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INTENTION Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Meaning; will; purpose; design. “The intention of the testator, to be collected from the whole will, is to govern, provided it be not unlawful or inconsistent with the rules of law.” 4 Kent, Comm. 534. “Intention,” when used with reference to the construction of wills and other documents, means the sense and meaning of it, as gathered from the words used therein. Parol evidence is not ordinarily admissible to explain this. When used with reference to civil and criminal responsibility, a person who contemplates any result, as not unlikely to follow from a deliberate act of his own, may be said to intend that result, whether he desire it or not. Thus, if a man should, for a wager, discharge a gun among a multitude of people, and any should be killed, he would be deemed guilty of intending the death of such person: for every man is presumed to intend the natural consequence of his own actions. Intention is often confounded with motive, as when we speak of a man’s “good intentions.” Mozley & Whitley


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