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GENERALLY consist of the lady's fortune, and a certain proportion of the gentleman's, which are placed in the hands of trustees, to secure a small but certain income for herself and children, in case of her husband's death or bankruptcy. No prudent woman should marry without this provision, as, if it is made before her marriage, however much in debt her husband may become, from extravagance or misfortune, her settlement money cannot be made liable.
The Trustees of a Settlement or Will are responsible for the loss or misapplication of the
money intrusted to them, if any is lost through their gross carelessness, and they are liable to make it good. Any one accepting this office should thoroughly understand what he or she undertakes, and never act without the advice of a lawyer, particularly when asked to give his consent to a change of investment. He should never, on any account whatever, consent to any investment not authorized by the Will or Settlement. He must also recollect that, though entitled to be repaid all reasonable expenses incurred in his Trusteeship, or in taking advice, &c. he can never make any profit by his office. A Trustee, or his co-Trustee, should have the Marriage Settlement and all Deeds, Share and Stock Certificates, &c. connected with the Trust, in his hands or in those of a lawyer, and never in the husband's keeping. When so much responsibility is entailed with it, it is but fair that, on accepting the office, a Trustee should be made fully cognisant of what he undertakes, and what his duties are, and as little trouble should be given him as possible.
He should be put to no expense of postage or otherwise. When sending him papers, &c, to sign, enclose the right number of postage stamps on a proper-sized envelope, addressed to yourself, so that he has nothing to do, after signing, but to re-indorse the papers and send them. A trustee's office is a burthensome and usually a thankless one, but it is a duty to accept it when appealed to by a near relation.
The following instructions should be strictly followed in executing a Will. First, never make one, if you can possibly help it, without the aid of a lawyer. Secondly, if there be none to be had, and the case is urgent, the following regulations must be attended to
Ist. The date should be inserted.
2d. You must then, in the presence of two witnesses, sign the Will on each sheet of the Will (if it is written on more sheets than one), at the
bottom of the writing, and say, in the presence and hearing of the witnesses, "I publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament."
3d. The witnesses should then sign their names, and add their addresses and qualities at the end of an attestation clause, which may be in the form following, viz.: "Signed by the Testator as his Will, in the presence of us present at the same time, who at his request, in his presence and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as witnesses." This must all be done at one time, and you and the two Witnesses must continue together until every signature is completed. The witnesses must not be husband and wife, or interested in any way (directly or indirectly) under the Will.
Executor to a Will is a person appointed to carry out the instructions in the Will.
In making a Will, be careful to appoint two or more Executors, for if no Executor is appointed,
your friends have to apply for Letters of Administration before they can execute the Will. This is expensive, and must be paid out of your estate. If one of your Executors should die in your life-time, immediately appoint another.
Intestate. That is, leaving no Will at your death. In this case, also, an Administration becomes necessary, and the Government duty and other expenses are materially increased, to the loss of your family.
Letters of Administration will be granted on application to the District Registrar of the Probate Court within which the deceased was resident at his death.
Make a Will as soon as you have any property to dispose. Make a point of reading it over once a year on a stated day—say your birthday. Circumstances are constantly changing which require