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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5420
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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In 2011, I was made an executor and beneficiary of a will. I

Customer Question

Hello,
In 2011, I was made an executor and beneficiary of a will. I held the POA for financial affairs also .
In August of this year , my POA was revoked.
The woman passed away last week .
She had a second stroke in November and the State Trustees were appointed guardian.
They were guardian for a week or two , then she died .
I want to know if there was a will that postdated the one I hold .
I have approached her last lawyer who is being coy about whether they hold a will .
The State Trustees are chasing them but not getting an answer or a copy of a will if they
hold one .
The lawyer is telling me to deal with the state trustees , but the state trustees are telling me that the lawyer wont communicate with them .
I believe I have a right to know whether the will I hold was the last one and if not , then by proof of viewing the most recent will
Can you please advise me whether this is correct
regards Peter
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HI , is this being reviewed at present ?
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

Will respond with an answer shortly.

Patrick

Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

There is no certain way to be absolutely sure there is no later will, and the way the law deals with this is that if a person applies for probate presenting a will, part of the process is that they first advertise that they are applying for a grant of probate on that will in order to alert anyone holding a later will that they should come forward. Once probate is granted on a will, if later on a more recent will is found, the executor of the earlier will will be protected from liability for any incorrect distribution.

As regards ***** ***** lawyer being coy about whether they hold a will, you should refer them to section 50 of the Wills Act:

http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/wa199791/s50.html

as any person listed as a beneficiary under an earlier will is entitled to inspect and copy any subequent will if held by a party. If you write to them referring to this section and they fail to acknowledge they have a will, then almost certaily they won't have a copy and could be in trouble if it later turns out they do.

Just because you were removed as a PoA does not mean you were removed as a beneficiary or that the deceased changed their will. The PoA may have been removed for a variety of reasons, including that the deceased had thought it unfair to burden you with being their PoA, so unless someone comes forward with a new will shortly, you should proceed on the basis the will you have is the last will, and if you are listed as the executor, then that means applying for a grant of probate.

i trust the above assists.

Good luck and PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick