Your Will

DVD Will Recognised by South Australian Court

Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers has successfully argued for a DVD Will to be admitted to probate and recognised as valid.

Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers has successfully argued for a DVD Will to be admitted to probate and recognised as valid.

The application was made on behalf of a client, the deceased’s sister, who was granted control of the deceased’s estate.

This is the first time where a DVD Will has been deemed valid by a South Australian Court, and the second in Australia.

The Hon. Justice Gray found that the DVD should be recognised as a “document”.

1.  The DVD is a document for the purposes of section 12(2) of the Wills Act.

2.  It is appropriate to order that both documents be admitted to probate as the will of the deceased pursuant to section 12(2) of the Wills Act.

3.  The applicant is appointed as executor by the tenor.

“This is a very rare and significant decision,” Tindall Gask Bentley Consultant Rosemary Caruso said.

“The legislation is from 1936 and does not recognise non-traditional documents as Valid Wills, therefore it was necessary to make an application to the South Australian Supreme Court for the DVD Will to be admitted to probate.

“It is a great relief for our client, who is pleased that her brother’s wishes were honoured.”

In 2013, a DVD and an iPhone Will were recognised in Queensland. TGB has also recently had an unsigned Will admitted to probate.

“With the advent of technology, it seems inevitable that we will see more digital and unconventional Wills admitted to probate, however we advise people against going down this path,” Ms Caruso said.

“The application to Court is expensive, and the cost is borne by the estate, meaning there is less left for the family and friends who are beneficiaries.

“It is also stressful for the loved ones involved, and there is more opportunity for the Will to be contested.

“A professionally drafted Will is relatively inexpensive, and ensures that the estate administration process is a smooth one.”  

Read Justice Gray’s judgment here

Start your Will online here or contact your nearest TGB office to arrange an appointment.

On August 1, 2017, the Relationships Register commenced in South Australia, giving greater legal recognition to LGBTQI and de facto relationships. To find out how the Register impacts your will click here.