The question is often asked about whether an Executor of an estate has any obligation to conduct a “reading of the Will”. This is where the deceased’s family and friends are gathered together and the Will is read out loud and the provisions of the Will are revealed. These scenes are often portrayed in American movies; however there is no duty in Australia to have a reading of the Will.
How do I find out what is in the Will?
Under section 54 of the Succession Act 2006, the following people are entitled to inspect or obtain a copy of the deceased’s Will:-
- Any person referred to in the last will OR an earlier will of the deceased person, whether or not they are a beneficiary;
- The spouse, de facto partner, child, parent or guardian of the deceased person;
- Any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased person had died intestate (without a will);
- 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 attorney appointed under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person.
As you can see, the range of persons who are entitled to a copy of the Will is wide. Any person who is in possession of the deceased’s Will or a copy of the Will is under an obligation to provide any person who fits within the above categories with a copy of the Will.
If you are having difficulty in obtaining a copy of a deceased person’s Will, please don’t hesitate to contact your nearest Turner Freeman office for assistance.
I have obtained a copy of the will and am not in it, but I think I should be. What do I do?
If you feel that you have unfairly been left out of a will, call your nearest Turner Freeman Office on 13 43 63 today for information about challenging or contesting a Will. We’ll arrange to have obligation free chat with you about the possibility of making a claim for family provision. Turner Freeman will often act for claimants on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, and we will discuss that with you in plain English at an early stage so there are no hidden surprises. It is important to note that strict time limits also apply to family provision claims.
Our New South Wales offices are in Sydney, Parramatta, Campbelltown, Newcastle, Penrith, Wollongong and Gloucester.