Unclear & Ambiguous Drafting in Wills - A Problem-Solving Guide for Private Client Practitioners
The market for will-making services, offered by solicitors and others, is fiercely competitive on price.
On the other hand, those wishing to make wills often have worked out their intentions only in broad strokes and have not thought about what they would wish to happen in certain circumstances.
Some of them also prepare their wills themselves or with the assistance of family members only and no professional input, while sometimes seeking to achieve convoluted outcomes.
Lastly, in many cases the will was made years before the testator’s death and by the time it becomes relevant circumstances have changed in unforeseen ways.
All these factors contribute to unclear or ambiguous drafting, creating uncertainty where the fate of substantial sums of money is at stake.
Professionals involved in estate administration or advising individuals who believe they are entitled under a will need a sound understanding both of how the courts will interpret unclear or ambiguous wills and of the range of procedural avenues that are available for resolving such issues and the circumstances where each is feasible.
This new virtual classroom seminar will discuss those points, with reference to the applicable legislation and case law showing how such cases are resolved in practice.
What You Will Learn
This live and interactive session will cover the following:
- General principles governing the interpretation of wills
- Evidence that is always admissible to assist in interpreting a will
- Typical procedural issues in court proceedings in this area
- When a dispute may be resolved by an application under section 48 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to rely on the opinion of counsel of 10 years’ standing
- When the court will consider direct evidence of the testator’s intentions
- Resolving unclear or ambiguous drafting by applying to rectify the will under section 20 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982, focusing on what evidence will be required
- The specific problem where the estate is left between multiple children of the testator and one of them died before the testator
- The specific problem where a revocation clause could inadvertently defeat an intended gift
- Approach to costs in court proceedings in this area, and commercial considerations about how court proceedings might be funded
Recording of live sessions: Soon after the Learn Live session has taken place you will be able to go back and access the recording - should you wish to revisit the material discussed.