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Any person of full age and sound mind may dispose, by will, of all his property except what is sufficient to pay his debts, or what is allowed as a homestead, or otherwise given by law as privileged property to his wife and family. [Se.] The validity of a will depends upon the mental capacity of a testator and the fact that he was uninfluenced in making the disposition of his property. If it appears that the testator was incapable of exercising discretion and sound judgment and of fully realizing the effect and consequences of the will, though he may not be absolutely insane, he will not be in such mental condition that he can make a legal will. If he is of weak mind and it appears that he was imposed upon or unduly influenced, such facts will invalidate the will. A testator having testamentary capacity may dispose of his property in any manner, and to any person he may choose, and may deprive his heirs of any share in his estate, without any explanation or any express declaration of disinheritance. The fact that a will is unjust and unreasonable, in the absence of proof of undue influence, or insufficient capacity, will not render the will void.

Property to be subsequently acquired may be devised when the intention is clear and explicit. [Se.] If the intention to convey property acquired after the execution of the will is apparent or may be inferred from a fair construction of the language used, it will be sufficient, although the intention may not be directly expressed.

Personal property to the value of three hundred dollars may be bequeathed by a verbal will, if witnessed by two competent witnesses. [Se.]

A soldier in actual service, or a mariner at sea, may dispose of all his personal estate by a will so made and witnessed. [Se.]

All other wills, to be valid, must be in writing, witnessed by two competent witnesses and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. [Se.] It is necessary that the witnesses shall subscribe the will, but not that they shall have any knowledge of its contents, nor that they shall see the testator sign it. It is sufficient if the signature is adopted or acknowledged in their presence. If a will is made with the intention of disposing of real property it must be executed according to the requirements of the laws of the state where the real property is situated.

No subscribing witness to any will can derive any benefit therefrom, unless there be two disinterested and competent witnesses to the same. [Se.] But if, without a will, he would be entitled to any portion of the testator’s estate, he may still receive such portion to the extent in value of the amount devised. [Se.]

Wills can be revoked in whole or in part, only by being canceled or destroyed by the act or direction of the testator with the intention of so revoking them, or by the execution of subsequent wills. [Se.] The birth of a child after the execution of a will but before the death of the testator, operates as a revocation of the will, and the birth and recognition of an illegitimate child has the same effect. Declarations of the testator to the effect that he intended to revoke the will, will not be sufficient to prove a cancellation.

When done by cancellation, the revocation must be witnessed in the same manner as the making of a new will. [Se.]

If no executors are named in the will, one or more may be appointed to carry it into effect. [Se.]

Posthumous children unprovided for by the father’s will, shall inherit the same interest as though no will had been made. [Se.]

If a devisee die before the testator, his heirs shall inherit the amount so devised to him unless from the terms of the will a contrary intent is manifest. [Se.] The word heir in this section does not include the widow of the testator, and she cannot inherit from a child to whom property has been devised by his father, but who has died before the father.

A married woman may act as executor independent of her husband. [Se.]

If a minor under eighteen years of age is appointed executor, there is a temporary vacancy as to him until he reaches that age. [Se.]

In other cases where an executor is not appointed by will,
administration shall be granted:

1. To the wife of the deceased;

2. To his next of kin;

3. To his creditors;

4. To any other person whom the court may select. [Se.]

Individuals belonging to the same or different classes, may be united as administrators whenever such course is deemed expedient. [Se.]

To each of the above classes in succession a period of twenty days, commencing with the burial of the deceased, is allowed within which to apply for administration upon the estate. [Se.]