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Contradiction or inconsistency in the terms of a document. Generally the court construes documents to give effect to the parties' primary intention (the main purpose rule). If this cannot be established and the document's provisions are directly contradictory, the court treats the later provision as effective in the case of a will and the earlier one in the case of a deed. Thus a transfer of property to A and B “as beneficial joint tenants in equal shares” confers a joint tenancy unless it was effected by will, when it will be treated as conferring a tenancy in common in equal shares.

Subjects: Law.

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