Wills and Estate FAQ’s

Wills and Estate FAQ’s. Does a will have to be read out at a family meeting?

No, this only happens in America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNumX4wS9w

Who is Entitled to a Copy of the Will?

A ‘residuary beneficiary’ is entitled to a copy of the will. A residuary beneficiary is a person who receives property or other assets that are not specifically left to anyone else.  For example, a will might say: “I give $10,000.00 to each of my grandchildren” and then “to divide the residue between my children”.  The children are the residuary beneficiaries and would be entitled to a copy of the will.


A person who has left a specific item in a will (and is not also a residuary beneficiary) would, not usually be entitled to a copy of the entire will.


How do I get a copy of a will?


If you are one of the persons who may claim under The Family Provision Act or you reasonably believe that you are left something in a person’s will, then the first step would be to write to the person who you believe is the executor or has the will and ask for a copy.

If they refuse, unreasonably, not to give you a copy, you may have grounds to make an application for ‘pre-action discovery’ and for an order for costs against the executor for unreasonably refusing to give you a copy.  You should seek legal advice in this situation.


How do I stop someone from using an invalid will?


If you believe that a will is invalid (for example, because the will maker lacked capacity when they made the will) then it is Important that you take action immediately to stop a grant of probate being made.

A solicitor will lodge a caveat at the probate office to prevent a grant being made.  We highly recommend that you instruct a solicitor for legal advice in this situation.