On Thursday the NSW Court of Appeal dismissed an informal will appeal. The trial judge had declined to admit the document to probate.
The deceased left a valid will leaving everything to his wife. He also left a later document in the same form, with handwritten amendments, signed and dated but not witnessed, leaving everything to his son.
The trial judge was not satisfied he intended the later document to form his will.
The CA found that ordinarily, such an intention would be found by the signing and dating of a formal will (even if not witnessed).
However, this case was “highly unusual” as (inter alia) the deceased had a practice of signing documents and keeping them, knowing they were of no legal effect.
The appeal was dismissed.