In Brown v. Bartlett, 58 N.H. 511, a devise of several tracts of real estate was held to include the proceeds received after the devisor's death of a tract coming within the general description and of which the devisor before the will was made had given a bond for a deed in a sale of it. The question was called "very doubtful," and the only reference in the opinion to the extrinsic evidence is that it was not necessary to state it. The case can therefore be of no authority.Summary of this case from Blaisdell v. Coe
Decided March, 1879.
The interpretation of a will is the ascertainment of the testator's intention; and the question of intention is ordinarily determined as a question of fact, by the natural weight of competent evidence, and not by artificial rules of interpretation.
BILL IN EQUITY, against trustees appointed under the will of the plaintiff's father. By the will, the testator gave the plaintiff for life the use and income of all his real estate in Derry and Windham, that the testator held by several deeds from M. P. and certain other persons, "about 230 acres." Before the date of the will, the testator had given J. M. P. a bond to convey to him, upon payment of a certain sum, a tract of land in Derry, which had been conveyed to the testator by M. P. Since the testator's death, J. M. P. has paid the defendants the sum required by his bond, and received from them a conveyance of the land. The question whether the plaintiff is entitled to the income of that sum for life was reserved.
Stickney, for the plaintiff.
Bartlett, for the defendants.
The interpretation of the will is the ascertainment of the testator's intention; and the question of intention is ordinarily determined as a question of fact, by the natural weight of competent evidence, and not by artificial rules of interpretation. Rice v. Society 56 N.H. 191, 197, 198, 203; Houghton v. Pattee, 58 N.H. 326; Morse v. Morse, 58 N.H. 391. Upon all the competent evidence (which it is not necessary to state), the question, whether the testator intended the real estate of which he gave the plaintiff the income for life should include the testator's interest in the land bonded to J. M P., is a very doubtful one: but we are inclined to think it should be answered in the affirmative.
STANLEY and SMITH JJ., did not sit.