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XIII. No puncupative will shall be proved within Nuncupative fourteen days after the death of the testator, nor until wills,
until wills, when his widow (if any) and next of kin shall have been
proved: summoned to contest the same if they please.
XIV. If the general court, or any county, city, or Production of corporation court, having jurisdiction as aforesaid, wills, how . shall be informed that any person hath the will of a
compelled. testator in his custody, such court may summon such person, and by a proper process compèl him to produce the same.
XV. If the executors named in any will shall all refuse the executorship, or being required to give securi- tion with the ty, as herein after-mentioned, shall resuse, or fail to will annexed, give the same, which shall amount to a refusal, of the when. executorship, in either case, the court having jurisdiction as aforesaid, may receive the proof of the will, and grant a certificate for obtaining letters of administration with the same annexed, to the person to whom adininistration would have been granted if there had been no will of the deceased.
XVI. Before granting a certificate of the probat of oth any will, the executor or administrator with the will cutor or ad. annexed, as the case shall be, shall in open court take ministrator, the following oath, to wit: “You shall swear that this wi
annexed. writing contains the true last will of the within named
o as far as you know or believe; and that you will well and truly perform the same, by paying first his debts, and then the legacies contained in the said will, as far as his goods, chattels, and credits will extend and the law charge you; and that you will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels, and credits, as also a just account when there10 required.” And shall also give bond in such penalty as will be equal to the full value of the estate at the least, and with such security as shall be approved of by the court, with the following condition, to wit:“The condition of this obligation is, that if the said
, executor of the last will and testament (or administrator with the will annexed, of all the goods, chattels, and credits) of deceased, do make a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of the said deceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession, or knowledge of
, the said , or into the hands or possession of
any other person or persons for
court , at such time as
shall be thereto required by the said court; and the same goods, chatiels, and crediis, do well and truly administer according to law; and make a just and true account of
actings and doings therein, when thereunto required by the said court; and further, do well and truly pay and deliver all the legacies contained and specified in the said will, as far as the said goods, chattels, and credits will extend, according to the value thereof, and as the law shall charge
; then this obligation to be void, or else to remain in full force." To whom XVII. Which bond shall be payable to the judges bond paya. or justices sitting in court, and their successors, and ble, and how shall not become void upon the first recovery, but may prosecuted.
be put in suit and prosecuted from time to time, by, and at the costs of any party injured, by a breach thereof, until the whole penalty be recovered there
upon. When no se.
XVIII. But where any testator shall leave visible curity requir. estate, more than sufficient to pay all his debts, and cd.
by will shall direct that his executors shall not be obliged to give security, in that case no security shall be required, unless the court shall see cause from their own knowledge, or the suggestions of creditors or legalees to suspect the executors of fraud, or that the testator's personal estate will not be sufficient to discharge all his debts, and shall require security, when the same shall be given, before a certificate shall be granted, notwithstanding any directions to the contra
ry in the testator's will. Power of ex XIX. The power of executors over their testator's ecutors be estates before probat of the will, is not hereby restrainfore probat. ed, but shall continue as heretofore. .
Curator ap. XX. During any contest about a will, or in the aly. pointed au sence of executors, or whenever the court, from any about a will. other cause, shall judge it convenient, they may ap
point any person or persons to collect and preserve the estate of any decedent, until a probat of his will, or administration of his estate, be granted, taking bond and security for collecting the estate, making an inventory thereof, and safe keeping and delivering up the same, when required, to the executors or administrators. XXI. When any widow shall not be satisfied with Widow dissa
tisfied with the provision made for her by the will of her husband, in
will, when she may within one year from the time of his death, and how she before the general court, or court having jurisdiction may reof the probat of his will as aforesaid, or by deed, exe- nounce. cuted in the presence of two or more credible witnesses, declare that she will not take, or accept the provision made for her by such will, or any part thereof, and renounce all benefit which she might claim by the same will, and thereupon such widow shall be entitled to one-third part of the slaves whereof her husband Her dower died possessed, which she shall hold during her life, thereupon. and at her death they and their increase shall go to such person or persons to whom they would have passed and gone if such declaration had not been made; and she shall moreover be entitled to such share of his other personal estate as if he had died intestate, to hold to her as her absolute property; but every widow, not making a declaration within the time aforesaid, shall have no more of her husband's slaves and personal estate, than is given her by his will.
XXII. And that if any widow possessed of a slave Widow reor slaves as of the dower of her husband, shall remove,
un er slaves. or voluntarily permit to be removed out of this commonwealth, such slave or slaves, or any of their increase, without the consent of him or her in reversion, such widow shall forfeit all and every such slave or slaves, and all other the dower which she holds of the endowment of her husband's estate, unto the person or persons thai shall have the reversion thereof; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary, notwithstanding.
XXIII. And if any widow possessed as aforesaid, Husband of shall be married to a husband who shall remove, or widow re:
'moving dow. voluntarily permit to be removed of this commonwealth, any such slave or slaves, or any of their increase, without the consent of him or her in reversion; in such case it shall be lawful for him or her in reversion to enter into, possess, and enjoy all the estate which such husband holdeth in right of his wife's dower for and during the life of the said husband. :
XXIV. All original wills shall be recorded, and Wills to be shall also remain in the clerk's office of the couri recorded, and wherein they are respectively proved, except during clerk's office.
such time as they may be in any superior couri, hariog been removed thither for iuspection by certiorari, or otherwise, after which tliey shall be returned to the
said office. Intestate's XXV. When any person shall die intestate as to his estates, how goods and chattels or any part thereof, after funeral, distributed. debts, and just expences paid, if there be no child,
one moiety, or if there be a child or children, oneWidow's third of the surplus shall go to the wife, but she shall dower there have no more than the use for her life of such slaves as
shall be in her share, and the residue of the surplus, and after the wife's death, the slaves in her share, or if ibere be no wife, then the whole of such surplus shall be distributed in the same proportions, and to the same persons, as lands are directed to descend in, and by an
act of general assembly, intituled “An act directing Husband not the course of descents." Nothing in this act containbound to dis. ed, shall be understood so as to compel the husband to tribute estate of his wife,
ate make distribution of the personal estate of his wife dydying intes. ing intestate. Where any children of the i:atestate, or tate.
their issue, shall have received from the intestate, in in his life-time, any personal estate by way of advancement, and shall choose to come into the distribution
with the other persons entitled, such advancement Hotchpot. shall be brought into lotchpot with the distributable
surplus. Jurisdiction XXVI. The general court, and the several courts, in granting respectively, shall have the like jurisdiction to hear
and determine the right of administration of the estates tion.
of persons dying intestate, as is herein before mentioned, as to the proof of wills, in respect to the intestate's place of residence, or death, or where the estate shall lie, and shall grant certificates for obtaining such ad
ministration to the representatives who apply for the Who to be same, prefering first the husband or wise, and then prefered.
such others as are next entitled to distribution, or one or more of them, as the court shall judge will best ma
nage and improve the estate. When ad. XXVII. If no such person applies for administraministration tion within thirty days from the death of an intestate, granted to
.O the court may grant adıninistration to any creditor or Creditor may creditors who apply for the same, or to any other perbe superse son the court shall in their discretion think fit: But ir ded, by grant,
any will shall alterwards be produced, and proved by to others, or proof will. executors, or the wife or other distributee, who shall
got have before refused, shall apply for the administration, the same shall be granted, in like manner as if the former had not been obtained.
XXVIII. Before granting a certificate for the Oath of ad. administration of any estate, the person or persons to ministrator. whom the same is granted; shall in open court take the following oath, to wit: so You shall swear that
deceased, died without any will, as far as you know or believe; and that you will well and truly administer all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of the said deceased, and pay his debts as . far as his goods, chattels, and credits will extend, and the law require you; and that you will make a true and perfect inventory of all the said goods, chattels, and credits, as also a just account when thereunto required. So help you God.” XXIX. And shall also give band, in a penalty at
Bomi. least equal to the value of the estate, and with such security as shall be approved by the court; with the following condition, to wit: "The condition of this obligation is, that if the said
, admin. istrator of the goods, chattels, and credits of deceased, do made a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of the said deceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession, or knowledge of
, the said or in the hands or possession of any other person or persons, for and the same so made do exhibit into the court,
when he shall be thereto required by the said court; and such goods, chattels, and credits, do well and truly administer according to law; and further, do make a just and true account of his actings and doings therein, when theretó required by the said court: And all the rest of the said goods, chattels, and credits, which shall be found remaining upon the account of the said administrator, the same being first examined and allowed by the justices of the said court for the time being, shall deliver and pay unto such persons respectively as are entitled to the same by law; and if it shall hereafier appear that any last will and testament was made by the deceased, and the same be proved in court, and the executor obtain a certificate of the probat thereof, and the said
do in such case, being required, render and deliver up his letsers of administration, then this oblie