In a recent case the Court had to consider the validity of a Will made electronically.
The question for the Court was whether a series of messages, made by the Deceased, on his iPhone, shortly before his suicide, should be declared a Will under Section 18, Succession Act.
Section 18 provides that the Court may dispense with the execution requirements for a Will, alteration, or revocation.
In the case, the Judge found that the three conditions required by Section 18 were satisfied.
• The messages created and stored in the iPhone constituted a document. Under Section 5 of the Succession Act a document, for the purposes of Section 18 is defined as any disc, tape, or any other article or any material from which writing can be produced.
• The document stated the Testamentary intentions of the Deceased which disposed of all of his property and appointed an executor and a substitute executor.
• The Deceased intended the document to form his Will. He commenced with the words “This is the last Will and Testament…”, an executor was appointed and the Deceased’s name was typed at the end of the record on the iPhone. It was intended to be legally operative in disposing of the Deceased’s property on his death.
A declaration was made that the electronic document was a valid Will.
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