Am I entitled to receive a copy of the deceased person’s Will?

According to section 54 of the Succession Act NSW (2006), if you are any of the following persons, the answer is YES:-

 A person named or referred to in the Will (regardless of whether or not you are named as a beneficiary).

  1. A person named or referred to in an earlier Will as a beneficiary.
  2. The surviving spouse, de facto partner or child of the deceased.
  3. A parent or guardian of the deceased.
  4. Any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased person had died without a Will (intestate).
  5. Any parent or guardian of a minor referred to in the Will or who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased person had died without a Will (intestate).
  6. Any person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate
  7. A person with the management of the deceased person’s estate under the NSW Trustee & Guardian Act immediately prior to the death of the deceased.
  8. A person appointed under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person.
  9. Any other person prescribed by the regulations.

So how do I go about obtaining a copy of the Will?

There is no central register for Wills in NSW or Australia that could otherwise be applied to or accessed by any person wishing to view a copy of the Will.

The Executor is usually the person who has possession or control of the Will and so it would be advisable to contact them first to request a copy.

If you do not know who the Executor is, then you should contact any person who you believe may have possession of the Will.

Other alternatives may be to:

  1. Search for the details of the deceased person on the NSW Supreme Court.
  2. Search for the details of the Executor by reviewing local newspapers for death notices, or looking on the NSW Supreme Court for probate notices.
  3. Contact any last known solicitors of the deceased person who may hold the Will.
  4. Contact the solicitor for the Executor if known.
  5. Contact the NSW Supreme Court registry for a copy, noting that you will most likely need to pay administrative fees.

If you have still not found the Will or are being refused a copy it is advisable to contact one of Family Focus Legal’s experienced Wills and Estates solicitors to guide you on the next steps. Please feel free to contact us on (02) 4655 4224 today.

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