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Estate of Karter Yu – Australian Court Admits to Probate a Will Created On An iPhone

The Decedent committed suicide in September 2011. Shortly before, he created a series of documents on his iPhone. One document stated, "This is the last Will and Testament" of the Decedent and referred to his address. The document set out his testamentary intentions regarding his entire estate, named executors, and included the Decedent's name at the end of the document where a signature would typically appear.

Australian law provides that if a Court is satisfied that a person intended a document to form his or her Will, then the document is a Will as long as three conditions are met: there has to be document, it has to purport to state the decedent's testamentary intentions, and the decedent had to intend it to form his Will. The Court concluded that the iPhone Will met all these requirements and admitted the Will to probate.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 107

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About this Author

Albert W Gortz, Proskauer Rose Law Firm, Personal Planning Attorney
Partner

Albert W. Gortz is a Partner in the Personal Planning Department and has been with the firm since 1970 and in the Florida office since he opened it in 1977.

561-995-4700
George D Karibjanian, Proskauer Rose Law Firm, Personal Planning Attorney
Senior Counsel

George D. Karibjanian is a Senior Counsel in the Personal Planning Department, resident in the Boca Raton office. George is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts & Estates and is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

561-995-4780
David Pratt, Personal Planning Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm,
Partner

David Pratt is a Partner in the Personal Planning Department and head of the Boca Raton office. His practice is dedicated exclusively to the areas of trusts and estates, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer, fiduciary and individual income taxation and fiduciary litigation. He has extensive experience in estate planning and post-mortem tax planning. He has been asked to serve as an expert witness on several occasions, and has been referred to as a “seasoned trusts and estates lawyer” in a Florida Third District Court of Appeals Opinion

561-995-4777
Mitchell M Gaswirth, Proskauer Rose Law Firm, Tax Attorney
Partner

Mitchell M. Gaswirth is a Partner in the Tax Department. His practice focuses primarily on income, gift and estate tax and related business planning. Mitchell counsels individuals, entrepreneurs and business entities in connection with the various income and other tax issues which arise in sophisticated business transactions.

310-284-5693
Andrew M Katzenstein, Proskauer Law Firm, Personal Planning Attorney
Partner

Andrew M. Katzenstein is a Partner in the Personal Planning Department in the Los Angeles office where he assists high net worth individuals, companies and charitable organizations with all aspects of tax and estate planning. He focuses his practice on tax planning matters, which include estate, gift and generation-skipping tax planning, as well as income tax of trust planning, probate and trust administration matters, resolving disputes between fiduciaries and beneficiaries, and charitable planning

310-284-4553