‘A Practical Guide to the Construction and Rectification of Wills and Trust Instruments’ by Edward Hewitt


Paperback: 978-1-912687-20-6
Published: January 2020
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Private client practitioners dealing with estates and trusts routinely encounter drafting problems. These can be of many different types, from an ambiguous clause in a home-made will to a precedent clause included by mistake in a professionally prepared trust deed. They can also arise in very different contexts: while some can be resolved by agreement, others will result in a full-blown court battle, possibly accompanied by professional negligence proceedings against the draftsman.

This book is designed as a practical guide to overcoming drafting problems. As well as considering the court’s modern approach to the construction and rectification of both wills and trust instruments, it includes practical guidance on how to try to deal with drafting problems by agreement and, if that fails, on how to ask the court to resolve them.


Edward Hewitt is a barrister at 5 Stone Buildings in Lincoln’s Inn. He has a private client practice with a particular emphasis on inheritance and trust disputes. He is frequently asked to advise on the correct construction of wills and trust instruments. He has also acted in some of the leading recent cases involving the construction and rectification of wills and trust instruments, some of which have included ancillary professional negligence proceedings against the relevant draftsman.


Chapter One – Introduction
Chapter Two – Construction of Wills
Chapter Three – Rectification of Wills
Chapter Four – Construction of Other Trust Instruments
Chapter Five – Rectification of Other Trust Instruments
Chapter Six – Mistake and Hastings-Bass


“Mr Hewitt has an easy writing style which is to be commended for what could be a difficult and dry topic. Instead, it is a book which provides clarity when trying to approach the actions which need to be taken”
– Gill Steel, LawSkills