When someone passes away, it is quite common for family members and/or other interested parties to ask about obtaining a copy or attending the “reading of the will” (if there is one).
It is also quite common for people to be told that they are not entitled to view the will or have a copy of the document when this might not be the case.
Under s54 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW), if you fall into any one of the following categories, then you are entitled to a copy of any testamentary document purporting to be a will (which also includes revoked wills), at your own expense: –
- If you are named in the will, whether a beneficiary or not;
- If you are named in an earlier will as a beneficiary of the deceased person’s estate;
- If you are a spouse or de facto partner (whether of the same or opposite sex);
- If you are a parent or guardian of the deceased person/testator;
- If you are a person who would have been entitled to a share of the estate had the person died intestate (without a will);
- If you are a parent or guardian of a minor who is referred to in the will;
- If you are a parent or guardian of a minor who would have been entitled to a share of the estate had the deceased person died intestate;
- If you are a person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate of the deceased person;
- If you are an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney made by the deceased person;
- If you are a person (or entity) committed with the management of the deceased persons estate under the NSW Trustee & Guardian Act 2009 (NSW) immediately before the death of the deceased person;
- Any person belonging to a class of persons prescribed by the regulations.
Any person who has possession or control of a will of a deceased person must allow any one of the above persons to inspect or be given copies of the will.
If you require any assistance or advice in relation to obtaining a copy of the will of a deceased person contact our office.