Queensland Judgments


Authorised Reports & Unreported Judgments
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Woodgate v Tanks & Ors  
Unreported Citation: [2013] QSC 204

This brief but very useful judgment concerning the construction of wills deals with the difficult dispositive phrase of “to each of” certain named beneficiaries in respect of a monetary amount.  The question which arises in relation to any such disposition is whether or not the intention of the testator is to give each of the beneficiaries the full monetary amount or that the beneficiaries are to share equally in the same amount.  Importantly, the very correct approach of Margaret Wilson J was to undertake the task of properly construing the words used in the will to ascertain whether or not there was any ambiguity before considering whether or not to consider any extrinsic evidence which might be made admissible by s 33C of the Succession Act. Her Honour also considered the question of whether or not a gift to a mis-described beneficiary was vitiated and the principles by which Courts attempt to avoid holding that a gift is invalid.