Court: Unsent Text Message Is a Valid Will

It was found in man's drafts folder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2017 5:33 AM CDT
Court: Unsent Text Message Is a Valid Will
"Keep all that I have," the man texted.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

A last will and textament? An Australian court has decided that a will found in the drafts folder of a dead man's phone is valid, even though it was never witnessed or even sent, the BBC reports. The man, a 55-year-old who killed himself a year ago, made it clear that he was unhappy with his wife and he wanted his assets to go to his brother and his nephew. "You and [nephew] keep all that I have house and superannuation, put my ashes in the back garden … [wife] will take her stuff only she's ok gone back to her ex AGAIN I'm beaten. A bit of cash behind TV and a bit in the bank Cash card pin … My will," he wrote.

The man's wife argued that since the will was never sent, it was not valid, meaning she should be the one to manage his assets. The court—which was told the man had no relationship with his son and a "rocky" one with his wife—decided that the words "My will" established it as a will. Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth tells the Australian Broadcasting Company that the law was changed in 2006 to loosen the requirements for what could be accepted as a will, though it is "absolutely not" recommended for people to have it in the format of text message. (The government wants Americans to have "social media wills.")

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