Are You Entitled To A Copy Of The Will?
By Charmaine Lee and Lisa Ruggero-Salerno
This a question that a lot of people ask.
Under the Succession Act 2006, you are entitled to a copy of the Will if you fall within the following categories:
(a) any person named or referred to in the Will, whether as a beneficiary or not;
(b) any person named or referred to in an earlier Will as a beneficiary of the deceased person;
(c) the surviving spouse, de facto partner (whether of the same or the opposite sex) or issue (eg children) of the deceased person;
(d) a part or guardian of the deceased person;
(e) any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased person if the deceased person had died intestate (that is without a Will);
(f) any parent or guardian of a minor referred to in the Will or who would be entitled to a share of the Estate of the testator if the testator had died intestate;
(g) any person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate of the deceased person;
(h) any person committed with the management of the decease person’s estate under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 immediately before the death of the decased person;
(i) any attorney under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person;
(j) any person belonging to a class of persons prescribed by the regulations.
Therefore, if you fall within one of the above categories, you are entitled to a copy of the Will after someone’s death, and the executor must provide you with a copy.
You can also approach the Supreme Court of New South Wales probate registry. However it does not provide a copy of a Will to any person, you must be related or have an interest in the estate of the deceased.
There are other ways of obtaining the Will. For example, if probate has been granted, a search can be conducted at the Supreme Court of New South Wales for a nominal fee. A copy of the probate, with the Will attached, will be given to you if you are an applicable person.
The Supreme Court probate registry does not provide a copy of the assets and liabilities of the Estate but it will give you the name and details of the Solicitor who lodged the application for Probate and provide a copy of the Will.
Enquiries can be made at the Supreme Court of New South Wales :- AddressSupreme Court of New South Wales Probate Division Queen’s Square, Sydney NSW 2000Telephone(02) 9230 8111Websitehttp://www.supremecourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/
If you would like advice regarding challenging a Will call our Will teams on 9667 1271 (Mascot) or 9264 7244 (Sydney)