Greenough v Martin: 1824

A will and codicil pronounced for; and three intermediate codicils, propounded on behalf of legatees in the same, held to be invalid. In a Court of Probate, what instruments the testator meant to operate as, and compose, his will, is to be collected from all the circumstances of the case. Sir John Nicholl said ‘In the court of probate the whole question is one of intention: the animus testandi and the animus revocandi are completely open to investigation . . in a court of construction, where the factum of the instrument has been previously established in the court of probate, the enquiry is pretty closely restricted to the contents of the instrument itself, in order to ascertain the intentions of the testator.’


Sir John Nicholl


[1824] EngR 70, (1824) 2 Add 239, (1824) 162 ER 281




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRe Resch’s Will Trusts; Vera Caroline Le Crasv Perpetual Trustee Company Limited PC 19-Oct-1967
(New South Wales) The testator left a series of testamentary provisions including gifts which worked cumulatively. Lord Wilberforce discussed the breadth of evidence admissible in the probate court: ‘The principles which ought to be applied on such . .
CitedParkinson v Fawdon ChD 30-Jul-2009
The deceased and his partner had made mirror wills. On the second death it appeared that a named residuary beneficiary did not exist. The claimant, with a similar name said it had intended to name him. The court considered whether it could be . .
CitedLamothe v Lamothe and Others ChD 15-Jun-2006
The deceased had made a will in England but later made a will in Dominica revoking all other wills. After the first death, probate of the first will was taken out in ignorance of the second. The claimant, still in ignorance of the second will, took . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.327061