WestlawNext Canada insight Blog

Phrase of the Week - Arm Chair Rule

Arm Chair Rule


The “arm chair rule” involves the court attempting to place itself in the position of the testatrix at the time the Will was made. This is done not for the purposes of ascertaining what the testatrix meant or intended to do when the Will was made, but rather, what the written words used mean in the particular case and what are the “expressed intentions” of the testatrix. See Perrin v. Morgan, [1943] A.C. 399 (U.K. H.L.). In other words, the exercise is meant to resolve the ambiguity and uncertainty created by the actual words used in the Will. That can sometimes be done with evidence that will assist in construing a document or phrase so as to arrive at the testatrix's real meaning according to the language and the surrounding circumstances.

Garwood v. Garwood Estate | 
2013 CarswellMan 324 (Man. Q.B.) at para. 56 |
Joyal C.J.Q.B.
© Copyright WestlawNext Canada, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.