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Phrase of the Week | Armchair Approach

Armchair Approach

Killam v. Killam | 2017 BCSC 175 | British Columbia Supreme Court

The “armchair” approach [to the interpretation of wills (or other instruments)] requires the court, at the outset, to place itself in the position of the testator at the time he or she wrote the will (that is, to sit in his or her “armchair”), and to consider the (then) surrounding circumstances and context in order to ascertain the subjective intentions of the testator.
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... the “armchair” approach is to be used only if the intention of the testator cannot be ascertained from the will itself.

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