A centralised ACT wills register will be set up to make it easier to lodge, find and retrieve wills after a person’s death, and to prevent wills from being lost or destroyed.
The Legislative Assembly passed the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (No 2) on Thursday.
The bill supports the creation of a new centralised wills register to be managed by the ACT Public Trustee and Guardian. The register was a recommendation of an ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety.
The ACT government says information about wills currently held by the ACT Supreme Court will be transferred to the Public Trustee and Guardian for inclusion in the centralised register.
“It will not be mandatory to deposit a will with the wills register – people will still be able to choose to keep their wills in other places. However, depositing a will with the register will mean it can be easily located after a person’s death,” the government says.
ACT Law Society president Tim Dingwell says: “The legal procedures to administer your estate where there is no will, or the will cannot be located, are complicated and time consuming. This may give rise to unintended consequences, conflict, additional costs, worry and even hardship for your family.
“You should keep your original will in a safe place and tell your executor and your family where your will is kept.
“Ensuring you have a valid will that can be located, whether with your solicitor or lodged with this new wills register, will remove yet another worry for your family at a time of bereavement and disruption.”
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