Dead man's unsent text with emoji a legitimate will, Australian court rules

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In a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Susan Brown said the woman "particularly attaches significance to the fact that the deceased did not send the text message". The message was found in the drafts folder on the man's phone after he took his own life a year ago.

An unsent text message ending with a smiley face that was written by a man before taking his own life has been deemed a will.

As a result of the decision, the man's brother and nephew became the legal owners of the deceased's inheritance, leaving his wife and son with no right to his savings or assets.

The family feud over the status of the text played out in the Queensland Supreme Court as the man's brother and nephew asked for the message to be treated as his final will.

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A will on an unsent text message is not common and the court had to take a look at it to see if it could be accepted.

"You and [nephew] keep all that I have house and superannuation, put my ashes in the back garden ..." It mentions a bit of cash behind the TV and a bit in the cash card pin, then ended with the words "my will". The text, signed off with a smiley face emoji, was found on the drafts folder of the man's phone. The majority of the wills are written and in his city, they have to be signed by two witnesses.

Eleven years ago, the city changed its law to allow other documents to be accepted as wills.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Australia, has declared the text message to be a valid will. "The deceased and the applicant had difficulties in their relationship and had separated on a number of occasions for short periods of time, the most recent occasion being just days before the deceased took his own life", Justice Brown said.

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