How to Get a Copy of a Will in NSW

If you have been named as a beneficiary in a deceased estate, you may need to know how to get a copy of a will in NSW.

As someone named as a beneficiary in a will, you don’t automatically get a copy of the will.

However, if for some reason you would like to see the will, you can apply to receive a copy.

The Probate and Administration Act 1898 specifies that once a will has been admitted to probate, any person can apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for a copy, provided they pay the associated fees.

Before probate, Section 54 of the Succession Act 2006 states that any person who has possession of the will, usually the executor, must provide copies of the will upon request to the following people:

  • Any person named in the will
  • A person or beneficiary named in any previous will
  • The spouse or child of the deceased
  • The parent of the deceased
  • Anyone who would have been entitled to a share of the estate had the deceased died without a will
  • Any person who may have a claim against the estate of the deceased
  • Any person who was entrusted with the management of the deceased person’s estate under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 before the will-maker’s death
  • An attorney acting as under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person
  • Any other person as prescribed by the NSW succession regulations

How to Get a Copy of a Will in NSWHow to Get a Copy of a Will in NSW

If you are a beneficiary of an estate in NSW and you wish to obtain a copy of the will, we advise following these steps in order:

  1. Firstly, contact the executor or other person you believe may have possession of the will and request a copy
  2. Look online the NSW Supreme Court website and do a search for the details of the deceased.
  3. Contact the lawyers of the executor to request a copy of the will
  4. Contact the Supreme Court probate registry and request a copy from their records The NSW Probate registry can be contacted on 1300 679 272, or you can apply to obtain a copy of a will on their website.

To obtain a copy of the will, you may need to identify yourself and prove that you are an eligible person as per the Succession Act.

Be aware that you will also most likely have to pay any administrative fees applicable to making a copy of the will.

Finding the Executor

Rarely, it may be the case that when attempting to obtain a copy of the will, you find you are unaware of who the executor is.

If you find yourself in this position, you should monitor the newspapers in the area where the deceased lived before passing away.

Often, a legal or death notice will be placed in a newspaper listing the executor and/or solicitor’s contact details.

Lodging a Caveat

In some cases, where you believe you have an interest in the deceased’s estate, it may be necessary for you to lodge a caveat on a grant or re-seal of probate.

A caveat provides notice that you have an interest in the deceased estate before probate is granted by the court.

It is advisable to speak with one of our experienced wills and estate lawyers if you are considering lodging a caveat or if you have followed the steps in our article how to get a coy of a will in NSW and you still have not found the will.

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