*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in New South Wales.
We are often asked whether the Executor of an estate is obligated to organise a reading of the Will and who must be invited to this event. The reading of a Will is when the Executor gathers the deceased’s family and friends and reads the Will to them.
While this scene is often portrayed in movies, it is not an obligation in Australia to have a reading of the Will. In fact, it rarely occurs.
How do I know if I am in the Will?
There are several ways you can find out what is in the Will:
1. Ask the executor for a copy of the Will.
One way is to contact the executor to ask for a copy of the Will. The executor then may provide you with a copy to read.
2. Ask to inspect the Will.
In accordance with section 54 of the Succession Act 2006, the following people can request to inspect the Will:
- any person named or referred to in the Will, whether as a beneficiary or not,
- any person named or referred to in an earlier Will as a beneficiary of the deceased person,
- the surviving spouse, de facto partner or issue of the deceased person,
- a parent or guardian of the deceased person,
- any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased person if the deceased person had died intestate,
- any parent or guardian of a minor referred to in the Will or who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the testator if the testator had 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,
- any person committed with the management of the deceased person’s estate under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 immediately before the death of the deceased person,
- any attorney under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person,
- any person belonging to a class of persons prescribed by the regulations.
If you fall into one of the categories mentioned above, you may request for a copy of all the deceased’s Wills including any previous Wills. The executor will be obligated to provide you with a copy.
3. If you fall within one of the categories and the executor continues to refuse to provide you with a copy, kindly contact us to discuss your options.
We may be able to write to the executor or their solicitor to request a copy of the Will. In certain circumstances we may request a copy of the Will from the NSW Supreme Court Probate Registry.
What do I do if I am not mentioned in the Will?
If you feel like you should be in the Will or unfairly left out, you may have a claim against the deceased estate. Kindly contact your nearest Turner Freeman office at 13 43 63 to have an obligation free discussion of any potential claim you may have.
I have received the Will but I don’t think this is the correct Will.
If you think that the deceased has another Will that the executor has not disclosed, you may be able to contest the Will. Please contact nearest Turner Freeman office at 13 43 63 to discuss any potential claim you may have.