Richard Storrow, ‘The Secret Life of Testamentary Schemes’

The testamentary scheme, a poorly understood interpretative tool used by courts to determine the meaning of a will’s dispositive provisions, is insufficiently theorized in both case law and scholarly commentary. Based on a painstaking study of testamentary schemes in context, in this article I raise and defend three propositions: (1) a testamentary scheme is a dominant purpose that is intrinsic to the will; (2) a testamentary scheme is most appropriately used (a) to bring plain language into sharper focus or (b) to fill omissions in dispositive provisions; and (3) if a testamentary scheme can do either (2)(a) or (2)(b), there is no need to resort to evidentiary presumptions.

Storrow, Richard F, The Secret Life of Testamentary Schemes (March 17, 2020). Drake Law Review, volume 68, no 1, 2020.

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