This is an extract of our Content Of Will document, which we sell as part of our Private Client Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Private Client Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
CONTENT OF WILL
General Principles of Will Construction
When the court construes a will, it is attempting to discover T's intention, BUT the court will only do this from the words in the will.
Golden rule: court will attempt to read a will so as to lead to testacy, not intestacy.
Words and phrases are, at first, given their ordinary grammatical meaning.
Certain words have more than one ordinary meaning, e.g. money - Perrin v Morgan : includes cash, money in bank, debts owed to T, stocks, etc.
The court cannot rewrite the will and does not guess - general rule is that only the words of the will can be considered.
However, in certain circumstances, extrinsic evidence from outside the will can be admitted - s.21 AJA 1982
1. Insofar as any part of the will is meaningless situations:
2. Insofar as language used is ambiguous
3. Insofar as evidence, other than evidence of T's intention, shows that language used is ambiguous in light of surrounding circumstances
Purpose is to identify T's full name and address - if T uses another name, this should be included here
Should be included for avoidance of doubt
Disposal of Body
Direction only - not binding on executors as no property in a human body
Either at the commencement or at the end of the will
Should always be present in a professionally drawn will
Can use short form or long form
Shows that s.9 Wills Act 1837 has been satisfied
Need to amend if T is e.g. blind or illiterate
Appointment of Executors, Trustees and Guardians
Will must appoint persons to administer the estate and to act as trustees of any trust set up by the will
Should appoint at least but not more than four - no more than four persons can take out a grant of probate:
o Individuals - friends and relatives have personal knowledge of T but may lack expertise (should ideally be younger than T)
o Professionals advisers either individually or as a firm (usual choice) - have expertise but will charge for dealing with estate
Trust corporation - will usually instruct solicitors anyway and expensive
Public trustee - last resort
A testator/testatrix with minor children should consider appointing a guardian
Types of Disposition
a gift of my gold Rolex watch to A
A gift of a specific, identifiable item of property
a gift of my 5,000 shares in ABC plc
S.24 WA 1837: a will speaks from death as regards property unless a contrary intention is shown -
the use of the word 'my' or any other word/phrase indicating ownership at the date of the will
a gift of £10,000 to C to be paid out shows a contrary intention of my account with Barclays Bank
Doctrine of ademption: if property sold/destroyed/changed in substance, beneficiary receives
Gift to a number of beneficiaries with power to select: include order of selection, time limit, and procedure for resolving disputes
Specific beneficiaries bear costs themselves in absence of any provision to the contract
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Private Client Notes.