Will – Rule of Last Intention

A will may contain several clauses and the latter clause may be inconsistent with the earlier clause. In such a situation, the last intention of the testator is given effect to and it is on this basis that the latter clause is held to prevail over the earlier clause. This is regulated by the well known maxim ‘cum duo inter se pugnantia reperiuntur in testamento ultimum ratum est’ which means that if in a will there are two inconsistent provisions, the latter shall prevail over the earlier. (see Hammond, In re, Hammond v. Treharne, (1938) ALL ER 308).         It may, however, be pointed out that this rule of interpretation can be invoked only if different clauses cannot be reconciled. (See: Rameshwar Baksh Singh v. Balraj Kaur, AIR 1935 PC 187). M. S. Bhavani v. M.S. Raghu Nandan, (2020) 5 SCC 361.

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