Ann Lyons J today handed down judgment in a will construction case. I was for the third respondent.  The will was drawn by a solicitor and contained two conflicting gift over provisions.  The testator in one clause left the residue of her estate to those of her children and stepchildren who were living at the time of her death.  Then, pursuant to a later clause, she left the whole of her estate to her children (not mentioning the stepchildren) in equal shares and if any one of her children or stepchildren predeceased her then their interest would pass to their issue.

The will was construed so as to ignore the first part of the second clause (the result being that the gift over to the step-grandchild took effect).

The case contains a useful summary of the law of construction of wills.

The solicitors were ordered to pay each party’s costs of the application.

Read Hope v Schneider here.