Current Uniform Acts
Proposed Amendment to the Wills Act 2003
Section 19.1 is repealed and the following is substituted:
Court may dispense with formal requirements
19.1 (1) Despite the other provisions of this Act, but subject to this section, if a document was not made in accordance with any or all of the formalities referred to in subsection (3), or is in an electronic form, or both, a court may nevertheless order that the document is valid as
(a) a will of a deceased person, or
(b) the revocation, alteration or revival of a will of a deceased person.
(2) In order to exercise the authority under subsection (1), the court must be satisfied on clear and convincing evidence that the deceased person intended the document to constitute a will of the deceased person or the revocation, alteration or revival of a will of the deceased person.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), the formalities are those established by sections 4, 5, 6, 15(c), 18 and 19.
(4) In this section, “electronic form” means, in respect of a document, data that
(a) is recorded or stored on any medium in or by a computer system,
(b) can be read by a person, and
(c) is capable of reproduction in a visible form.
(5) This section applies [when: statement of intended application]
Comment on Paragraph (4):
Paragraph (3) defines the formalities which may be dispensed with – the requirement of writing in section 3 cannot be dispensed with. Paragraph (4) further defines, for the purpose of this section, a document in electronic form, i.e., a medium which produces a document that is visible and can be read by a person. This definition is narrower than other definitions of “electronic data” and is intended to preclude audio and video recorded wills or media that are machine readable only.
An e-will (a document in electronic form) must meet the definition of paragraph (4) and meet the threshold tests of paragraph (2).