One question that lingers on many peoples’ minds when taking steps to prepare their Will is who will be able to view the Will when the time comes. The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) sets out who is entitled to inspect or obtain a copy of your Will, under Section 33Z.
Section 33Z indicates that a person who is in possession or control of the will of a deceased testator must allow an entitled person to inspect the will, and/or give an entitled person a certified copy of the will on payment of the person’s reasonable expenses on giving the certified copy. The person who has possession or control of the will, or a copy of the will, must also produce it in court if required.
Who is an ‘entitled person’?
Under the Succession Act, the following are considered to fall into the class of ‘entitled person’:
- a person mentioned in the will, whether as beneficiary or not and whether named or not; or
- a person mentioned in any earlier will of the testator as a beneficiary and whether named or not; or
- a spouse, parent or issue of the testator; or
- a person who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the testator if the testator had died intestate; or
- a parent or guardian of a minor mentioned in the will or who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the testator had died intestate; or
- a creditor or other person who has a claim at law or in equity against the estate; or
- a person who may apply for an order under section 41 (Estate of a deceased person liable for maintenance).
This provision ensures that anyone directly affected by your will is able to know how it concerns them.
The person with control of the will (usually the executor) must provide a copy of the will to anyone who falls within a category set out in section 33Z if asked, but does not need to do so unless the request is made.
Will makers should be aware that their spouse, parents and children are able to request a copy of the will, even if they are not a beneficiary under your will. It is also important to note that if you mention someone in your will by name they will be entitled to receive a copy of the will.
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