, and at the request of an interested person a special audit by a chartered accountant may be had of an estate or trust. Sub ject to such information as interested parties are entitled to, and to the direc tion of the court, strict secrecy is required of the officers and employees of the public trustee's office in respect to every es tate or trust in course of administration by him. And finally, any person ag grieved by an act, omission or decision of the public trustee in relation to an estate or trust may take the matter be fore the proper court, and the court may thereupon make such order in the premises as it deems just. Expansion and Present Condition. The public trustee renders his annual report as of April first for the twelve months ending March thirty-first, and the suc cess and popularity of the office is amplydemonstrated by the report for 1912, which includes a statistical review of the four years and three months, beginning January first, 1908, and ending March thirty-first, 1912, since the act went into