Being founded on 22nd November 1930, the Public Trustee department began its operations in 1931 with simply a six-member staff compromising of the Public Trustee, two Gazette Officers, one Clerical Officer and two Peons.

From the early days through their commitment and hard work, the Public Trustee was capable of working towards building a considerably strong & trusted reputation amongst the general public as well as highly acclaimed individuals in society who have made numerous contributions to the history of this small but proud island nation!

Anagarika Dharmapala, Sir D.B. Jayatileke, A.A. de Alwis, Mudaliyar Jayawickrama, Leonard Rupasinghe, Sir Chandrasekera, Mudaliyar Silva Wijesinghe and Joseph Hawk were few of those renowned patrons. These celebrated Philanthropists had exceptional trust on the Public Trustee and personally chose the Public Trustee of Sri Lanka to maintain and manage all the wealth they have resolved to leave as charity welfare.

At the time of establishment, the Public Trustee department was considered a notable shift from the usual governmental structure. Introducing an incorporated institute to the arrangement was a first in the administrative history of this country.

Currently, this particular feature remains activated in the Public Trustee of Sri Lanka.

The Public Trustee Ordinance No. 1 of 1922 was enforced on 22nd November 1930. It was amended by Ordinance No. 11 of 1931, No. 59 of 1938 and Act No. 41 of 1983.