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Draft text on mobile recognised as will by Queensland court

12 October 2017

A court in Queensland, Australia has accepted an unsent, draft text message on a mobile phone as an official will, the BBC has reported.

It was composed by a 55 year old man, who went on to take his own life, and addressed to his brother, leaving "all that I have" to his brother and nephew. It was found in the drafts folder on the man's phone after his death.

The message contained details of how to access his bank account, where he had hidden money in his house, and an instruction to "Put my ashes in the back garden".

His widow, who applied to manage his estate, argued that the message was not valid as a will because it was never sent, but
Justice Susan Brown said the wording of the message, which ended with the words "my will", showed it was intended it to act as such.

"The reference to his house and superannuation and his specification that the applicant was to take her own things indicates he was aware of the nature and extent of his estate, which was relatively small", she ruled. The message was "created on or about the time that the deceased was contemplating death".

Since 2006, the law in Queensland has allowed less formal types of documents to be considered as a will. A 2013 case recognised a DVD marked "my will".

 


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