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minister them. As the advantages of appointing corporate trustees become better known many more men will make banks and trust companies their executors and will leave funds and other property with them in trust for their families. Personal executorship may then become entirely a thing of the past.

Some subjects are necessarily treated in more than one part of the present volume, and this has made a certain amount of duplication unavoidable. The subject of inventories, for example, is treated in several places and from different points of view. It is easy to pass from one to another if it is desired to get a comprehensive view of the whole, and references are freely given, so that the whole of any subject is readily accessible.

It is hoped that a clear exposition of the whole process of settling estates will help those having property to leave to put it in better shape for their executors to handle, and generally enable them to make wills with more intelligent care and forethought for those who come after them.

The authors wish to express their gratitude to the many friends who have assisted them, especially to George P. Ellis, C.P.A., of Chicago, for many valuable suggestions in regard to probate accountancy and to Florence Sullivan, of the Northern Trust Company of Chicago, for general assistance in preparing the accounting portion of the volume.

Any suggestions from readers looking towards the betterment of the present volume will be gratefully received.

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INTRODUCTION

To Readers in General

All the existing wealth of the country that is privately owned changes hands with the passing of each generation. In this transfer many are interested. Those who have property that they must leave and those who will receive it are alike concerned in the matter. The rights involved are at times complex and often are not well understood even by the more intelligent. All in all, many are concerned and should be interested in what is set forth in this book.

Executors, Administrators, Guardians, and Trustees

Executors, administrators, trustees, and guardians of property, all have the legal possession of property that belongs to others. They hold such property in trust and those who hold property in this way are termed “trustees.” It is the purpose of this book to treat broadly of the duties and liabilities of trustees. Other matters, such as the execution and interpretation of wills, which they should know in order to act intelligently, are treated briefly.

Any man of character and repute is likely to be chosen, alone or with others, to act in some form of trusteeship. In such case certain new duties and responsibilities will suddenly be thrust upon him. Unless some similar experience has been his, he will wish to inform himself as to his duties, his authority, and his possible liabilities.

Trust Officers of Financial Institutions

Trust companies have for many years qualified as executors, as administrators, as trustees, and as guardians of property for minors. Now, national banks are assuming these same duties. It follows that part of the business training of a competent bank official will be in the law of trusts and the settlement of estates. It is intended that this book shall contain all the general law relating to trusts and trustees that such officials should know.

Public Accountants

The professional accountant may at aray time be called on to prepare a system of accounting for the settlement of a large estate, or to prepare the formal accounting that is required of those administering a trust. To do this he must know well the requirements of the law relating to the settlement of estates, and the duties of executors, administrators, and trustees. The legal information in this work contains the general principles the accountant should know, and approved forms of accounting adapted to the requirements of the statutes and courts of probate.

A Work for General Use

There are a few brief and too elementary works on this subject and there are excellent professional works, too comprehensive and too technical for any but a lawyer's use. This work is intended specifically to meet the needs of the classes that have been mentioned-executors, administrators, trustees, bank officials interested in trust business, accountants, and generally those concerned with the settlement of estates and the handling of trusts.

The questions after each chapter are designed: (1) to review the subject matter, (2) to suggest other aspects, and (3) to test the mastery of principles. Not all of the questions are to be answered. Some of them are intended to show how often problems come up that cannot be easily solved and over which even courts will differ.

Case Law

In the Appendix are given leading cases supporting the legal principles that have been set forth. These cases are taken from the better known and more accessible reports. Many good cases are obscured by subordinate questions of evidence, by faulty or deficient pleading, or by technical errors of procedure, which make it difficult for any but a trained lawyer to recognize the essential principle decided or affirmed. Such cases have been avoided, so far as possible, in these lists.

A Guide to Those Having Property to Leave

What is said in this work of wills and the principles that guide courts in construing them is only incidental to the main purpose of the book, which is the management and settlement of estates by executors, administrators, and trustees. This knowledge as to the effect of provisions in a will and of the way in which estates are settled will be found helpful to the man who is giving thought to the making of his own will, and the settlement of his own estate. Most of the mistakes made by testators are due to their lack of information as to how courts will construe wills, and how executors and administrators deal with estates and property after the former owner

has gone.

Everyone having property to leave should want to leave it so as to do the most good and cause the least expense and trouble to those whose welfare he has in view. This should lead a man to inform himself as to the law and practice relating to the settlement of estates. With this knowledge he can, as is advised herein, roughly draft his will, and after consideration and careful thought consult a lawyer.

Variations in State Law

In all matters that relate to law it must be remembered that owing to our system of federated states, the legislature of each separate jurisdiction has power to vary not only the methods of procedure but the general principles of law as well. The inconvenience of this is so great that in the rules relating to negotiable instruments, a uniform law has been agreed to in practically every state of the Union. In several other matters of business law the same uniformity is gradually being attained, but in other branches of the law there is no prospect of general uniformity. The leading text on the subject of trusts says:

It is not possible to know or state the legislation of so many states upon the various matters connected with the administration of trusts. The intelligent lawyer must do this for himself, when the questions before him depend upon the statutes of his State rather than upon the general principles common to all of the States.1

Under these circumstances anyone who has to administer an estate or a trust, or who is studying the general subject, should have access to the statutes of the state in which he lives, relating to wills, descent, distribution, trusts and allied topics, and to the rules of procedure of the court having probate jurisdiction in his locality. These should be studied in connection with this work and any peculiar features should be noted on the margin of the text, with a reference to where it can be found again in the statutes or rules of probate procedure.

1 Perry on Trusts, Vol. I, $ 12,

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