New Zealand Law Society - Will notices

Will notices

New Zealand has no official register of wills. To assist lawyers and the public in finding wills that may be held by lawyers, the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa publishes will notices in LawPoints - our email newsletter sent every Thursday to all registered lawyers across the country.

Looking for a will? Find out how to list an enquiry with us

If you know the area where a will is likely to have been made, a notice can be placed in the local Law Society branch newsletter. You can find their contact details here.

All will notices placed in LawPoints, as well as in branch newsletters, are also published on our website in a dedicated section. Will notices placed in LawPoints take the form of a link to the notice on the website.

If you want to place a will notice in LawPoints please contact us via advertising@lawsociety.org.nz

What information is required for a will notice?

You will need to provide us with:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Town of city where they lived
  • Occupation
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Name and contact details of the lawyer wishing to execute the will

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of this information, we can work with you to identify the most important details to increase the likelihood of finding a will.

We prefer this information to be provided via email. This means we can copy it straight into our channels which minimizes the chance of any details being wrong.

If attaching your request, or the information you’re providing to an email please use a word document rather than a PDF.

What does a will notice look like?

Will notices typically follow this template:

[Name of deceased]

Would any lawyer holding a will for the above-named, late of [town or address], [occupation], born on [date of birth] who died on [date of death], please contact [lawyer’s name]:
Email: [email address]
Phone: [phone number]
Post:[postal address]

How much does it cost?

The cost for placing the notice is $75.00+GST ($86.25) for LawPoints and $50.00+GST ($57.50) for branch newsletters. This cost is for one placement in the newsletter of your preference. After that, the notice remains available on our website.

Frequency and deadlines of publications

Will notices are uploaded on our website on Thursday around midday in preparation inclusion in LawPoints being sent in the evening. Deadline to receive request is Wednesday 4pm for lawyers and Tuesday 4pm for members of the public.

Who handles responses to a will notice?

The law firm, lawyer or individual who places the notice will be the main contact for any inquiries. The Law Society doesn’t manage responses to will notices.

How long should I wait after advertising before I continue with settling the estate?

The feedback we have received is that law firms wait two to four weeks after publication of a will notice before continuing with their estates’ administration processes.

Where can I find more information on the process of probate?

The Ministry of Justice has further information about applying for probate and getting a copy of a will and the Community Law Foundation also hosts information about making a will and the process for executing it.

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