It is an emotionally taxing period in the lives of you and your loved ones.
The passing away of a loved one is always a dreadful and stressful experience. Sometimes, figuring out if they had a Will in place can be additional stress you do not need at such an awful time.
Assuming your loved one had a Will in place, the following article is designed to help you run through your options on how to find a Will in NSW.
When Do You Get a Copy Of a Will?
An essential part of understanding how to find a Will in NSW is to first know that as a person who is named as a beneficiary of a Will, you do not automatically receive a copy of that Will.
Accordingly, If you desire to view a copy of the Will, you must apply to receive a copy of that Will.
As per the Probate and Administration Act 1898, anyone can view a Will once it has been admitted to probate by applying to the NSW Supreme Court for a copy and paying the fees to do so.
However, what happens before a grant of probate? Are you permitted to view the Will before that?
The answer to this question depends on who you are and is addressed below.
Who Can Access a Will Before Probate?
Before discussing how to find a Will in NSW, it is crucial to understand first who can legally obtain a copy of a Will before a grant of probate.
Any person in possession of a Will that relates to an estate in NSW has to arrange a copy of that Will for any of the persons below: (Authority for this is found in section 54 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW))
- For parents or guardians of the deceased;
- A party named in the Current Will as a beneficiary or otherwise;
- Any person that was managing the estate of the deceased before their passing;
- The deceased’s spouse;
- The children of the deceased;
- Anyone who is referred to in any previous Wills of the deceased; and
- Any other party that may have a valid claim against the estate
How To Find a Will Of a Deceased Person
Assuming you are a beneficiary of a Will in NSW, there are multiple ways on how to find a Will of a deceased person In NSW.
The most common ways are outlined below:
Firstly – The easiest way is to go on the NSW Supreme Court Online Registry website and perform a search for the details of the deceased and, accordingly, their Will.
Alternatively, if you prefer not to do this online, you can directly contact the NSW Supreme Court Probate Registry via telephone on 1300 679 272 and request a copy of the Will from their records be sent to you.
Secondly, you may contact the estate’s executor and request a copy of the Will from them. If you are a beneficiary of the estate, you can request a copy, and they must provide it to you.
If you do not know who the estate’s executor is, you should contact someone else you believe may know who the executor is or who has a copy of the Will themselves to provide you.
Thirdly – You may contact the lawyers of the executor and request a copy from them.
How To Find The Executor Of The Estate
Although it does not happen often, you may not know who the executor of the estate is in some exceptional circumstances.
In such a situation, the best action to undertake would be to track the newspapers in the location of where the deceased resided before their passing. This will allow you to see if there is any mention of any information that can be of assistance. The typical situation is that a death notice or legal notice is often put in the newspaper, which states the solicitor’s or executors contact information.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as how to find a Will, it is essential to remember that there are several ways to find a Will in NSW, and the best method will depend on your particular circumstances.
If you require any help, please do not hesitate to contact our team of friendly and experienced Wills and Estate Solicitors. We are always happy to assist.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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