BEACH J – 14 MARCH 2002(2002) 4 VR 406; [2002]VSC 83 –– BC200201109
T left a Will on his computer.
T told his de facto partner this.
T had discussed his testamentary wishes with other persons.
After T’s death, a file labelled “Will” was found on the hard disk of T’s computer.
When printed out, the Will document accorded with T’s wishes as expressed to other persons.
Beach J applied the three criteria set out in Estate of Masters, Hill v Plummer (1994) 33 NSWLR 446 (see [5040.30]):
(i)applying s 38 of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984, the “Will” fell within the definition of “document” as consisting of data on a disk which was capable of being reproduced from the disk;
(ii)the contents of the disk and the document as printed out, recorded T’s testamentary intentions
;(iii)the evidence clearly showed, from the contents of the will and from what T had told other persons, the will on the computer disk was intended by T to be his will.
Beach J also said that the fact that the document was not signed and not prevented from being admitted to Probate.
Accordingly, Probate was granted of the will comprising a printed copy of the contents of a computer file contained on the hard disk of T’s desk top computer.