Judgment was handed down this afternoon by Burns J in this construction case.  I appeared for the respondent.

The deceased’s will left her daughter “an amount of money equivalent to that amount received by my estate upon the sale of my interest in [a retirement village unit] …”

It was argued that the gift failed for two reasons:

  1. There was no amount of money “received by my estate” as the unit had been disposed of 4 years before the testator died; and
  2. There was no “sale” of the unit, as the deceased’s entitlement was an “exit entitlement” calculated in accordance with a lease.

Both arguments failed and the gift was construed so as to benefit the daughter.

Both parties’ costs were ordered to be paid from the estate.

Read Suthers v Suthers here.