Avoid legal limbo - create a valid will

Avoid legal limbo - create a valid will

Avoid legal limbo - create a valid will

The Public Trustee has revealed that 50 per cent of Western Australians over 40 do not have a valid will. With litigation regarding wills increasing in Australia, it’s become more important than ever to create a valid will using a suitably qualified, experienced solicitor.

 The Western Australian case

In a recent Western Australian case, a woman and her husband were in the process of formalising their wills, when the husband died unexpectedly, before the will could be finalised. The woman is now undergoing an expensive and complex court process to deal with her late husband’s estate.

The Queensland case

In another recent case, an unsent text message found in a deceased man’s mobile phone was treated as a valid will. The Queensland case involved a bitter and costly legal battle amongst the deceased’s family. Had a valid will been made, the stoush may have been avoided.

The Queensland Supreme Court heard that the deceased tragically took his own life in October 2016, leaving a son, widow, and two brothers. He had made no formal will that could be found by his family. However, an unsent text message was located in his phone, which left his property to one of his brothers and his nephew.

The deceased’s estranged widow applied to have the estate distributed to herself and the deceased’s son, on the basis that the deceased died without a valid will. The deceased’s brother and nephew sought to have the unsent text treated as an informal (yet valid) will under Queensland law.  

The court rejected the widow’s application, in favour of the brother and nephew.

The text message, though unsent, was found to convey the deceased’s intention to distribute his property to his brother and nephew upon his death.

What does this mean for me?

Don’t leave it to chance!

Despite the Queensland case, informal wills are not automatically legally binding, and the Public Trustee will not resolve any legal issues if you don’t leave a valid will.

Prepare a formal will, and prevent potentially nasty legal battles and further suffering after the loss of a loved one.

At Butler’s, we always advise our clients to create a formal will, drafted quickly and efficiently by our experienced Wills & Estates lawyers. Creating a will with Butler's puts you in better stead to account for any tragic events, and ensures your family is properly provided for on your passing, according to your exact wishes.

To enquire about creating a properly drafted will, contact us on (08) 9386 5200, or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018