Is a draft unsent text message considered to be a valid Will? This was a question recently posed to the Court.
The deceased prepared the draft text which was addressed to his brother and nephew and gave them “all that I have”. The deceased also left directions about the disposal of his ashes and provided his PIN number to access his bank account. The deceased also dated the text, included the words “my will” and his initials and date of birth.
The deceased’s wife and child made an application to the Supreme Court arguing that the draft text wasn’t valid as it wasn’t sent (inferring the deceased hadn’t made up his mind) and that the draft text wasn’t intended to be a Will (given some conduct of the deceased previously).
After a forensic investigation of the phone and despite the draft not being sent and being very informal, the Court held that the draft text was a valid document.
Two practical considerations come from this decision; one, it took a year from the date of death for the application to be made and the Court to publish its judgement; and two, the deceased’s estate had to pay all the costs.
So yes a text might be a Will however you can avoid the delay and expense (as well as the stress of your family) by having a properly drafted Will. Give us a call to have a properly drafted Will prepared for you prepared by one of our expert Wills & Estates lawyers.
This post is general information only. It is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. If you have a legal issue, you should always contact your lawyer to obtain advice that is relevant to your circumstances.