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Queensland Judgments

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Authorised Reports & Unreported Judgments
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Re Gawley (deceased)  
Unreported Citation: [2018] QSC 242
EDITOR'S NOTE

This case considered which of three identical wills executed on the same day should be admitted to probate. There was no content or temporal inconsistency between any of the wills. His Honour found that it did not matter which was admitted, and simply chose one for the purposes of the grant of probate.

Henry J

17 October 2018

This case concerned an application for a grant of probate by an executor. The issue was that the deceased had executed three wills of identical content on the same day. That appeared to have been done to ensure multiple copies “for the convenience of others”. However, it raised some doubt about which of the three identical wills was executed last. [1].

Henry J noted that there is authority for a circumstance where multiple identical wills are executed on the same occasion and contain a clause revoking the previous wills. The authorities suggest that each should be admitted to probate (e.g. Townsend v More [1905] P66). [2]. However, in this case there was no revocation clause. There was no temporal or content inconsistency between the wills. [3]. In that case, his Honour said that the approach to take was as follows:

“In my view, where an application for a grant of probate involves multiple identical wills which contain no revocation clause but deal with the entire estate, and have been executed contemporaneously, it would be proper for a Registrar to simply select and place an identifying mark upon one of those for the purposes of the grant.”

His Honour took that approach and admitted one of the documents. He ordered that a grant of probate of that will be granted to the executor. [5].

W Isdale