The Legal Language – intermeddling

05 April 2022

Have you ever read something and thought, “I’m not sure what that means” or ‘is that really correct”? Welcome to our series of quickfire interviews that attempt to unravel those interesting words and phrases.

In this edition, we speak to Wills, Trusts & Estates Special Counsel Christian Teese, who talks to us about the word he finds interesting, intermeddling.


What word have you chosen and what does it mean?

‘Intermeddling’ – which means interfering in the affairs of others without justification. In the estates context it is used to describe interfering with estate or trust property or the duties of a trustee or administrator.

Why do you like this word?

It’s a cracking word which always provokes an emotional reaction. ‘Interference’ already being bad enough, ‘intermeddling’ takes ‘interference’ to a whole new level which involves sticking one’s nose in – officiously – where it doesn’t belong.

What’s been the most interesting use of this word or phrase that you have come across?

The word ‘intermeddling’ is used fairly consistently in the estates context. However, having to calm down a client accused of intermeddling, or watching another lawyer’s client explode after the term is used to describe their actions, is rarely boring!

When did you first come across this word in a legal context?

I first came across the term acting for an executor who had taken proactive steps to secure assets to have them insured prior to a grant of probate being issued. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished!