Wills and Probate in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Gill v Woodall & Others
    • Court of Appeal
    • 14 Dic 2010

    Wills frequently give rise to feelings of disappointment or worse on the part of relatives and other would-be beneficiaries.

  • Whishaw and Another v Stephens and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 31 Oct 1968

    It is then the duty of the Court by the exercise of its judicial knowledge and experience in the relevant matter, innate commonsense and desire to make sense of the settlor's or parties' expressed intentions, however obscure and ambiguous the language that may have been used, to give a reasonable meaning to that language if it can do so without doing complete violence to it.

  • Gillett v Holt
    • Court of Appeal
    • 08 Mar 2000

    Moreover the fundamental principle that equity is concerned to prevent unconscionable conduct permeates all the elements of the doctrine.

  • Marley v Rawlings and another
    • Supreme Court
    • 22 Ene 2014

    When it comes to interpreting wills, it seems to me that the approach should be the same. Whether the document in question is a commercial contract or a will, the aim is to identify the intention of the party or parties to the document by interpreting the words used in their documentary, factual and commercial context. As Lord Hoffmann said in Kirin-Amgen Inc v Hoechst Marion Roussel Ltd [2005] 1 All ER 667, para 64,

    Of course, a contract is agreed between a number of parties, whereas a will is made by a single party. However, that distinction is an unconvincing reason for adopting a different approach in principle to interpretation of wills: it is merely one of the contextual circumstances which has to be borne in mind when interpreting the document concerned.

    In my view, at least subject to any statutory provision to the contrary, the approach to the interpretation of contracts as set out in the cases discussed in para 19 above is therefore just as appropriate for wills as it is for other unilateral documents.

    However, there is now a highly relevant statutory provision relating to the interpretation of wills, namely section 21 of the 1982 Act ("section 21"). Section 21 is headed "Interpretation of wills — general rules as to evidence", and is in the following terms:

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Legislation
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Books & Journal Articles
  • REVIEWS
    • Núm. 23-4, Julio 1960
    • The Modern Law Review
    Book reviewed in this article: Judicial Review of Administrative Action. By S. A. De Smith, M.A., PH.D. Wills, Probate and Administration. A Manual of the Law. By B. S. Ker, M.A. (Cantab.) The Law ...
  • REVIEWS
    • Núm. 33-1, Enero 1970
    • The Modern Law Review
    Precedent in English Law and Other Essays. By James Louis Montrose. Edited by H. G. Hanbury. Precedent in English Law. By Rupert Cross. Second Edition. Double Jeopardy. By Martin L. Friedland. The ...
  • REVIEWS
    • Núm. 16-2, Abril 1953
    • The Modern Law Review
    Book reviewed in this article: PRINCIPLES OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW. By J. A. G. GRIFFITH, LL.M. MODERN EQUITY. By H. G. HANBURY AN INTRODUCTION TO EQUITY. By G. W. KEETON. CARVER ON THE CARRIAGE OF GO...
  • Coming events.
    • Núm. 2013, Febrero - Octubre 2013
    • Financial Management (UK)
    • Calendar
    ......Probate management (joint event with AAT) . 23 March, 9am . Future Inn Cabot s Hotel, Bond Street, Bristol BS1 3EN John Penley OBE will discuss wills, trusts and probate management. . Contact Suzanne Allen on +44 (0)11 7960 ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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