Call from beyond the grave: iPhone used to write Will

Published: 11/11/2013

There are fears people will leave their loved ones financially exposed after an Australian Court ruled a Will written on an iPhone to be valid.

The case, which is believed to be a first in Australian law, involved a young man who, after suffering what was described as an ‘intense personal crisis’, typed his Will in the Notes app of his iPhone before taking his own life.

But despite the Will not being legally witnessed as well as questions over the mental state of the testator, the Brisbane Supreme Court deemed the Will valid with Justice Peter Lyons stating “the young man had created it [the Will] with the clear intention of it being legal and operative before he ended his life just moments later”.

However Linda Cummins fears this case could result in people failing to make a legally valid Will:

“The Brisbane Supreme Court made its decision on a very specialist set of circumstances and people should be aware that it is not the ‘norm’ - very strict rules have to be satisfied to have a valid Will.

“A Will can be found to be invalid and gifts may fail for numerous reasons from spelling or grammatical errors to problems with the signing or witnessing of the will or with undue influence or capacity issues. An invalid will results in your assets and estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. This means your loved ones may not inherit what you had intended.

“Do not be misled by this ruling; no one should use an iPhone to make their Will. The best way to ensure your loved ones are protected and provided for is to make a Will with the assistance of a qualified and experienced solicitor or Will-writer.”

Content correct at time of publication

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