A recent Qld Supreme Court decision heralds the iWill. A Will written on an iPhone has been declared valid and probate was granted to the executor named in the Will. This is despite the iWill not being witnessed or physically signed by the deceased.
Lyons J held that the iWill was valid because it was a ‘document’ that set out the deceased testamentary intentions. Further there was evidence the deceased intended the document to ‘form his Will’.
The deceased declared this was his Will, identified himself and his address and appointed an executor before indicating how he wished to dispose of his property. The deceased then left a number of farewell notes on his smart phone and took his own life.
The decision raises many questions:
- What proof is there that the deceased was the one that wrote the Will when it was not signed or witnessed?
- What would prevent another person from changing the Will?
- What was the deceased’s state of mind before he took his own life and did he therefore have ‘capacity’ to create a legal Will?
A will is a serious document. It is intended to last and pass the stringent test of probate. We suspect that this decision will be distinguished on very specific circumstances. Not every Tweet or Facebook message before death will be regarded as a Will. In short, don’t risk your last wishes on a smartphone.
For more information call Matthew Yates. 07 5479 2457
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.