Queensland Law Society

What is the rule about who is entitled to inspect and have a copy of the will of a deceased person?

The rule is to be found in s.33Z of the Succession Act 1981

A guidance note which answers this question has been issued by the QLS Succession Law Committee and the QLS Ethics Committee - Guidance note for members: Persons entitled to inspect a will or to obtain a copy of a will: Section 33Z Succession Act 1981 (Qld).

The guidance note also deals with what ‘reasonable expenses’ can be charged by solicitors for providing certified copies under s.33Z.

As for geographical jurisdiction, the critical issue is the location of the will or copy will in Queensland. If the will or copy will is held by a solicitor in Queensland then the obligations apply, irrespective of where the personal representatives or the estate are located.

By s.76(8) of the Succession Act, s.33Z applies to a will regardless of when the testator died.

Remember that you cannot assert a lien for unpaid costs over an original will - see Can I assert a lien over an original will?