When is a reading of a Will?
You may be wondering this after a loved one of yours has passed away. Understandably, it is a very stressful and emotional period in the lives of you and your family. Unfortunately, for some people, when the reading of a Will takes place, and the technicalities involved with a Will can add to this stress.
Contrary to what you may see on television, the reading of a Will does not necessarily happen in this dramatized way. There is also no such requirement to read the Will out in Australia in such a way.
The purpose of this article is to discuss all the basics you need to know about Wills, including when a Will is read in Australia.
Who Can Legally Access a Will In Australia?
Under Section 54 of the Succession Act NSW (2006), anyone in possession of a Will related to a NSW estate has to provide a copy for any of the following persons:
- Any person named in the Will in any capacity;
- Any party named or referred to in any previous Wills;
- The parent or guardian of the deceased;
- The spouse of the deceased;
- Any children of the deceased;
- Any person that may have a valid claim against the estate;
- Anyone that would have a claim against the estate if the deceased passed away without a Will in place; and
- The person or persons who were responsible for managing the estate of the deceased before their passing.
Any costs involved in obtaining a copy of the Will are to be paid for by the person requesting the copy of the document(s).
How To Access a Copy Of a Will?
In NSW, a beneficiary of a Will can obtain access to a copy of a Will in multiple ways.
These methods include:
1. Contact the estate executor and ask them to provide you with a copy of the Will. The executor of the estate is entrusted with administering the Will of a person after this death. In NSW, executors are responsible for safeguarding the deceased’s assets during probate until they can be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.
2. Get in contact with somebody you may believe has a copy of the Will and request a copy from them. If you are unsure who the executor of the estate is, this is your next best option.
3. Search for the deceased’s details on the NSW Supreme Court Online Probate Registry.
4. Contact the lawyers of the executor or the deceased and request a copy from them.
5. Contact the NSW Supreme Court Probate Registry via telephone and ask for a copy of the Will from their records. Their contact number is 1300 679 272.
How To View a Will After A Grant of Probate
In NSW, you can typically only see a Will after a Grant of Probate has been issued. This means the executor of a Will must apply for the GrantGrant of probate with the NSW Supreme Court after the deceased’s passing. The purpose of this is to confirm that the Will is legally valid and that the executor has the authority to carry out the terms of the Will.
Once the Court has issued a Grant of Probate, the deceased’s Will will be attached to the Grant, and the documents are then made public. Following this, you may enquire with the executor or NSW Supreme Court Probate Registry to view the Will.
How To View a Will Before a Grant Of Probate Has Been Issued
The process for probate can take anywhere from weeks to even months. Accordingly, any party who wishes to view the Will of a deceased person must wait. In the interim, executors are not required to provide beneficiaries with information before the issue of probate.
In NSW, It may be possible to apply directly to the Supreme Court for a certified or sealed copy of a grant of probate with the Will in some exceptional circumstances. To see whether you qualify for the application, you should discuss this matter with an experienced Wills and Estates lawyer.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as the reading of a Will, it is important that you seek legal advice if you are unsure when the reading of a Will occurs.
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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