This is a word of which the writers of home-made wills seem especially fond in my experience � we all know what the word means, don't we? Well, once the lawyers fall to debating it, things can be different from what they seem at first glance.
In fact, the word does not have a definite technical meaning. Should your will end up in court a lot will depend on how the lawyers read the word in the context of your will and overall circumstances. Over the years it has been held to include cash, banknotes and money in your current account.
On the other hand, it would appear that the judges consider that it does not include money in a deposit account where a long notice period prior to withdrawal is required.
It does not include stocks and shares. The best advice one can give the testator is to avoid the use of the word 'money' completely.
In one home-made will I dealt with an elderly woman had not seen her son for many years.
She did not wish him to receive a single penny because of the way he had treated her. Unfortunately, she chose to leave her 'money' to a friend. Due to the case law referred to above, only part of her estate went to her friend.
Those accounts that did not come within the decided cases on the definition of money were subject to a partial intestacy and passed to her son.