Kent Greenawalt

in Legal Interpretation

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199756131
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855292 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law


Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that among written documents with legal authority, the reasons for emphasizing the writer's intent in some form are strongest for wills. Wills resemble a principal's instructions as an agent seeks to interpret them. In contrast with an agent considering instructions, the overarching focus for wills has been on the time they are written, although recent law has somewhat expanded the possibilities of reformation in light of changing circumstances. Thus, the typical interpretation rests on a form of originalism.

Keywords: will; legal interpretation; public policy; originalism; agents

Chapter.  12617 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.