“Money and Cash” Interpretted In Will
The words used in many wills are often ambiguous or capable of different interpretations,which often then results in a court application to determine the meaning of the words used in the will.
Such was the case with the use of the words “money and cash” in the case of ThIemer Estate v Clapper 2012 BCSC
The deceased’s estate consisted of a variety of various assets, including shares in three private companies, bank accounts, GIC’s, a mortgage, property, an income tax refund, a death benefit and personal effects.
His will directed that his surviving spouse be paid ” the balance of any money left at the time of my death”.
His will defined ‘money” to specifically include ” shares”
The remaining assets in the residue were to be held in a spousal trust for her lifetime and then after her death were to go to various family members
The executor brought a Petition to court to determine which assets were included in the ‘money’ bequest.
The court held that shares in a private company could not readily be converted into money such as shares in a public company can, so the private shares were not included in ‘money”, and the court held that the testator only interned his shares in private companies to be included in the definition of ‘money”
The fact that the testator did not own any public shares was not determinative, as if the shares in the private company were included then there would be very little residue, and would be inconsistent with the overall intention of the will
The management of the private companies was demanding and complex and it was consistent that the shares would go into the spousal trust and be managed by the lawyer and accountant who were appointed the executors.
The bank accounts and GiC’s were clearly cash and money, but the mortgage was not as it was more akin to an interest in land
Similarly, the death benefit and income tax returns could not be included as they were not payable until after death
Lastly, the shareholders loans were not included as the viability for payment depended on the companies solvency and liquidity
– See more at: http://www.disinherited.com/blog/money-and-cash-interpretted-will#sthash.7LN9yWB3.dpuf