One point has not been mentioned. The Public Trustee could actually be appointed directly as the Executor of an estate. Originally, I believe, this was to help poorer and less well educated people who perhaps did not have relatives educated enough and not enough money to stand lawyer's fees, to know their bits of property would be administered by a qualified person, it also meant that however long it might be until the Will was finally cleared it would not be bedevilled by Executors popping their clogs. I think I read somewhere that this function was phased out fairly recently, although I could be wrong there. It had become less and less popular for another reason. The Public Trustee was more than careful about where he put any money for keeping - something like the Post Office Savings Bank was about their limit. I had personal experience of this with a Will written in the 20s which held the capital in trust for one person for her lifetime and when she died was to be divided amongst a list of others. She did not die until the mid 90s and had actually had nothing since 1939 beause she was German and from the outbreak of war in 1939 all dividends had gone to "The Receiver of Enemy Property" and as there was no Peace Treaty between Germany and the Allies, technically we were still "at war". When she died just about the time a Peace Treaty was signed the "others" got the leftovers. Most of them were also dead by then but it was a model of sound investment. The original capital sum was £2000 - when it was paid out 70 years later the Public Trustee had increased it to a staggering £5,600! Hope they did better with yours!