Interpretation Applications

October 4, 2011 Hull & Hull LLP Estate Planning Tags: , , , 0 Comments

A paper on Interpretation Applications recently presented at Practice Gems: The Administration of Estates 2011: Avoiding the Pitfalls contains a discussion of the nature of such applications and their procedural implications. As part of the discussion, case law applicable to the types of questions that can be asked of a court in interpretation applications is reviewed.  A short summary of the points made in the paper are:

– applications for the opinion, advice and direction of the court are effective procedures to clarify ambiguous provisions of a testator’s will;
– both the substance and form of the questions brought before the court are crucial to a successful application;
– the questions should only deal with practical problems, rather than academic or future concerns;
– the questions should be structured to receive a "yes" or "no" answer; and
– judges are not prepared to assume the role of the estate trustee – they are concerned with fundamentally legal matters and will not usurp the executor’s responsibilities.
The test for rectification is also briefly reviewed – the equitable power of the court to correct errors or ommissions which compromise the testator’s true intentions.

All in all this is a succinct and helpful paper for practitioners to review when commencing interpretation applications.

Have a good day,

Natalia R. Angelini – Click here for more information on Natalia Angelini

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