Boyes v Cook: CA 1880

When construing a will, , extrinsic evidence is admissible not only to remove ambiguity in the language used, but to establish the testator’s situation at the time of the will and the context in which he expressed his testamentary intention. James LJ said that when interpreting a will, the court should ‘place [itself] in [the testator’s] arm-chair’


James LJ


(1880) 14 Ch D 53, (1880) 49 LJCh 350


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMarley v Rawlings and Another SC 22-Jan-2014
A husband and wife had each executed the will which had been prepared for the other, owing to an oversight on the part of their solicitor; the question which arose was whether the will of the husband, who died after his wife, was valid. The parties . .
CitedJump and Another v Lister and Another ChD 12-Aug-2016
Omnibus Survivorship Clauses
Wills for two people hade been drafted with survivorship clauses which provided for others according to the order in which they died, but in the event, having died together it had been impossible to say which died first. The parties disputed the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.536790