Court rules that unsent text message is man's last will and testament

Share

The text described how the husband had become disgruntled with his wife. A bit of cash behind TV and a bit in the bank Cash card pin ...

Ms Smyth said while it was accepted in this case, writing a will in a text message was "absolutely not" recommended. The message, found in the drafts folder of a deceased man's phone, indicated he wanted all his possessions to go to his brother and nephew, instead of his wife and son.

The unsent text message was never sent but had important information that convinced the court that the man was using it as a will. In this photo, the outside of the Supreme Court of New South Wales is seen in Sydney on October 9, 2013. In addition to that, the will-maker is also required to have "testamentary capacity", which means that he/she is not suffering from a "disorder of the mind or sane delusion".

In 2006, the law in Queensland was changed to allow less formal types of documents to be considered as a will.

In her ruling, Justice Susan Brown said there were a number of elements in the unsent text message that suggested it was a will, such as instructions on where his ashes will be placed, as well as an order that his wife "will take her stuff only".

She said "the informal nature of the text" did not exclude it from being treated as representing the man's intentions and noted a 2013 Queensland case in which a DVD marked with "my will" was found to constitute a valid will.

"Since the respondents stand to benefit if the text message is treated as a will, I have treated their evidence with caution and weighed it against all of the evidence". Court documents showed that the deceased and his wife had relationship problems, and that she had left him on at least three occasions, the final time being two days prior to his death.

Share