Avoid ambiguity in drafting a will

It is so easy to just breeze over assets when considering your will. After all if you own your own home unit you may just assume that the car space used by you also belongs to the unit and there is no necessity to actually separately refer to it in preparation of your will. Not always.

The decision of Arnot v Arnot is precisely the situation whereby the unit and the car space were on separate titles so a reference in a will to a gift of a unit did not necessarily include the car space. The will should also have the added words “and my car space”.

The Supreme Court of NSW was asked to make a decision and interpret the intentions of the deceased as to whether the car space was intended to pass to the beneficiaries receiving the unit.

The court must look at all the circumstances surrounding the bequest in the will in light of the not only the clauses in the will but what appeared to be the intention of the testator.

Fortunately in this particular case the court was able to work through the individual facts and the beneficiaries inherited both the unit as well as the car space.

Just take care when you give instructions to a solicitor to prepare your will.

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