$1m ‘will’ written on a carton of beer

 

A JUDGE has had to decide whether scribbled words and numbers on part of a beer carton, a beer coaster or a letter could have been a Brisbane beer lover's final will.

Lindsay Bruce Olive, known as Bruce, of Upper Mt Gravatt, died suddenly in November, aged 69, leaving an estate worth more than a million dollars.

Mr Olive, a former paymaster and taxi driver, made a formal will in May, last year, but told his close friend and neighbour, Cara Lockyer, that he wanted to change it.

Mrs Lockyer, his executor, said Mr Olive liked to sit at a pool table under his house, in an area he called his "office", drinking beer, writing notes and listening to radio 4KQ.

Bruce Olive’s will was written on a beer box.
Bruce Olive’s will was written on a beer box.

"Bruce used any old bits of paper to write notes on," Mrs Lockyer, said in an affidavit filed as part of her court application for probate.

She asked a judge to decide whether Mr Olive's 2019 will or his writings on the beer carton, coaster or letter, found in his house, should be recognised as his final will.

Mr Olive had scribbled names, numbers and notes on a piece of cardboard from inside a beer carton, left on his pool table, the Supreme Court heard.

 

Some of the scribblings on the beer carton.
Some of the scribblings on the beer carton.

 

HOME OFFICE
HOME OFFICE

Mrs Lockyer also found a beer coaster, with various names, and ticks next to some names and comments such as "Has enough" and "Doesn't deserve it" next to others.

She also found a company letter, on which Mr Olive had scrawled names, numbers and comments.

In his May, 2019 formal will, Mr Olive left his estate to be divided, in various amounts, between two of his children, three stepchildren and two step grandchildren.

He also left $20,000 for his trusted friend, Mrs Lockyer, who had cooked and cleaned for him.

But the court heard he told Mrs Lockyer and other friends that he wanted to change the will.

"He told me he intended to write a new will, to provide for his friends, and leave his children and stepchildren out," Mrs Lockyer said.

Mr Olive had planned to see his solicitors in December, but he died before making a new will.

Counsel for Mr Olive's only daughter argued against any of the three informal documents being recognised as his final will for probate.

On Monday, Justice Helen Bowskill ordered that probate of the May 3, 2019 will be granted, after rejecting the informal documents as Mr Olive's last will.

"Executers have strict duties to administer an estate in accordance with the testator's wishes," Mrs Lockyer's solicitor, Trischa Partridge of Ian W Bartels and Associates, said.

She said Mrs Lockyer was right to ask the court for direction about exactly which document she should follow.

Barrister Caite Brewer, for the executor, said the case showed how important it was to keep a will up to date, so a person's actual wishes were carried into effect after they died.

"In these uncertain times you should see a solicitor sooner rather than later, given the difficulties there are with lockdown a real possibility in coming days," Ms Brewer said.

Originally published as $1m 'will' written on a carton of beer