The importance of seeking legal assistance when drawing up a Will was again highlighted this week when an unsent text message was accepted by a Queensland court to be a valid Will, under Queensland provisions, that largely mirror their Victorian counterparts.
The text contained directions as to who should receive the writer’s property after his death, and what should be done with his remains. The text message signed off simply with the words ‘my Will’ and a smiley face emoji.
This Queensland finding is in stark contrast to a recent trend in Victorian Supreme Court decisions unwilling to accept informal Wills, particularly if there is any doubt about the testator’s capacity, or their intention to create a Will.
However, the finding, which came over a year after the deceased’s death, and after a (no doubt) expensive legal dispute, only goes to further reinforce the importance of obtaining legal advice in preparing and executing Wills. By not doing so, not only do you pass up the many structuring opportunities that may be available to your family after your death, but you also leave open the possibility, particularly in Victoria, of your ‘Will’ being deemed invalid, meaning that your true testamentary wishes may not be followed. New South Wales along with some other states may also have similar issues.