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- Business Hints for Men and Women - 5/31 -


In some states a will so witnessed is valid, except that the witnesses cannot receive their legacies.

All the witnesses should sign at the same time and add their addresses.

If an heir at law, say a child, is not mentioned in the will, the law assumes that he was forgotten by the testator and generally gives the share the heir would be entitled to if there were no will.

At the end of the will the testator, in the presence of the witnesses, should write his name in full.

AN EXECUTOR'S DUTIES

An executor is the legal representative of the testator. It is his duty to see that the provisions of the will are carried out.

No man is qualified to act as executor who is not competent to make a will. Executors, unless relieved by the provisions of the will, are required to file bonds, proportioned to the value of the estate, for the faithful performance of their duties.

Should there be no executor named in the will, or if the person so named refuses to act, or if he dies or resigns, the court will appoint a person to act in his place.

The executor appointed by the court is known or called an "administrator with the will annexed."

In some states the court having jurisdiction of wills and estates of deceased is known as "the probate," in others it is called the "Surrogate's Court," and in still others, "The Orphan's."

ADMINISTRATORS AND THEIR DUTIES

If a man, owning property, dies without making a will, the judge of the proper court will appoint an administrator to settle the estate.

This is the method of procedure:

1. A person, interested in getting the estate settled, goes before the proper judge and asks him to appoint an administrator. 2. The administrator must give the same bond as an executor. Their duties are the same. 3. In settling the estate the administrator is governed by the law, and by the special directions of the officer having jurisdiction in such matters. 4. He must make a careful list of all the property belonging to the estate. The value of the personal property is estimated by men specially appointed by the court for the purpose and known as "appraisers". 5. The administrator must account for every item of property that comes into his possession. 6. All debts of deceased must be first paid, including funeral expenses. If the proceeds of the personal property are not sufficient for this purpose, the administrator may, if there be real estate, sell the whole or part of it, on an order from the court.

DEBTS

Debts must be paid in an order prescribed by law. The following is the usual order:

1. Funeral expenses and expenses of last illness. 2. The widow's allowance or award. 3. Debts due the state or municipality. 4. Claims of other creditors.

Whatever property is left, after paying these obligatory sums, is divided among the rightful heirs under the direction of the court, and in the manner provided by law.

The administrator must advertise, in one or more county papers the fact that he has been appointed to settle the estate of the deceased, whose name is given, and he must ask that all claims be presented within a given period, usually fixed at six months.

When the estate is settled to the satisfaction of the court, the same authority releases the administrator and his bondsmen.

All the fees connected with the settlement are regarded as debts and must be paid from the proceeds of the estate before closing.

THE FINAL SETTLEMENT

When the debts are paid and the residue divided among the heirs, the administrator files his account. If it is allowed the case ends.

The parties of interest in an estate may agree to settle it out of court. This saves expense, but it is not the safest way.

CHAPTER V

LETTER WRITING

What has been said about deeds and mortgages applies not only to the farmer, but also to every owner of a building lot. The same may be said of wills. They have a business interest for the town as well as for the country dweller.

BUSINESS LETTERS

The purpose of this book being "strictly business," no attempt will be made to instruct the reader in anything not connected with the subject under consideration.

Social, friendly, and such letters are matters for individual time and taste, and no rule can be laid down for their writing, but the business letter is a different matter, and one which deserves special consideration from every man or woman who receives an order by mail, or who sends one.

To write a good business letter is no mean accomplishment, and although a gift with some, it can be acquired by all.

A letter is, in a way, a testimonial of the character and ability of the writer.

The purpose of a business letter is to express just what you want and no more.

Any man with a good common school education, and a little patient practice, can soon learn to write as good a business letter as the college graduate.

Correct spelling may not be general, but it is certainly desirable.

Letter writing, as in the preparation of other papers, has its own well-recognized forms, and these may be easily learned.

Every properly constructed business letter should consist of the following parts:

1. Where written from. 2. When written. 3. To whom written. 4. Address. 5. Salutation. 6. Introduction. 7. Purpose of letter. 8. Complimentary ending. 9. Signature.

THE HEADING

The letter should begin by giving the address of the writer, followed by the date on which it was written. This will enable the recipient to direct his reply.

If from a city, the street and number should be given.

If many letters are written it will be convenient to have the permanent address of the writer printed.

The writing should be plain, and there should be no doubt in the mind of the reader as to the proper spelling of the address and signature.

Avoid the hieroglyphics which some vain men adopt in signing their names. It may be fanciful, but it does not imply consideration for the time and patience of strangers.

The following forms will serve to illustrate the type of heading used in ordinary business letters:

1

124 Smith St., Brownsville, Mass. September 4, 1910. Mr. John Smith, Doylestown, Penna. Dear Sir:

2

Leroy, Mass., September 5, 1910. Messrs. Brown and Jones, Denver, Col. Gentlemen:

3

4 Seminole St., Fort Smith, Ark. September 6, 1910. Mrs. Mary J. Robinson, Lansing, Cal. Dear Madam:


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