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IN THE SEVENTEENTH YEAR OF THE COMMONWEALTH. 161

1792.

of a child, which shall be born, fhall have no effect during the life of such after born child, and Mall be void, unless the child die without having been married, or before he or the thall have attained the age of twenty-one years. When A pofthumous child a Testator shall leave children born, and his wife enseint, the posthumous child pretermitted in his fa

to the or children, if it be unprovided for by settlement, and be neither provided for fame portion of his elnor disinherited, but only pretermitted by the last will and testament, shall fuc- tate as if he had died in ceed to the same portion of the father's estate, as such child would have been teftaiç. entitled to, if the father had died intestate ; towards raising which portion, the devisees and legatees shall contribute proportionably, out of the parts devised and bequeathed to them by the same will and testament.a

IV. NO person under the age of eighteen years, shall be capable of dispof- No person under the ing of his chattels by will. a

age of 18 to dispose of

his chatsels by will. V. NO nuncupative will shall be establisfied, unless it be made in the time Rules concerning nunof the last fickness of the deceased at his habitation, or where he hath resided cupative wilis. for ten days next preceding, except where the deceased is taken fick from home, and dies before he returns to such habitation; nor where the value exceeds thirty dollars, unless it be proved by two witnesses, that the Tellator called on some person present to take notice or bear testimony that such is his will, or words of the like import, a

VI. AFTER fix months have elapsed from the time of speaking the pre. Where they shall not be tended testamentary words, no testimony shall be received to prove a nuncupa- of force. tive will, unless the testimony, or the fubitance thereof, shall have been committed to writing within fix days after making the will. a

VII, NO will in writing, or any devise th:rein of chattels, shall be revok. How devises of chattels ed by a subsequent will, codicil, or declaration, unless the same be in writing. a may be revoked.

VIII. ANY'Soldier in actual military service, or any mariner or seaman be- Soldiers and seamen may ing at sea, may dispose of his chattels as he might heretofore have done. a t dispose of their chattels

as heretofore IX. If any person shall subscribe his name as a witness to a will wherein Where bequests to the any bequeft is given to him, if the will may be not otherwise proved, the bequeft witoefles shall be void. shall be void, and fuch witness shall be allowed and compellable to appear, and give testimony on the residue of the will, in like manner as if no such bequest had been made. But if such witness would be entitled to any share of the Testator's estate in case the will were not established, so much of his faid shares thall be saved to him, as shall not exceed the value of the legacy bequeathed him. a

X. THE several Diftria, County, or Corporation Courts, shall have power Diftri&t and county to hear and determine all causes, matters, suits and controversies tellementary, courts may take proof of arising within their respective jurisdictions, and to examine and take the proof wills, and grant admini: of wills, and grant certificates thereof, according to the methods and rules fol- ftrations. lowing; that is to say: If any Testator fhall have a mansion-house, or known place of residence, his will shall be proved in the Court of the Diftri&t, County, or Corporation, wherein such manfion-house, or place of residence is; if he have no such place of residence, and lands be devised in the will, it shall be proved in the Court of the District, County, or Corporation, wherein the lands lie, or in one of them where there shall be lands in several Districts or Counties; and if he hath no such known place of residence, and there be no lands devised, then the will may be proved, either in the Court of the Distrie, County, or Corporation where the Telator fhall die, or that wherein his citate, or the greater part thereof, thall be ; or such will may in any case, be proved in the General Court, a

XI. WHEN any will Thall be exhibited to be proved, the Court having probat to be received jurifdition as aforesaid, may proceed immediately to receive the probat there when the will is exhibit of, and grant a certificate of such probat: If however, any person interested, ed. fall within seven years afterwards appear, and by his bill in Chancery content But the validity there of the validity of the will, an issue shall be made up, whether the writing produc may be contested by any ed be the will of the Teltator or not, which Mall be tried by a Jury, whose interefted within leven verdiat shall be final between the parties ; saving to the Court a power of grant.

years thereafter. ing a new trial for good cause, as in other trials; but no such party appearing within that time, the probat shall be forever binding : Saving also to infants,

(a) 1785, ch. 61, sec. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. + Soldiers and feamen were authorised 10 make nuncupative wills by ji ar's 29, char. 2, c. 3 and 5, W.3, c. 21, which were considered as never in force in this country Quere therefore the effect of this clauf---Vidc B. Com 4

1792.

162 IN THE SEVENTEENTH YEAR OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

pe.

femes covert, and persons absent from the state, or non compos mentis, the like
riod after the removal of their respective disabilities. a

XII. IN all such trials by Jury, the certificate of the oath of the witnesses at the time of the first probat, ihall be admitted as evidence, to have

such weight as the Jury Mall think it deserves. 6 • How wills may be prov

XIII. IT thall be lawful for any Court when any will shall be produced to ed oy witnesses reading them for probat, and any witness attesting the same shall reside out of the Comout of the common. monwealth, to issue a commission or commiffions annexed to such will, and diwealth.

rected to the presiding Judge of any Court of Law, or to any Notary Pub. lic, Mayor, or other Chief Magistrate of any City, Town, Corporation, or Coun: ty, where such witness may be found, authoriting the taking and cerrifying his attestation. If he person to whom any such commission Mall be directed, shall certify in the manner such acts are usually authenticated by him, that the witness personally appeared before him and male oath, or folemn afärınation (as, the case may require) that the Teltacor figned and published the writing annexed to such commission as his last will and testament, or that some other person signed it by his direction, that he was of disposing mind and memory, and that lie subscribed his nare thereto in the presence of the Teftator, and at his request, such oath or affirmation Phall have the same operation, and the will be recorded in like manner, as if such oath or affirmation had been made in the

Court from whence such commission issued. " Copies of wiils proved XIV. AUTHENTICATED copies of wills proved according to the Laws in other states or coun. of any of the United States, or of Countries without the limits of the same, and tries, may be proved & relative to any estate within this Commonwealth, may be offered for probat in recorded in the courts of this commonwealth. '

the, General Court; or where the efate fo devised Thall lie altogether in any one County or District, the Court of fuch County or District respectively may admit to record any such authenticated copies, but the bond

and cath of the executor or administrator, with the will annexed, hall be changed from the

bond and oath required by Law in other cases, in such manner as to the laid The validity thereof

Court shall seem necessary, and the proof to be made by the witnesses thall be may be contested as the conformed to the nature of the case. But such will fall be liable to be conoriginals might have been.

telted and controverted in the same manner as the original might have been. The executors named XV. ALL persons named as executors in any such will, shall, after the copy therein entitled to pro- thereof has been admitted to record as above directed, be entitled to a probat bat.

of the said will, in the same manner as if the original will had been prored in And adminiftration

such Court. And where there shall be no exccutors named in the faij will, or granted where there are none, or they refuse to the executors therein named, fhali all of them refuse the executorthip, the Court qualify.

shall have the same power and authority to hear and determine the right of administration, and to grant a certificate for obtaining letters of administration,

with the will annexed, as if the original will had been proved in Court. e When nuncupative wills XVI. NO nuncupative will shall be proved within fourteen days after the Hay be proved. death of the Testator, nor until his widow (if any) and next of kin, have been

fummoned to conteit the same, if they please. f. Any person possessed of

XVII. If the General Court, or any District, County, or Corporation another's will may be Court, having jurisdiction as aforesaid, thall be informed that any person hath compelled to produce it. the will of a Testator in his custody, fuch Court may fummon such person, and

by a proper process, compel him to produce the fame. Where executors refule, 'xviif. f the executors named in any will shall all refuse the executorship, administration with the or being required to give security as herein after mentioned, mall refuse or fail will annexed fhall be

to give the fame, which shall amount to a refusal of the executorhip, in either tranted.

cale, the Court having jurisdiction as aforesaid, may receive the proof of the.. · will, and grantx a certificate for obtaining letters of administration with the

same annexed, to the person to whom administration would have been granted,

if there had been no will of the deceased. 'f Executors and admini. XIX. BEFORE granting a certificate of the probat of any will, the execuItratos fhall be sworn. tor or administrator, with the will annexed (as the case may be) thall in open

Court take the following oath, to wit:

you pall fivear that this writing contains the true laft zuill of ibe within named Oath of an executo: os

as far as you know or believe ; and ibal you will avril and aiminiftrator with the truly pe form the same by paying first bis drbis, and then the legacies contained in will annexed.

she said cuill, as far as bis goods, chatiels and crediis will extend, and the Low (a) 1785, ch. 61, fec. 11.

22 ? Geo. 21, cb. fec. 4. (b) 1795, ch , fic. 12. (1) 1787, ih.21, jec. 21789, ch. 13. fuc.7:. (e) 1787, ch. 21, jêc. 7. 11785,6k. 61, foc. 43, 5.

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