If a will is drafted on a mobile phone, is it valid?

digital afterlife or legacy on phone

Credit: Michal Zacharzewski, SXC

According to this recent blog post by IdeaLaw, the answer is “yes, it can be!” There has been a case in Queensland already in which the court ruled that a will drafted on an iPhone was valid.

Three elements need to be satisfied for a court to find an informal will valid.

1) That it is a document
2) That the document states the deceased’s intentions for their estate after their death
3) That the deceased intended the document to be a will

Which leads to an important question.

Are there or could there be wills drafted on social networking sites or within an email inbox that could be declared valid in the future?

IdeaLaw proposes that this could be so if these above elements can be demonstrated. Read their blog post for a legal perspective on the Queensland example and potential consequences in layman’s terms.


  1. Do you know if there is a similar law or ruling for the US?

  2. Tom – according to my research, as of yet no. Rulings are determined on a state by state basis. According to lawyers who responded to my original post, not in Ohio or California – unless there was a statutory change, feedback indicates that a smartphone will wouldn’t be considered. In Saskatchewan, Canada however, check out this gem that someone sent me: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/10/26/will_written_on_tractor_65_years_ago_celebrated_by_saskatchewan_law_college.html

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