Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DVD wills

While not as quickly as other areas of the community, the legal industry is starting to embrace technology changes.

One case that highlights the point is Mellino v Wnuk & Ors [2013] QSC336. As usual, a link to the full decision can be found here. [http://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/2013/QSC13-336.pdf#!]

In summary, the critical aspects of this case are as follows:
  1. a deceased man, who had committed suicide, had made a DVD shortly before his death;
  2. on the physical copy of DVD, the man had written 'my will';
  3. the content on the DVD also, in a very informal way, explained the intention that the recording was to operate as a will on death;
  4. the court decided that each of the main requirements from a succession law perspective had been satisfied and therefore the DVD could operate as the deceased’s last will;
  5. the three main tests in this regard were as follows:
    1. the DVD was considered to be a 'document';
    2. the clear intention of the document was that it articulated the deceased's testamentary intentions; and
    3. the DVD adequately dealt with all property owned by the deceased at the date of his death.
Until next week.