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appeal had been made; and to take proper care of the ward and his family during the pendency of said appeal.

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An act empowering Town-Clerks to appoint Deputies, and

Town-Councils and Courts of Probate to appoint Clerks pro tempore.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by the Townauthority thereof it is enacted, That the several town-clerks aber

appoint in this State be and they are hereby authorized, by and deputies. with the approbation of the town-council of such town, to appoint deputies, whenever such appointment shall be rendered necessary by the sickness of the town-clerk, or when he is otherwise compelled to be absent from his office: and that such deputy so appointed shall perform all Their dathe duties which are incumbent on the town-clerk, being ty. thereunto qualified by taking the oath (or affirmation of office as required by law.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That any town-clerk Clerks appointing a deputy as aforesaid shall be responsible for answera

ble for the good conduct of such deputy, and shall have good their negright to take bond, with surety, in such penalty as he may lect. require, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the du- May

quire ties of the office during the time which he shall exercise bond. the same; and such clerk may revoke such appointment and cancel such bond at his discretion.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the several town- Towncouncils in this State, whenever it shall satisfactorily ap

"Yapmay ap. pear to them, that the town-clerk is disqualified, from any point

clerks pro cause whatsoever, to exercise and perform the several du- . ties of said office, may and shall appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall be duly qualified as aforesaid, and shall be authorized to perform all the duties of town-clerk until such disability of the town-clerk is, in the opinion of the town-council, removed, or until a town-clerk may be legally appointed by the town.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That whenever any Also councouncil-clerk, clerk of probate, or clerk of the board of cil clerk, ' health, shall not appear at the time and place appointed for the meeting of such town-council, court of probate or board of health, such town-council, court of probate or board of health, may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who, after being duly engaged, shall do and perform all the duties enjoined by law on the town-clerk.



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Deputies' Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all deputies and power and duty.

clerks pro tempore, appointed as herein provided, be and they are hereby empowered to record all the doings of the towns, town-councils, courts of probate, and boards of health, and to give certified copies of the same, together with all necessary certificates and attestations; and that full faith and credit shall be attached to the same, in as full and perfect manner and degree, as if done by the town-clerk appointed by such town.

1798, 1803, '22.

An act prescribing the manner of devising Lands, Tenements and

Hereditaments, and of disposing of Personal Estate by Will. Who may Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, and by devise lands. the authority thereof it is enacted, That every person, being

upwards of twenty-one years of age, and of sane mind, not being a feme covert, and being lawfully seized of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, in his or her own right, in fee-simple, fee-tail, or for the life or lives of any other person or persons, or for any other term of time than his or her own life, shall have a right to give, devise and dispose of the same, by last will or testament, in wri

ting, to and among his or her children, or others, as he or Proviso. she shall think fit: Provided, That no person seized in fee

simple, shall have a right to devise any estate in fee-tail for a longer time than to the children of the first devisee, and a devise for life to any person and to the children or issue generally of such devisee, in fee-simple, shall not vest a fee-tail estate in the first devisee, but an estate for life only, and the remainder shall, on his decease, vest in his children or issue generally, agreeably to the direction in

such will. Wills how Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all devises and to be executed. bequests of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, shall

be in writing, and signed by the party so devising the same, or by some person in his presence, and by his express direction, and shall be attested and subscribed in the presence of the devisor by three or more credible witnesses, or

else shall be utterly void, and of no effect; and moreover, revoked.

no devise or bequest in writing of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any clause thereof, shall be revocable otherwise than by some other will or codicil in writing, or other writing, declaring the same, or by burning, cancelling, tearing or obliterating the same by the testator him

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self, or in his presence, and by his direction and consent; Will to be

in force but all devises of lands and tenements shall remain and continue in full force until the same be burned, cancelled, voked. torn or obliterated by the testator, or by his direction, in manner aforesaid, or unless the same be altered by some other will or codicil, or other writing of the devisor, signed in the presence of three or more witnesses, declaring such alteration.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That every person be- Who may ing upwards of eighteen years of age, and of sane mind, personat not being a feme covert, shall have a right to give and dis- estatte. pose of all his or her goods, chattels and other personal estate of every kind, by last will and testament in writing, in the same manner as he or she is authorized by this act, if upwards of twenty-one years of age, to dispose of real Testament estate ; and no will or testament of any goods or chattels, how, exe

CIS, cuted. or other personal estate, shall be valid and effectual to convey the same, unless such will or testament shall be in writing, and signed and executed in the manner prescribed in this act for the execution of wills of real estate ; nor How reshall any will of goods, chattels or other personal estate voked. of any kind, be revocable in any other manner than is hereinbefore prescribed for the revocation of wills or testaments of real estate; Provided nevertheless, That any sol- Proviso, dier in actual military service, or any mariner or seainan, being at sea, may dispose of his personal estate by will as he might heretofore have done, any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided also, That the widow of Widow any testator, in whose will provision is made for said wid-may ac

cept proow, in lieu of her dower, shall, in case of her acceptance vision, in of that provision, signify the same in writing to the court of lies probate, within one year from the probate of the will, or otherwise she shall receive no benefit from such provision.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That when any child Posthushall happen to be born after the death of the father, with-mous chil: out having any provision made in his will, every such post- herit. humous child shall have a right and interest in the estate of his or her father, in like manner as if the father had died intestate, and the same shall be assigned to him or her accordingly.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all such estate, Estate not real or personal, as is not devised or bequeathed in the last devised,

how diswill and testament of any person hereafter to be proved, tributed. shall be distributed in the same manner as if it were an intestate estate.

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Devisee Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That when any child, dying, his grand-child, or other relation, having a devise or bequest heir to in. 3 herit. of real or personal estate, shall die before the testator,

leaving lineal descendants, such descendants shall take the estate real or personal in the same way and manner such devisee would have done, in case he or she had sur

vived the testator. Legacies Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any person hath to witnesse attested, or shall attest the execution of any will or codies void.

cil, to whom any beneficial devise, legacy, estate, gift or appointment, of or affecting any real or personal estate, other than and except charges on lands, tenements or hereditaments, for the payment of any debt or debts, shall be thereby given or made, such devise, legacy, estate, inter

est, gift or appointment, shall, so far only as concerns such But lega.. person attesting the execution of such will or codicil, or tee may be a witness. any person claiming under him, be utterly void ; and such

person shall be admitted as a witness to the execution of such will or codicil, such devise, legacy, estate, interest,

gift or appointment, notwithstanding. Creditor Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That in case by any will may be a witness.

or codicil already made or hereafter to be made, any lands, tenements or hereditaments are or shall be charged with any debt or debts, and any creditor, whose debt is so charged, hath attested, or shall attest, the execution of such will or codicil, every such creditor, notwithstanding such charge, shall be admitted as a witness to the execution of such will or codicil.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That in case any ledying to be gatee, as aforesaid, who hath attested the execution of deemed a 54 legal wit- any, will or codicil already made, or which shall hereaf

ter be made, shall die in the lifetime of the testator, or before the probate of such will, such legatee shall be deemed to have been a legal witness to the execution of such will or codicil, within the intent of this act, notwith

standing such legacy or bequest. Will when Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That if any executor to be prov. or executors of the will of any person deceased, knowing

of their being so named and appointed, shall not, within thirty days next after the decease of the testator, cause such will to be proved and recorded in the clerk of probate's office, of the same town where the deceased person last dwelt, or present the said will, and in writing declare his, her or their resusal, every executor so neglecting his or her trust and duty in that behalf (without just excuse

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made and accepted by the court of probate for such de- Penalty

for neglect lay) shall forfeit the sum of ten dollars a month, from and inp after the expiration of the said thirty days, until he, she or they shall cause probate of such will to be made, or present the same as aforesaid ; every such forfeiture to be recovered by action of debt, in any court of competent jurisdiction in the same county; one moiety for him or them who shall sue for the same, and the other moiety for the use of the legatees named in the said will; and upon any In case exsuch refusal of the executor ar executors, the court of ecutor

fuses, who probate shall commit administration of the estate of the to admindeceased to one or more of the devisees or legatees, or ister. in case of their refusal, to one or more of the principal creditors, or such other person or persons as they shall think fit, being an inhabitant of this State: and if any per- Who may son shall alienate or embezzle any of the goods, chattels be

o utor in or other personal estate, of any deceased person, before his own he or she shall have taken out letters of administration, wrong. and exhibited a true inventory of all the known estate of the person deceased, every such person shall stand chargeable, and be liable to the actions of the creditors and other persons aggrieved, as being an executor in his or her own wrong.

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That every executor Executor named in a will hereafter to be proved, and taking upon ho

" bond. him that trust by proving the same, shall give bond to the court of probate, with sufficient surety or sureties, to return, upon oath or affirmation, a true and perfect invento- Condition: ry of the testator's goods, chattels, rights and credits, unto the court of probate, within three months, and to render an account of his proceedings thereon, in the same manner as administrators are by law obliged to be bound- Resid en, unless such executor or executors are residuary lega- ary legatees, in which case bonds may be given by him, her or them to pay the debts and legacies of the testator; and in to pay case such executor or executors shall neglect or refuse for deb the space of twenty days to give bond as aforesaid, the

Executor court of probate may commit administration of the estate to of such testator, with the will annexed, to some other per- give bond.. son, in like manner as they may grant the same when the executor refuses the trust : and when the executor is un- Executor der the age of twenty-one years at the time of proving the under age,

&c. will, administration may be granted with the will annexed during the minority of such executor, to an inhabitant of this State, as aforesaid, and when there are divers per



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