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;
- 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