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such time as they may be in any superior court, hava ing been removed thither for inspection by certiorari, or otherwise, after which they shall be returned to the

said office.

els XXV. When any person shall die intestate as to his estates, how goods and chattels or any part thereof, after funeral,

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 there 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, intitoled “ 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

ale make distribution of the personal estate of his wife dyof his wife, dying 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 hotchpot with the distributable

surplus. Jurisdiction XXVI. The general court, and the several courts, in granting respectively, shall have the like jurisdiction to hear alministration.

and determine the right of administration of the estates 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 wife, 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 asl. XXVII. If no such person applies for administraministration tion within thirty days from the death of an intestate, granted to creditor.

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 if to others, or any w

any will shall afterwards be produced, and proved by

sa proof will. executors, or the wife or other distributee, who shall


not have before refused, shall apply for the administraLion, 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 mis 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: “You shall swear that

deceased, died without any will, as far as you know or believe; and that you will well and iruly administer all and singular the goods, challels, 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 bond, in a penalty at 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 coudition 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 ihe 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 thereto 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 hereafter 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 letters of administration, then this obli



gation to be void, else to remain in full force;" which bond shall be payable to the sitting justices and their successors, and may be put in suit and prosecuted in like manner, as is before directed in the case of bonds to be given by executors or administrators, with the will annexed.

XXX. But no security for any executor or adnot liable be. yond he die ministrator shall be chargeable beyond the assets of sets, for de. the testator or intestate, by reason of any omission or fect of plead. mistake in pleading or false pleading of such executors ing.

or adıninistrators. liable. XXXI. If any court shall grant a certificale for obif insufficient taining administration of the estate of any person desecurity ta ceased withont taking good security for the same, as

aforesaid, to be judged of according to the apparent circumstances of the security when taken, aud not from subsequent accidents or discoveries thereof, the justices of such court then sitting shall be answerable to the person or persons injured, for all loss or damage occasioned by the not requiring any, or by the taking insufficient security, recoverable with costs, by action on

the case, in any court of record.

ric XXXII. When securities for executors or adminis. ties relieved. trators conceive themselves in danger of suffering there

by, and petition the court for reliel, the court shall summon the executor or administrator, and make such order or decree thereupon, to relieve and secure the petitioners, by counter security, or otherwise, as to them

shall seem just and equilable. Certificates

es XXXIII. All certificates of probat or of administraof administra. tion effectual. tion, attested by the clerk, shall enable the executor or

administrator to act, and may be produced or given in evidence in any court within this commonwealth, and

be as effectual as any probat or letters of administra. Letters of ad. ion mode out in due corr

- tion made out in due form; nevertheless the clerks of ministration in due form. the courts shall, when required by an executor or ad

ministrator, make out such probat or letters, in due form, in the name of the first justice of the court, which probat or letters shall be signed by such justice, and sealed with the county, cily, or corporation seal, if the will be proved in a county, city, or corporation court, or with the seal of the commonwealth, if proved in the

general court.

. XXXIV. The clerk of every county, city, or corto be return. poration court, shall half yearly, in the months of April



and October, return to the clerk of the general court, el is clerk a list of all certificates granted in his court for probnts near and administrations, within the preceding hall jear, in this formu (date of certificate] [uame of testator or intestate] [names of securities] [penalty of bond] which lists, together with such ceruticates as are granted in the general court, shall be entered by the clerk of the general court, alphabetically, in bouks for that purpose.

XXXV. Every court granting a certificate for a appraisers probal or administration, shall nominate three or more appraisers in every county, city, or corporation, where any of the personal estate of the decellent shall be, who being sworn before a justice of the peace, for that purpose, shall truly, and justly, to the best of their judgment, view and appraise all the personal estate, to thein produced; and shall return such appraisement under their hands to the court ordering the saine; which appraisement, if signed by the executor or administrator, may be considered as an inventory of such part of the estate as had theretofore come to his hands.

XXXVI. Inventories and appraisements may be gi- Inventorics ven in evidence in any suit, by or against the executor and sp, ra se. or administrator, but shall not be conclusive for or ame

far evidence. gaiost him if other testimony be given that the estate was really worth, or was, bona fide, sold for more or less than the appraisement.

XXXVII. Each appraiser shall be entitled to thirty pounds of tobacco, per day, for his attendance, to be

Arpra sor al. paid by the executor or administrator, and charged to the estate.

XXXVIII. Executors and administrators, whether it be necessary for payment of debts, or not, shall as

Sale of per soon as convenient, afier they are qualified, sell at pub- ishi lic sale, all such goods of their testator, or intestate, specific legacies excepted, as are liable to perish, be consumed, or rendered worse by keeping, giving such credit as they shall judge best, and the circumstances of the estate will admit of, taking bond and good security of the purchasers, and shall account for such goods according to the sales. If more be sold than will pay the debts and expences, the executor or administrator may assign the bonds for the surplus, to those entitled to the estate, and be discharged as to 50 much.


Sale of other XXXIX. If such perishing goods be not sufficient personal es. for iate; slaves

• for paying the debts and expences, the executor or adfast.

ministrator shall proceed in the next place to sell the other personal estate, disposing of the slaves last, until the debts and expences be all paid, having regard to

the privilege of specific legacies. When no ap. XL. Nevertheless, if the testator direct his estate not praisement to be appraised, it shall be sufficient to return an invennecessary.

tory thereof only; and if he direct his estate not to be sold, the same shall be preserved in specie, unless a sale be necessary for the payment of debts.

XLI. The dead victuals and liquors, which at the victu- death of any testator or intestate shall have been laid in als and li. quors, for use for consumption in his family, shall not be sold by the of family. executor or administrator, but shall remain for the use

of such family without account thereof to be made: If, however, before its final consumption, any child shall leave the family, such child shall have a right to carry with him an equal share of what shall then be on hand. Any live stock which may be necessary for the food of the family, may also be killed for that use, at any time,

before the sale, division, or distribution of the estate. Sale of lands XLII. The sale and conveyance of lands devised to devised to be sold, how

ve be sold, shall be made by the executors, or such of them made. as shall undertake the execution of the will, if no other

person be thereby appointed for that purpose, or if the person so appointed shall refuse to perforo the trust, or

die before he shall have completed it. Rules as to XLIII. If any person shall die after the first day of servants,

March, the servants and slaves of which he was slaves and crcps.

possessed, whether held for life or for other interest, and which were employed in making a crop, shall be continued on the plantations in the occupation of the decedent, until the last day of December following, and Then delivered to those who shall have a right to demand ilie same; and their crops shall be assets in the hands of the executors and administrators, subject to debis, legacies, and distribution; the levies and taxes, their tools, the expence of feeding them and their families to that time, and delivering them well clothed, being first deducted. And if such servants or slaves be held by the testator or intestate for his life only, in that case the executor or administrator shall be obliged to deliver to those who are entitled in remainer or reversion, three

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