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XV. And that the value of all decedents estates may Inventory to be the better known, and an account thereof the more be returned

to court, by justly kept, every person or persons being appointed ex’rs and executor or executors, administrator or administra- adm’rs. tors, of any, or part of any estate whatsoever, and hav. ing a certificate for obtaining probat, or commission of administration granted unto him, her, or them, for the same, shall, at the next court after the obtaining of such certificate, upon his, her, or their corporal oath, exhibit a true and perfect inventory, as far as in them lies, of all and every part of the estate whereof the executorship, or allministration shall be to him, her, or them, committed: And if it so happen, that such a full and perfect inventory, as is directed, cannot be made in the time hereby mentioned, upon reasonablo cause to them shewn, the court may allow such further time for exhibiting such inventory, as to them shall seem necessary.

XVI. And the courts shall cause appraisements of all decedents estates to be made in money, as soon as


ments, bow possible, by at least three good and lawful men upon to be made. oath, and in the same order, whereby the court shall order such appraisement; they shall also appoint the appraisers, and nominate one or more of the justices of their county, to administer an oath to the said appraisers, for their true and just valuing the estate, according to the best of their judgment, (which justices so nominated, or any one of them, shall be and is hereby fully impowered to administer such oath;) and accordingly the same shall be held and deemed to be lawfully administred, and to enure and to take effect, as firm and valid in law, to the purposes mentioned. Every one of which said appraisers shall be paid thirty allowance.

Appraiser's pounds of tobacco for every day he shall attend to make such appraisement.

XVII. And for peventing all disputes that may a- Servants and rise concerning the right of crops upon the ground, It slaves to be is hereby enacted and declared, That where any person

continued on or persons shall die intestate, whilst biş crop of Indian decedent.

plantation of Corn, Wheat, or other Grain, or Tobacco is on the ground, unfinished, or dying testate, shall not have otherwise directed, all and every servant and slave, einployed in the said crop at the time of such decease, shall be continued on tbe plantations, and employed in the crop or crops respectively, until the five and twentieth

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day of December then next coming; and that then the
said crop shall be dremed and taken to be assets in the

executor's or adıninistrators hands, to be valued by apGrops to be praisers to be appointed, in the same manner as they

shall be for the other part of the deceased person's esassets.

tate; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary, not-
withstanding. And the slaves employed in the said
crop, as aforesaid, shall, after the said five and twen-
tieth day of December, be delivered to such person or
persons to whom the same is declared to belong, by an
act of assembly, made at a general assembly, begun at

the capitol, the twenty-third day of October, in the Slares, when year one thousand seven hundred and five, intituled, to be deliv. An act declaring the Negro, Mulatto, and Indian ed to heir.

Slaves, within this Dominion to be Real Estate.

XVIII. Provided always, and it is the true intent

and meaning of this act, That no executor or adminis. Executor or

trator shall be answerable for the price of any negro,
adm'r not
answerable or other servant or slave, which shall lappen to die be-
for slave dy- fore the said twenty-fifth day of December, although

such negro, or other servant or slave, shall be put into
the inventory of the deceased person's estate.

XIX. Provided always, That if any person shall
When testa.
tor may di

hereafter depart this lifc, leaving an estate more than rect sufficient to pay all debts due from the same, such pertate not to son shall and may have liberty to settle his or her es. he'appraised.

tate by will, in such manner as he or she shall think
fit; and may also direct, that the same shall not be ap-
praised; and every such will shall be held valid, ac-
cording to the true intent thereof: And the making a
true inventory of the estate of such person, without pro-
ceeding to appraise the same, shall be held a sufficient
compliance with this act.

xx. Provided also, That if any person or persons
When no se-
curity may

already departed this life hath, or any person or perbe required sons who shall hereafter depart this life, shall by will of executor. bequeath his or her estate to his or her children, and

make them, or such of them as are of age, executors
of such will; or bequeath his or her estate to the hus-
band or wife, or to his wife and children, and make
them, or either of them, as aforesaid, executors; or
in case there be no husband, or wife, or children, such
person dying, shall by will make any person or persons
whatsoever his or her executor and residuary legatee,
or where the testator shall by his will direct, that his


executor or executors shall not be obliged to give security; in all or either of the aforesaid cases, no security shall be demanded of such executor or exccutors, nor of any person or persons, who shall by any testator bo appointed executor or executors in trust, durante minori ætate of his children, where he shall by his will have made his said children executors, and ordered that his estate shall be preserved in kind, and the profits thereof redound to the benefit of such children at their coming of age; any thing in this act, to the contrary there. of, in any wise, ilotwithstanding.

XXI. And proviúed likewise, That nothing herein Power of contained, shall be construed to abridge or restrain the ex’rs before powers of executors over their testator's estates, before,

probat not

abridged. or until probat of the will, or commission of administration, with the will annexed, is obtained, as fully and amply, as if this act had never been malle.

XXII. And that the wills of persons deceased may be the better preserved, Be it enacted, That all original Wills to re.

main among wills shall remain in the clerk's office amongst the re- records, cords of the several respective counties, where they shall be proved, whereto any person, whose occasions shall so require, may have recourse, as to the other records: except for the time it shall be removed by di. rection of any superior court. And that unto every probat, granted upon certificate from any court, there shall be annexed a true copy of the will whereupon such probat shall be granted.

XXIII. Provided always, and it is hereby declared to where provbe the true intent and meaning herenf, That in all cases ed. testamentary, where the decedent shall have left es. When gene

ral courts tate, real or personal, of the value of fifty pounds ster

may grant ling, or upwards, in divers counties within this colony, probats. it shall and may be lawful for the general court of this dominion, upon motion made to them by the executor or executors of such person dying testate, or by the person or persons who hath the right of administration of the estate of any person dying intestate, or whose exeecutors shall refuse to take upon them the trust, to take the proof of wills, and to hear and determine the right of administration, and thereupon to grant certificate for obtaining a probat or administration, or administration, with the will annexed, as the case is. And that in all cases where wills are exhibited to be proved in the general court, the court shall assign a certain day

of the riext succeeding general court, for proving the same; and shall direct summons to the heir or beirs at law, in the same manner as is directed for the county courts. And wherever proclamation is by this act made requisite, for snmmoning any heir or heirs, the general court shall cause such proclamation to be publicly affixed in their courthouse; and shall also cause pro. clamation to be made in the county where the testator died, after the same manner as is directed upon proving the will in the county court.

XXIV. That all probats of wills, and commissions Howprobats, and adminis.

of administration, granted upon certificate obtained in trations from the general court, shall issue under the seal of the generalcourt colony, and shall be signed by the governor or comto issue.

mander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, or by the president of the council, for the time being, or by such member or meinbers of the said court, as shall be commissionated for that purpose, by the governor, or president respectively. And that the forms of all oaths and bonds, required by this act of executors or administrators for the due discharge of their trust, shall be the same as is directed for the county courts, mutatis mutandis.

XXV. Provided always, That where the general court When court shall grant certificate för obtaining the administration king insutli- of any estate, and shall fail to take suilicient security cient securi- for the same; in that case, the members of the said ty

court, granting such certificate, and every of them, shall be liable to pay such Joss and damage, as shall accrue by reason of such failure, in the same manner as the justices of the county court in the like case should have been.

XXVI. And forasmuch, as by this act, it is before directed, that all decedents estates shall be appraiseil in money; and for that it often happens, that several debts are contracted in this colony for certain quantities of tobacco, or other commodities in specie, which may sometimes be of greater or lesser value than ordinary, which may occasion disputes between executors or adininistrators, and the creditors of their testators, or intestates, concerning the payment of such debts: For prevention whereof,

XXVII. Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Debts contracted by

if a debt, contracted by any person deceased, in tobarco, testator or

corn, wheat, beef, pork, or other kind of coinmodity, shall be recovered by suit at law against his or her tate, payable executor or executors, administrator or administra

in specific

commodities tors, and there shall not, at the time of such re- when to be covery, be so much of the commodities so con- converted tracted for, belonging to such decedent's estate, in into money, the hands of his or her executor or executors, ad- by the court: ministrator or administrators, or any of them; then, upon the motion of any such executor or administratur, against whom recovery shall be had, as aforesaid, and oath made, that there is not a sufficient quantity of the commodities so contracted for, belonging to the decedent's estate in the hands of any of the executors or administrators, to satisfy the debt so to be recovered in specie, the court, before whom such motion and oath shall be made, shall value the commodity contracted for, according to the best of their judgment, in money; and accordingly shall give judgment for the same, to be paid in money, (and not in specie,) out of the estate of the person deceased; any law, usage or custom, or any obligation, contract, or other matter or thing whatsoever, to the contrary thereof, in any wise, notwithstanding,

XXVIII. And be it further enacted, That the clerk Lists of and of every county court, shall every half year, viz. in ministrations April and October, return to the secretary's office a with names list of all certificates for obtaining probats or adminis- of ex’rs, &c. trations granted in their respective counties, contain- ed half yearing the names of the testators or intestates, the execu- ly to secreta tors or administrators, and the names of the securities; ry's office. which lists the secretary of this colony is hereby required to cause to be recorded alphabetically in his office, in books kept for that purpose.

XXIX. And be it further enacted, That all and eve- Repealing ry other act and acts, and every clause and article clause: thereof heretofore made, for so much thereof, as relates to any matter or thing whatsoever within the pupview of this act, is and are hereby repealed and made void, to all intents and purposes, as if the same had never been made.

D_Vol. 4.

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