Hobbs v. Brenneman

In Hobbs v. Brenneman, 94 W.Va. 320, 118 S.E. 546 (1923), the Court described the role of the judiciary in ascertaining the intention of the testator: "When the intention is ascertained from an examination of all its parts the problem is solved. The interpretation of a will is simply a judicial determination of what the testator intended; and the rules of interpretation and construction for that purpose formulated by the courts in the evolution of jurisprudence through the centuries are founded on reason and practical experience. It is wise to follow them, bearing in mind always that the intention is the guiding star, and when that is clear from a study of the will in its entirety, any arbitrary rule, however ancient and sacrosanct, applicable to any of its parts, must yield to the clear intention." (Id. at 326, 118 S.E. at 549.)