Two new statutory will cases were published today: Re JT  QSC 163 and Re D  QSC 164, both decisions of Ann Lyons J.
These reasons for judgment were both published in de-identified form, which is a first for Queensland. Her Honour considered that the proposed testator’s ‘dignity, privacy and vulnerability should be recognised and respected’ by de-identification. It was acknowledged that on applications of this kind, the Court is required to consider extensive personal information including medical and financial information which would normally be information that would be kept private, and the risk of identity fraud also needed to be taken into account.
In Re JT, a further issue of interest that arose was the scope of the requirement that the Court must be satisfied that adequate steps have been taken to allow representation of all persons with a proper interest in the application (s.24(b) of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld)). On the facts, some further enquiries needed to be made in an attempt to trace some relatives, with whom the proposed testator had not any contact for a number of years.
Re JT is also notable in that the applicant was, unusually, the proposed testator’s former husband.
Richard appeared as counsel for the applicant in both cases.