Pilot’s eerie recording before suicide
AN audio recording made by a helicopter pilot, just before he committed suicide, has been accepted as his final will, leaving more than $1.6 million worth of assets to his wife.
A judge found Grant Patrick Carrigan had capacity to make the informal will, although it was done while he was deciding to kill himself.
Although Mr Carrigan said in the recording he wanted his $6 million worth of life insurance split equally between his two young children, the judge said it was not an estate asset.
Mr Carrigan's wife and children left the family's Goondiwindi home on the day of her husband's death, after seeking a domestic violence order.
Mr Carrigan, who had been suffering stress from years of legal disputes relating to his helicopter business, took his own life later that afternoon, the Supreme Court heard.
Shortly before his death, after finding out his wife and children had left the family home, he left a voicemail message on a friend's mobile phone.
In it Mr Carrigan said he wanted his two children to get $3 million each from the life insurance.
He also said he left every asset he owned to his wife, "who I love with all my heart''.
He then recorded another message on a mini tape recorder, the court heard.
"This is my last will, to be the final one over anything else I've got written. Every single asset I own belongs to my wife, will be left to my wife … who I love more than anything in the world,'' he said.
Mr Carrigan, who had made an earlier will, leaving everything to his wife, said he wanted his $6 million life insurance policy split in two for his son and daughter, whom he loved.
His estate assets were worth more than $1.6 million and included his interest in the helicopter company and the family home. His wife was his nominated life insurance beneficiary.
Justice David Boddice was satisfied that Mr Carrigan's recorded words were a document containing a clear bequest of "every single asset'' to his wife and operated as his last will.
The judge said Mr Carrigan had mistakenly thought he could dispose of the proceeds of his life insurance policies, but they were not estate assets.
"That error does not infect the existence of the requisite testamentary capacity, nor does it detract from the deceased's clear intention that the recorded conversation form his last Will,'' the judge said.