A loved one of yours has passed away, and it is a sad and emotional period in the lives of you, your family and your friends.
Despite the terrible time, the deceased’s loved ones may naturally wonder if they have been left anything. You may also be unsure who gets what from the deceased estate or whether your loved one even had a Will in the first place.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to find a Will of a deceased person in Australia.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the various ways on how to find a Will of a deceased person in Australia.
Who Can Access a Will Of a Deceased Person In Australia?
Before considering how to find a Will of a deceased person in Australia, it is vital to know who is legally allowed to obtain a copy of that Will.
Section 54 of the Succession Act NSW 2006 provides that any person that is in possession of a Will that relates to an estate in NSW has to arrange a copy of that Will for any person named below:
- Any party who may have a claim against the estate;
- A parent or guardian of the deceased;
- A party who is named in the current Will, either as a beneficiary or otherwise;
- A person who is named or referred to in any previous Wills of the deceased;
- Any surviving children of the deceased;
- The spouse of the deceased;
- A parent or guardian of the deceased; and
- Anyone who was responsible for managing the deceased’s estate before they passed away
How To Find a Will Of a Deceased Person In Australia?
If you are a beneficiary of a Will in NSW, there are several ways in which you can obtain and find a Will of a deceased person in Australia.
Here are some of the easiest and most common ways on how to find a Will of a deceased person in Australia:
1. Perform an online search on the NSW Supreme Court Online Registry website for the details of the deceased and their Will.
2. Contact the Supreme Court Probate Registry via telephone and request a copy of the Will from their records. They can be contacted on 1300 679 272.
3. Contact the executor of the estate and request a copy of it. As a beneficiary, you are well within your rights to have access to a copy, and they are required to provide a copy of the Will for you.
If you are unsure who the estate’s executor is, you should try to reach out to someone you believe alternatively may have a copy of the Will instead, or rather knows who the executor may be.
4. Contact the lawyers of the executor and request a copy of the Will
Can I View The Will Before a Grant Of Probate Has Been Issued?
The probate process can take weeks or even months.
As such, anyone who seeks to view the Will of the deceased must wait during this process. Meanwhile, the executor of the estate does not have to provide any beneficiary with any information about the Will’s contents before the probate has been issued.
Once the Court has been issued a grant of probate, the Will of the deceased will be attached to it, and the documents are made public. From here, you may enquire with the Probate Registry to view the Will.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to directly apply to the Supreme Court for a sealed or certified copy of the grant of probate in NSW. This is known as an application for an exemption. To determine whether you meet the criteria for a successful application, you should consider discussing the matter with an experienced Wills and Estates attorney.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing how to find a will of a deceased person in Australia, it is important to remember that there are multiple ways to find a Will of a deceased person.
If you are still unsure about the best course of action to take, please feel free to contact our team of friendly and experienced Wills & Estates solicitors today. We are here to help you in your time of need.
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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