Monday, February 17, 2014
Under sad circumstances in Australia, where the testator took his own life after creating a "series of documents on his iPhone, most of them final farewells," the Supreme Court of Queensland has ruled that the man's Will created on the iPhone was properly subject to probate.
Key to the decision in In Re Yu,  QSC 322, are the findings that the electronically created and stored document satisfied all three elements required for nontraditional documents to be accepted for probate under Australian law, including:
1. The existence of a document, which can include "any disc, tape, or other article, or any material form from which writings are capable fo being produced or reproduced, with or without the aid of another article or device."
2. Whether the document purports to state the testamentary intentions of the deceased.
3. Whether the decased inteneded the document to form his Will.
The Supreme Court of Queensland is the highest court of Queensland and includes both a trial court and a Court of Appeal. This decision was issued at the trial court level.
I can see U.S. law professors -- and law students -- already thinking about variations on this fact pattern. Gives additional significance to the question, "Is there an app for that?"