Tags: unsent | text | message | will

Unsent Text Message 'Will' Stands in Australian Court

Image: Unsent Text Message 'Will' Stands in Australian Court
A man's last will written in an unsent text message was ruled as official by an Australian court. (Panithi33/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017 01:52 PM

An Australian man's unsent text message "will" leaving his possessions to his brother and nephew instead of his wife and son can count as his official will, the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane ruled Monday.

Mark Nichol, 55, allegedly took his own life in October 2016 after writing a text to his brother David Nichol with the words "my will," stating that David Nichol and nephew Jack Nichol were entitled to "keep all that I have" because he was upset with his wife, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The unsent text message, which was found on a phone near Mark Nichol's body by a friend, detailed how to access his bank account and where he wanted his ashes to be buried, the network stated.

A court document showed the man's assets included a home, two bank accounts, and household effects.

Mark Nichol's wife, Julie Ellen Nichol, argued to the Supreme Court that the text message should not be ruled as a valid will because it was never sent.

According to ABC, if a person dies in Queensland without a valid will, their next of kin, such as a spouse, takes on the role of managing the deceased's estate. The Queensland government says a will should be "signed by you in front of two witnesses, both of whom must be over 18 years old, cannot be visually impaired and should not be included as beneficiaries in the will," noted the broadcaster.

The court ruled there was no medical evidence to indicate the deceased did not have the capacity to know what he was doing, especially since he used the term "my will" to indicate what he was typing were his final wishes.

The court also pointed out the deceased and his wife were married a short time and had already experienced "three occasions of separation," including two days before his death, while his son "was estranged from him."

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Justice Susan Brown also took into account that the text message was "created on or about the time that the deceased was contemplating death, such that he even indicated where he wanted his ashes to be placed."

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TheWire
An Australian man wrote his last will in an unsent text message, leaving his possessions to his brother and nephew instead of his wife and son, and the Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane ruled Monday the message can count as his official will.
unsent, text, message, will
361
2017-52-11
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017 01:52 PM
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