Reading of the will

Many people think that when a person dies there will be a reading of the Will. You might imagine a gathering of the deceased’s friends and family where someone reads the Will out loud. Films often portray these dramatic scenes. However, Australia does not require reading a Will in such a manner. It rarely happens.

Even though they traditionally do not read the Will, our Wills and Estates team can assist you. They can review and analyse the Will, provide you with advice and guidance on its contents, inform you about your rights under the Will, and advise you on the next steps available to you.

A beneficiary does have a right to request a copy provided to them and the executor has an obligation to do so. However, they do not automatically receive a copy of the will of the deceased person.

Section 54 of the Succession Act 2006 says:

  • any person named or referred to in the last or prior will, whether as a beneficiary or not;
  • the surviving spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, or guardian of the deceased person;
  • Any person who would be entitled to a share of the deceased person’s estate if the deceased person had died intestate (ie without a Will);
  • any parent or guardian of a minor, or anyone who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased person died intestate;
  • any person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate of the deceased person; and
  • any attorney under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person.

How do I obtain a copy of a Will?

You should contact the executor or the person you believe has possession of the will and request a copy.  If you cannot locate the executor, or you are not successful with your request, our Wills and Estates team to assist you with the next steps.

If Probate has been granted.

The Supreme Court of NSW grants probate. The Grant confirms that the Will is valid and that the executor has permission to distribute the estate. Therefore, if the probate has already been granted, you can request a copy from the Supreme Court of NSW.

If you have questions regarding your Will or Estate, get in touch with our expert team on 02 9964 0499 or use the contact form below.

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The articles on this website comprise legal general information and not legal advice. The general information presented here must not be relied upon without legal advice being sought. In the event that you wish to obtain legal advice on the contents of this general information you may do so by contacting our office or your existing solicitor.