- Brian SloanBrian SloanCollege Lecturer in Law, Robinson College, University of Cambridge
This chapter provides an introduction to wills. A will or testament is the declaration in a prescribed manner of the intention of the person making it with regard to matters which he wishes to take effect upon or after his death. The general effect of a will is that the legal interest in the deceased’s estate passes to his personal representatives, while the beneficiaries obtain a form of equitable right in it. The chapter discusses the long history of the will in English law; contracts relating to wills; mutual wills; secret trusts, other constructive trusts, and proprietary estoppel; the content of wills; and the will as a social document.