A man aged 55, created a text message addressed to his brother, in which he gave “all that I have” to his brother and nephew. The message was discovered in the drafts folder on the man’s mobile after he took his own life last year.
Brisbane Supreme Court ruled that the wording of the text implied that the man planned it to act as his will. In the message, the man gave details of how to access his bank account and where he had concealed money in his house. “Put my ashes in the back garden,” was written. “A bit of cash behind TV and a bit in the bank.”
The man’s wife applied to administer his assets and argued that the text message was not acceptable as a will because it was never sent. Usually, for a will to be valid in Queensland, it must be signed and written by two witnesses.
Justice Susan Brown said the phrasing of the text message, which ended with the words “my will”, showed that the man planned it to act as his will. “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,” also saying, the “informal nature” of the message did not prevent it representing the man’s intentions, particularly as it was “created on or about the time that the deceased was contemplating death, such that he even indicated where he wanted his ashes to be placed”.
The Law in Queensland (in 2006) was altered to allow less proper types of documents to be considered as a will. Another uncommon will accepted in Queensland includes a DVD marked with “my will”, in 2013.
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