Australia: Unsent text message on man's phone qualifies as his will

Australia: Unsent text message on man's phone qualifies as his will

The judge made the ruling after the dead man's wife applied to manage her late husband's estate, arguing the text message was not valid as it was never actually sent.

Under the state's laws, a deceased's next of kin - such as a spouse - becomes the manager of his or her estate if a will is not prepared.

According to the will law in Queensland, if a person is writing his/her own will and if it's not witnessed properly, a court decision might be needed to sort out the problem, as is seen in this case where a plethora of evidences were produced to prove that the deceased's relationship with wife went downhill.

A supreme court in Brisbane, Australia, ruled that an unsent text typed by a 55-year-old man, shortly before he took his own life, will be treated as his will. The text, signed off with a smiley face emoji, was found on the drafts folder of the man's phone.

In the message, the man gave details of how to access his bank account and where he had hidden money in his house.

It also contained an abbreviation that matched his initials and date of birth, as well as the words "My will".

However, Justice Susan Brown deemed that the text should be counted as a will in a hearing at Queensland Supreme Court citing a previous case in which a DVD marked "my will" was deemed valid, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Christine Smyth, president of the Queensland Law Society and a specialist in succession law, told ABC News that the law was relaxed in 2006 to allow wills that did "not strictly comply with the legislation". The unsent message, which was on the drafts section of the phone, was accepted as an official will.

The unsent text was found by the man's friend near his body.

"The terms of the text message and his specification that it was "my will" and that it addressed the disposition of his assets shows that the deceased appreciated the significance of what he was doing by creating the text message", she added.

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