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Who can demand to see a copy of the last Will?

When a person dies, the following people are legally entitled to demand and receive a copy of the deceased’s last will and testament:

  • a parent, guardian, spouse, de facto partner or child of the deceased;
  • a parent or guardian of any child referred to in the will;
  • a parent or guardian of any child who would have received a gift under intestacy laws;
  • anyone named in the will (whether as a beneficiary, executor, guardian or otherwise);
  • anyone named or referred to in an earlier will (even if not named in the latest will);
  • any person including a creditor who may have a claim against the deceased’s estate;
  • an attorney who held an enduring power of attorney given by the deceased;
  • any person who had formal management of the deceased’s affairs such as a bank or the public trustee.

Can you ask for previous versions of the last Will?

In Queensland, you are legally entitled to ask for:

  • the current Will;
  • previous Wills;
  • draft Wills;
  • letters relating to the Will;
  • codicils;
  • any documents purporting to be a Will.

Who can you ask to provide a copy of the last Will?

In Queensland, you can ask anyone who has possession of the Will to hand over a copy of the Will. This could include:

  • a lawyer;
  • the public trustee;
  • an executor;
  • a beneficiary;
  • or any other person who has a copy of the Will.

What to do if someone refuses to give you a copy of the last Will?

If you have requested a copy of the Will from someone who holds a copy of the Will and that person either refuses to hand over the copy of the Will or delays providing you with a copy, you should immediately contact a lawyer to represent your interests and obtain a copy. If you delay obtaining a copy, you may lose your rights because some rights are limited by time.

How do you find a will of a deceased person?

If you don’t know who has a copy of the Will, you should try contacting:

  • family members who may know;
  • the deceased’s lawyer;
  • the deceased’s accountant;
  • the funeral parlour who may have received an enquiry from someone who holds the will off the back of the funeral notice in the paper;
  • the courts probate search list via this link 

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