Who can use the NZ Will Registry?
Only lawyers with a current practising certificate can register. Lawyers who register with us will be checked to confirm their practising certificate is current and we'll regularly check to confirm their certificate remains current.
If you are not a lawyer and would like to register your Will we suggest you talk to a lawyer.
How do I register a Will?
Simply complete the Registration form to create an account and then select ‘Add a New Will’ from the ‘Manage Wills’ page.
How to search for a Will?
Enter in as much information as you have into the search box, the system will display any matching Wills registered.
Can anyone search for a Will?
No, only a lawyer with a practising certificate can register us and search for Wills in the Will Registry.
What does it mean if my search returns 0 results?
This may mean the person you are looking for does not have a Will or that their Will is not registered with the NZ Will Registry. If you get no results or cannot find the correct person in the registry, then you can choose to notify all lawyers registered with the Will Registry to see if any of them have the Will.
What information does the Will Registry keep?
The New Zealand Will Registry will store only the information you provide. At a minimum this is the testator's full name, email address, creation date and the location of the Will.
Is my Will publicly searchable?
No. We have recently made some changes to ensure only registered lawyers can use the registry. These changes have been made based on feedback provided by the legal community. If you are a member of the public and would like to find a Will we suggest you contact a lawyer.
How much does it cost to register a Will?
It costs nothing to register a Will and the details can be updated as many times as needed. However, if you are not a lawyer, you will need to get a Lawyer to register your Will, they may charge a fee for this.
How much does it cost to search for a Will?
If you are registered as a lawyer, then please see our Fees page for full pricing. We cannot guarantee that a search will return any results. Where your search does not find the Will you are looking for, the Registry allows you to send an email notification to other lawyers registered on the site to see if they have the Will.
Why can only Lawyers use the registry?
We have recently removed general public access to the Will Registry. These changes have been based on feedback from the legal community. They expressed some concerns about the general public having access. We removed public access to ensure that the legal community felt confidence in the service that we are providing. If you are looking for a Will we suggest you contact a lawyer to find its location.
What happens if a Will can’t be found?
If your executors/family/beneficiaries cannot find your Will then the Laws of Intestacy apply. Under this law your estate is divided up in a set way, for example:
- If there is a spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, and children, the spouse or partner takes all the personal chattels, a prescribed amount (currently $155,000) and one third of the rest, and the children take the other two thirds;
- If there is no spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, the deceased's children will take everything in equal shares;
- If there is no spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, or any children, the deceased's parents will take everything;
- If there is no spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, children or parents, the deceased's brothers and sisters take everything in equal shares.
And if you have no close family, your estate may simply end up going to the Government.
My Will is kept at my lawyer’s office, do I still need to register it?
If your lawyer is a member of the New Zealand Will Registry then your Will might have already been registered. Otherwise you can ask them to register it for you.
My granddad recently died, how do I find his Will in the registry?
We suggest you talk to a Lawyer and ask them to check the Registry.
Should I have a Will?
Yes – we believe that all New Zealanders over the age of 18 should have a Will to ensure that their wishes are followed if the worst happens. By having a Will you can ensure your personal things go to the people who you want to have them.
How secure is my information?
At New Zealand Wills Registry we take the security of your information very seriously. High levels of encryption are used at all times to ensure your information cannot be read by anyone else. We regularly run penetration tests to ensure that no one can gain unauthorised access to your data.