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in the l'nited States, it is the right of the consular officer and his duty, in the absence of adult heirs on the spot, to see to the safe-keeping of the will and its transmission to the parties entitled. (Paragraph 387.)

408. Not anthorized to employ counsel.—Consular officers are not authorized to employ counsel, either at the expense of the Government or of the estate, in the collection and disposition of the effects of citizens of the United States.

409. Consul provisional conservator of property.—A consular officer is by the law of nations and by statute the provisional conservator of the property within his district belonging to his countrymen deceased therein. He has no right, as a consular officer, apart from the provisions of treaty, local law, or usage, to administer on the estate, or in that character to aid any other person in so administering it, without judicial anthorization. His duties are restricted to guarding and colleeting the effects, and to transmitting them to the United States, or to aid others in so guarding, collecting, and transmitting them, to be disposed of pursuant to the law of the decedent's State.-7 Op. Att. Gen., 274. It is, however, generally conceded that a consular officer may intervene by way of observing the proceedings, and that he may be present on the making of the inventory.


410. By treaties with Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands (including the colonies), Roumania, and Servia, it is made the duty of the local authorities to advise the consular officer of the death of a citizen of the l'nited States in order that the necessary information may immediately be given to the parties interested. In Germany, Roumania, and Servia the consular officer may also appear in person or by delegate in all proceedings in behalf of the absent or minor heirs or creditors until they are duly represented.

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411. Argentine Republic and Colombia.-Consular officers in the Argentine Republic may, when any citizen of the United States dies within their respective jurisdictions, intervene in the possession, administration, and judicial liquida tion of his estate, conformably with the laws of the country. The proceedings in such case must be in the ordinary courts of the country, unless waived by the local authorities. In Colombia a consular officer has the right to take possession of the effects of a deceased citizen, and to make inventories and appoint appraisers. In his proceedings he is required to act in conjunction with two merchants, chosen by himself, and in accordance with the laws of the United States and with the instructions he may receive from his own Government.

412. Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay.-By trea ties with Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua, a consular offi cer is authorized to nominate a curator to take charge of the property of the deceased, so far as the laws of the country wil permit, for the benefit of the lawful heirs and creditors, giving proper notice of the nomination to the authorities of the country. In Paraguay he may designate an executor of administrator, and may take charge of the decedent's prop erty until this is done.

413. Morocco, Maskat, Persia, Tripoli, and Tunis.-In Morocco a consular officer may take possession of the effects, in the absence of a will, until the legal representative appears. I the heir is present, the property is to be delivered to him and if a will appear, the property is to descend by it as soor as the consular officer shall have declared its validity. It Maskat the consular officer may receive the property and send it to the heirs, after the payment of all debts due to subjects of the Sultan. By treaty with Persia the effects ar to be delivered to the family or partners; but if there be ne relatives or partners, then to the consular officer, to be dis posed of according to the laws of the United States. By treaty with Tripoli the property of a decedent is to be placed under the immediate direction of the consular officer, without interference from the Government or the subjects of the country. In Tunis the consular officer has the right to the possession of the effects without interference by the local government.

414. Peru.-By treaty with Peru, in the absence of the legal heirs or representatives, a consular officer is made ex officio the executor or administrator of the property of citizens of the United States dying within his district and that of his countrymen who die at sea which may be brought to his district. He is required to make an inventory of the property conjointly with a local judicial officer; but the effects are to remain in his hands, with authority to sell the perishable part and to dispose of the remainder according to the instructions of his Government. If the deceased was engaged in business, the property is to be held for twelve calendar months, during which time creditors may present their claims. All questions between the consular officer and creditors are to be determined by the local laws; but if no claim is presented, the consular officer may close the estate and dispose of the effects and property according to the instructions of his Government.

415. Salvador.-In Salvador a consular officer has the right to nominate curators to take charge of the property, so far as the laws of the country will permit, for the benefit of heirs and creditors, giving proper notice of such nomination to the authorities of the country. He has the right to take possession of the personal and real estate. He is required to make an inventory conjointly with two merchants, and to publish the death in a newspaper of the country. It is his duty to collect all debts due the deceased in the country and to pay the debts due from him. He may sell the perishable part of the property and such other part as may be necessary to pay the debts; but he is prohibited from paying any claim, not reduced to a judgment, for damages for any wrongful act of the deceased. When there is no consular officer present, the local authorities are to receive the property and notify the nearest consular officer of the United States

416. In non-Christian countries.—In China, Japan, Madagaswar, Siam, Turkey, and other non-Christian countries the property of decedents, both personal and real, is administered under the probate jurisdiction of the consular courts in those countries, without interference in any respect by the local governments.




417. Consuls not to celebrate. A consular officer of the United States has no power to celebrate marriages in a Christian country between citizens of the United States unless specific ally authorized by the laws of the country to do so. In non Christian countries his authority to perform this rite is not sufficiently well established and defined in the jurisprudence of the United States to justify action upon it. It is deemed safer to forbid consular officers, and they are hereby forbid den, to solemnize marriages in any case.—7 Op. Att. Gen., 23, 30, 31, 342, 346; 1 Halleck, Ch. XI, sec. 14; 1 Bishop, Mar riage and Divorce, 298.

418. May act as witnesses.—A consular officer may, when requested, be an official witness of the ceremony of marriage where one of the contracting parties is a citizen of the United States. In all cases of marriage in the presence of a consulai officer he shall give to each of the parties a certificate of such marriage, and shall also send forthwith a certificate thereol to the Department of State.

419. Certificate.—This certificate must be under the official seal of the consulate, and must give the names of the parties, their ages, places of birth and residence, the date and place of the marriage, and must certify that the marriage took place in the presence of the consular officer giving the certificate. (Form No. 87.)

420. Effect of marriage in presence of consul.—It is provided by statute that “Marriages in presence of any consular officer of the United States in a foreign country, between persons who would be authorized to marry if residing in the District of Columbia, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, and shall have the same effect as if solemnized within the United States.”R. S. sec. 4082. The statute does not exclude modes of solemnization other than that in presence of a consular officer. Marriages abroad, when not in the presence of a consular officer, if otherwise valid, are not invalidated by the above statute. The statute does not authorize the consular officer to perform the ceremony, but simply prescribes the legal effect which will be given to a marriage performed in his presence. In view of the exclusive authority of the States in such matters, this statute would probably not be operative outside of the District of Columbia and the Territories.

421. General principles as to solemnization.—It is a principle of international law that the law of the place of solemnization shall, whenever this is practicable, determine the mode of solemnization. When consuls are requested to act as official witnesses of marriages, they should see that the requirements of the law of the place of celebration have been, as far as practicable, complied with. It is not intended, however, in these instructions in any way to question or modify the principle of international law that, while the form of solemnizing marriage is determined ordinarily by the law of the place of solemnization, exceptions are recognized, (1) when it is impossible to use such form, (2) when it is repugnant to the

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