Unsent text is last will says Australian court

Australian Court Accepts Dead Man’s Will Lying In His Phone’s Draft Folder Leaving Possessions To Brother

In a case like this, where his unsent text clearly asked his brother to "keep all that I have", was taken as his legitimate will.

Despite the wife's appeal calling the text message "unsent" and "not final", the court ruled on the basis of the text's wording.

A friend found the text message in the drafts folder of the man's mobile phone, which was found near his body. The message also contained the PIN of his cash card, and instructions on where he wanted his ashes to be buried.

It was accepted as a last will and testament in a Brisbane court despite not being sent.

The message was found in the drafts folder on the man's phone after he took his own life previous year. In this photo, the outside of the Supreme Court of New South Wales is seen in Sydney on October 9, 2013.

In Queensland, in absence of a signed will, the next of kin of the deceased takes control over the estate.

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Eleven years ago, the city changed its law to allow other documents to be accepted as wills. But, judge Susan Brown said the phrasing of the message (which included the words "my will") indicated the man was of sound mind.

"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".

Another factor that worked against the wife's favor was the fact that she shared a "rocky" relationship with the deceased, leading up to his death and her son did not have much of a relationship with the deceased either.

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.

Justice Brown said it was "uncontroversial" that the relationship between the couple, who had been married for a year and in a relationship for three years and seven months, "had problems" and the wife had left on at least three occasions.

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