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:
- Firstly, contact the executor or other person you believe may have possession of the will and request a copy
- Look online the NSW Supreme Court website and do a search for the details of the deceased.
- Contact the lawyers of the executor to request a copy of the will
- 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 copy of a will in NSW and you still have not found the will.