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When no will is made, the property of a deceased person is distributed as follows:
First. To his or her children and their descendants, in equal parts; the descendants of the deceased child or grandchild taking the share of their deceased parents in equal parts among them.
Second. When there is no child of the intestate, nor descendant of such child, and no widow or surviving husband, then to the parents, brothers or sisters of the deceased, and their descendants, in equal parts among them, allowing to each of the parents, if living, a child's part, or to the survivor of them if one be dead, a double portion ; and if there is no parent living, then to the brothers and sisters of the intestate, and their descendants.
Third. When there is a widow or surviving husband, and no child or children, or descendants of a child or children of the intestate, then after the payment of all just debts) one-half of the real estate and the whole of the personal estate shall descend to such widow or surviving husband as an absolute estate forever.
Fourth. When there is a widow or a surviving husband, and also a child or children, or descendants of such child or children of the intestate, the widow or surviving husband shall receive, as his or her absolute personal estate, onethird of all the personal estate of the intestate.
Fifth. If there is no child of the intestate, or descendant of such child, and no parent, brother or sister, or descendant of such parent, brother or sister, and no widow or surviving husband, then such estate shall descend in equal parts to the next of kin to the intestate, in equal degree (computing by the rules of the civil law), and there shall be no representation among collaterals, except with the descendants of brothers and sisters of the intestate; and in no case shall there be any distinction between the kindred of the whole and the half blood.
Sixth. If any intestate leaves a widow or surviving husband and no kindred, his or her estate shall descend to such widow or surviving husband.
WILLS AND ESTATES OF DECEASED. PERSONS. No exact form of words is necessary in order to make a will good at law. Every male person of the age of 21 years, and every female of the age of 18 years, of sound mind and memory, can make a valid will; it must be in writing, signed by the testator or by some one in his or her presence and by his or her direction, and attested by two or more credible witnesses. Care should be taken that the witnesses are not interested in the will. Persons knowing themselves to have been named in the will or appointed executor must within thirty days of the death of deceased cause the will to be proved and recorded in the proper county, or present it and refuse to accept; on failure to do so, are liable
to forfeit the sum of $20 per month. Inventory to be made by executor or adininistrator within three months from date of letters testamentary or of administration. Executors' and administrators' compensation not to exceed six per cent. on amount of personal estate, and three per cent. on money realized from real estate, with such additional allowance as shall be reasonable for extra services. Appraisers' compensation, $2 per day.
Notice requiring all claims to be presented against the estate shall be given by the executor or admininistrator WITHIN SIX MONTHS of being qualified. Any person having a claim and not presenting it at the time fixed by said notice is required to have summons issued notifying the executor or administrator of his having filed his claim in court; in such cases, the costs have to be paid by the claimant. CLAIMS should be filed within TWO YEARS from the time ADMINISTRATION is granted on an estate, as after that time they are forever barred, unless other estate is found that was not inventoried. MARRIED WOMEN, INFANTS, PERSONS INSANE,
or without the UNITED STATES, in the employment of the UNITED STATES, or of THIS STATE, have TWO YEARS after their disabilities are removed to file claims.
CLAIMS are classified and paid out of the estate in the following manner: First. Funeral expenses.
Second. The widow's award, if there is a widow; or children. if there are children, and no widow.
Third. Expenses attending the last illness, not including physician's bill. Fourth. Debts due the common school or township fund.
Fifth. All expenses of proving the will and taking out letters testamentary or administration, and settlement of the estate, and the physician's bill in the last illness of deceased.
Sixth. Where the deceased has received money in trust for any purpose, his executor or administrator shall pay out of his estate the amount received and not accounted for.
Seventh. All other debts and demands of whatsoever kind, without regard to quality or dignity, which shall be exhibited to the court within two years from the granting of letters.
AWARD TO WIDOW AND CHILDREN, exclusive of debts and legacies or bequests, except funeral expenses :
First. The family pictures and wearing apparel, jewels and ornaments of herself and minor children.
Second. School books and the family library of the value of $100.
Fifth. The stoves and pipe used in the family, with the necessary cooking utensils, or, in case they have none, $50 in money.
Sixth. Household and kitchen furniture to the value of $100.
Seventh. One milch cow and calf for every four members of her family.
Eighth. Two sheep for each member of her family and the fleeces taken from the same, and one horse, saddle and bridle.
Ninth. Provisions for herself and family for one year.
Twelfth. One hundred dollars' worth of other property suited to her condition in life, to be selected by the widow.
The widow, if she elects, may have in lieu of the said award, the same personal property or money in place thereof as is or may be exempt from execution or attachment against the head of a family.
The owners of real and personal property, on the first day of May in each year, are liable for the taxes thereon.
Assessments should be completed before the fourth Monday in June, at which time the town board of review meets to examine assessments, hear objections, and make such changes as ought to be made. The county board have also power to correct or change assessments.
The tax books are placed in the hands of the Town Collector on or before the tenth day of December, who retains them until the tenth day of March following, when he is required to return them to the County Treasurer, who then collects all delinquent taxes.
No costs accrue on real estate taxes till advertised, which takes place the first day of April, when three weeks' notice is required before judgment. Cost of advertising, twenty cents each tract of land, and ten cents each lot.
Judgment is usually obtained at May term of County Court. Costs six cents each tract of land, and five cents each lot. Sale takes place in June. Costs in addition to those before mentioned, twenty-eight cents each tract of land, and twenty-seven cents each town lot.
Real estate sold for taxes may be redeemed any time before the expiration of two years from the date of sale, by payment to the County Clerk of the amount for which it was sold, and twenty-five per cent. thereon if redeemed within six months, fifty per cent. if between six and twelve months, if between twelve and eighteen months seventy-five per cent., and if between eighteen months and two years one hundred per cent., and in addition, all subsequent taxes paid by the purchaser, with ten per cent. interest thereon, also one dollar each tract if notice is given by the purchaser of the sale, and a fee of twenty-five cents to the clerk for his certificate.
JURISDICTION OF COURTS. Justices have jurisdiction in all civil cases on contracts for the recovery
of moneys for damages for injury to real property, or taking, detaining or injuring
personal property; for rent; for all cases to recover damages done real or personal property by railroad companies, in actions of replevin, and in actions for damages for fraud in the sale, purchase or exchange of personal property, when the amount claimed as due is not over $200. They have also jurisdiction in all cases for violation of the ordinances of cities, towns or villages. A Justice of the Peace may orally order an officer or a private person to arrest any one committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense. He also. upon complaints can issue his warrant for the arrest of any person accused of having committed a crime, and have him brought before him for examination.
Have jurisdiction in all matters of probate, settlement of estates of deceased persons, appointment of guardians and conservators, and settlement of their accounts; all matters relating to apprentices; proceedings for the collection of taxes and assessments, and in proceedings of executions, administrators, guardians and conservators for the sale of real estate. In law casess they have concurrent jurisdiction with Circuit Courts in all cases where Justices of Peace now have when the amount claimed shall not exceed $500, and in all criminal offenses where the punishment is not imprisonment in the penitentiary or death, but no appeal is allowed from Justices of the Peace to County Courts.
Circuit Courts-Have unlimited jurisdiction.
LIMITATION OF ACTION.
Accounts five years. Notes and written contracts ten years. Judgments twenty years. Partial payment or new promise in writing, within or after said period, will revive the debt. Absence from the State deducted, and when the cause of action is barred by the law of another State, it has the same effect here. Slander and libel, one year. Personal injuries, two years. To recover land or make entry thereon, twenty years. A
Action to foreclose mortgage or trust deed, or make a sale, within ten years.
All persons in possession of land, and paying taxes for seven consecutive years, with color of title, and all persons paying taxes for seven consecutive years, with color of title, on vacant land, shall be held to be the legal owners to the extent of their
MARRIED WOMEN May sue and be sued. Husband and wife not liable for each other's debts, either before or after marriage, but both are liable for expenses and education of
She may contract the same as if unmarried, except that, in a partnership business, she cannot, without consent of her husband, unless he has abandoned or deserted her, or is idiotic or insane, or confined in penitentiary; she is entitled to and can recover her own earnings, but neither husband nor wife is entitled to compensation for any services rendered for the other. At the death of the husband, in addition to widow's award, a married woman has a dower interest (one-third) in all real estate owned by her husband after their marriage, and which has not been released by her, and the husband has the same interest in the real estate of the wife at her death.
EXEMPTIONS FROM FORCED SALE.
HOME WORTH $1,000, AND PERSONAL PROPERTY.—Lot of ground and buildings thereon, occupied as a residence by the debtor, being a householder and having a family, to the value of $1,000. Exemption continues after the death of the householder for the benefit of widow and family, some one of them occupying the homestead until youngest child shall become 21 years of age, and until death of widow. There is no exemption from sale for taxes, assessments, debt or liability incurred for the purchase or improvement of said homestead. No release or waiver of exemption is valid, unless in writing, and subscribed by such householder and wife (if he have one), and acknowledged as conveyances of real estate are required to be acknowledged. The following articles of personal property owned by the debtor are exempt from execution, writ of attachment and distress for rent: The necessary wearing apparel of every person; one sewing machine; the furniture, tools and implements necessary to carry on his trade or business, not exceeding $100 in value; the implements or library of any professional man, not exceeding $100 in value ; materials and stock designed and procured for carrying on his trade or business, and intended to be used or wrought therein, not exceeding $100 in value; and, also, when the debtor is the head of a family and resides with the same, necessary beds, bedsteads and bedding, two stoves and pipe, necessary household furniture, not exceeding in value $100, one cow, calf, two swine, one yoke of oxen, or two horses in lieu thereof, worth not exceeding $200, with the harness therefor, necessary provisions and fuel for the use of the family three months, and necessary food for the stock hereinbefore exempted for the same time; the Bibles, school books and family pictures; the family library, cemetery lots, and rights of burial and tombs for the repositories of the dead; one hundred dollars' worth of other property, suited to his condition in life, selected by the debtor. No personal property is exempt from sale for the wages of laborers or servants. W:
Vages of a laborer who is head of a family cannot be garnisheed, except the sum due him is in excess of $25.
DEEDS AND MORTGAGES.
To be valid, there must be a valid consideration. Special care should be taken to have them signed, sealed, delivered and properly acknowledged, with the proper seal attached.
Witnesses are not required. The acknowledgment must be made in this State before Master in Chancery, Notary Public, United States Commissioner, Circuit or County Clerk, Justice of the Peace or any