Who can get a copy of your Will while you are alive?
If you’ve made a Will you’ve likely encountered the “nosey parkers” who want to know who is going to get a slice of the pie.
Your Will does not come into effect until you die and whilst you are alive and have capacity, you are the only person who should have access to your Will. If you decide to give a copy to another person, that is entirely up to you. However, if you are the only person that has a copy of your Will it is important to let your executors know where the original is located so that they can find it once you have died.
An exception to the general rule is that if you have appointed an attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf then that attorney will have the right to obtain a copy of your Will once the financial power begins. This is important so that your attorney can avoid dealing with assets on your behalf that you have specifically gifted under your Will.
Who can get a copy of your Will once you have died?
Once you have died, the rules change. Depending on your family structure, there could be a number of people who are entitled to obtain a copy of your Will. This includes but is not limited to your spouse, your children, your parents, a creditor or any person who may have been mentioned in your previous Will/s.
It is also important to note that should your executors need to apply for a Grant of Probate then your Will becomes a public document. For that reason your Will is often not the place to air your ‘dirty laundry’. It is much better to discuss these issues with your family during your lifetime.
access, alesha benbow, attorney, capacity, grant of probate, obtain a copy of will, spouse, will