The Public Trustee maintains a confidential Wills Registry which acts as a central information centre for all Wills that are drawn up, of which notice has been given to the Public Trustee.
Benefits of the Wills Registry
In the administration of a deceased’s estate, the administrator or executor (the person appointed to handle the estate of deceased) has to first ascertain whether the deceased left behind a Will. Often, the next-of-kin or beneficiaries may also believe that the deceased may have done so but do not have a copy of the Will or information as to which solicitor/Will writer drew up the Will.
The information available from the Wills Registry will be useful to the following persons:
- The person who made the Will (also known as the testator) and/or his/her solicitor/Will writer if the testator wishes to make a subsequent Will;
- The next-of-kin or beneficiaries of a deceased testator and/or the solicitors acting for the estate of the deceased testator to assist them in the administration of the deceased testator’s estate; or
- The next-of-kin or beneficiaries of a deceased and/or their solicitors in determining whether the deceased left behind a Will governing the distribution of his/her estate.
Information provided by the Wills Registry
The following information is available from the Wills Registry to an approved applicant:
- Particulars of the Testator;
- Date of Will and Codicil (ie. a supplement modifying a Will);
- Particulars of the Solicitor/Will writer who drew up the Will;
- Particulars of the Custodian of the Will; and
- Particulars of the Informant.
It is important to note that the Wills Registry doesn’t keep a copy of your Will and therefore the safe keeping of the physical Will is still important.