Who can see the Will?

WillClients often ask us who is entitled to see a copy of a Will (and obtain a copy of the Will) once the testator has passed away.

The answer can be found in section 54 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW), which provides a list of categories of persons entitled to inspect the Will:

  • anyone named in the Will (whether or not they are named as a beneficiary)
  • anyone who is named or referred to in an earlier Will as a beneficiary (even if they are not named in the latest Will)
  • a parent, guardian, spouse, defacto partner or child of the deceased
  • a parent or guardian of any child referred to in the Will or who would be entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate if they had died intestate (ie without leaving a Will)
  • any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased had died intestate
  • any person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate
  • any attorney who held an enduring power of attorney given by the deceased
  • any person who had formal management of the deceased’s affairs under certain legislation

The NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages created a Will Register whereby testators could register the details and whereabouts of their original Will.  However the Registry was discontinued in January 2013, although searches can still be made for Wills registered prior to that date.

Please contact the team at Shire Legal if you have any questions.

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