The Court of Appeal recently considered a case where a husband and wife each mistakenly signed the others will instead of signing their own. Despite the obvious a mix up, the Court with some regret declared that neither were valid, which resulted in a declaration that the couple had died intestate. There are times when the courts will read additional words into contracts or grant an order to rectify a contract so as to give the agreement its intended meaning, but the court did not feel they had the flexibility to correct this mistake. Whilst we would like common sense to prevail, decisions like this make it clear that the devil really is in the detail.
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Even where there is a will – there is sometimes no way
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Senior Patent Counsel
Royal DSM NV