Interpretation of Wills

There are times when executors come across clauses in Wills that could appear be interpreted in more than one way. It is very important that such issues are resolved correctly as the way in which such clauses are interpreted can not only have major consequences for the beneficiaries but could also expose the executor to personal liability. Any time an executor has concerns about how a particular clause of a Will should be interpreted, legal advice should be sought.

We find that interpretation issues often stem from how a Will purports to dispose of property to beneficiaries, what interests are actually created by the Will, how or if particular beneficiaries are identified in the Will or how property is described in the Will.

The Supreme Court has the power to make determinations for an executor on questions of interpretation of a Will. The Court may also resolve disputes (for example, between the executor and a beneficiary of a deceased estate) on issues of interpretation.

Legal advice should always be sought before seeking relief from the Court on interpretation issues, as a solicitor can advise on the complex interpretation rules as developed by the Courts and also as set down in legislation.

If you require such assistance, or have any general queries regarding issues of interpretation, feel free to contact us on +61 7 3001 2999 for a free no obligation appraisal.