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PREFACE

The author hereby presents a book of five hundred and ten complete forms, suited to procedure in the probate courts, surrogate courts, and courts of ordinary, under the codes of the several States of the Union, and to procedure related to probate matters in the courts of general jurisdiction. Titles to many forms other than such completed ones, but of like construction, are also given, with directions for comparison. One chapter is assigned to forms of “Permanent Record Books."

I have attempted a system which, while not adapted as a whole to practice in any particular State, may, nevertheless, prove to be so broad and variegated as to cover nearly every essential phase of probate procedure in any case in any jurisdiction, from the original petition for letters to the final decree distributing and assigning the residue of the estate, and to the perfection of an appeal. The substance of the work is from approved practice in the courts, but the several forms here given have been simplified and shortened by the omission of much antiquated and meaningless verbiage, and placed under a new and original arrangement of the subject matter.

Brevity being considered essential, annotations to show the adaption of the forms to particular laws are not given. The careful probate lawyer always proceeds step by step in each case, under the direction of special statutes; and the part of the law under his consideration suggests to him the nature and the title of its related form in procedure, each form used bearing a well known relation to all the others in the case. Therefore the arrangement of the forms in the “Synopsis” on the front pages of this book is in the general order: required for their use under most of the codes. By such “Synopsis” one is enabled to turn conveniently to the special matter he is about to formulate. To make the book most useful the practitioner should, after having adapted to his use certain of the forms herein given, write after the numbers and titles of the same, respectively, the numbers of the related paragraphs of his code. Should this work prove to be of real service in creating uniformity of procedure and in saving both time and labor usually lost in a random investigation of the pleas, processes, returns, notices, orders, etc., necessary to complete the record in a probate case, and further prove to be a reliable and serviceable hand-book for both the student and the lawyer, then the purpose of the author will have been accomplished.

Ira E. Billingslea.

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