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more witnesses, who are not interested in the will, and who then sign, in the presence of each other and the testator, a statement of such execution and acknowledgment. Changes are sometimes made in wills and testaments, by instruments called codicils, which must be executed with the same formalities as the original instruments. A will and testament becomes effectual upon the death of the testator, unless it has been destroyed by his direction or has been expressly revoked by a subsequent will. After the death of the testator the will and testament are proved, or probated, before a surrogate or probate judge, and the real property passes at once to those entitled to it. The affairs of the estate are settled, and distribution of the personal property is usually made by a person named in the will, called an executor. When a person dies intestate his real property passes directly to his heirs, and his affairs are settled and his personal property is distributed by an officer appointed by the surrogate, called an administrator.
2. RELATIVE RIGHTS.
Husband and Wife. The contract of marriage is regu lated by statute in the several States, but as a rule the following persons are debarred: (a) Males under fourteen and females under twelve years of age; (b) persons having another husband or wife living; and (c) persons related to each other within certain degrees. The mutual promises of the parties constitute the consideration. In some States a license issued by an official is required before a marriage can be celebrated. Divorce is the judicial termination of a marriage contract; the grounds upon
which it is granted are fixed by statute. In the mar riage relation the husband is considered the head of the family. He can determine the place of abode and can compel the wife's return if she leaves him without cause. He is required to support and protect her, and in the buying of articles for the home the wife is considered the agent of the husband, so long as she lives with him; but he is released from all obligations of this character if she leaves him without cause.
Parent and Child.-Children owe to their parents obedience and service during their minority. Parents are obliged to protect the child, provide necessary food and clothing, and educate him according to his station in life.
Guardian and Ward.-A guardian is one who has the care of the person or property of a minor, called a ward. A guardian of the person is entitled to obedience, but not service. A guardian of the property must support and educate the ward according to the ward's station and property. He cannot make any profit out of the property for himself, and is liable for any loss occasioned by his negligence.
Master and Servant.—A master is one who by virtue of a contract has authority over another person, called a servant. Servants are of two kinds-apprentices, or those placed under the authority of another for the purpose of learning some trade; and hired servants, or those who engage to render services in return for wages. The master is entitled to obedience and service during the term of the contract. The servant is entitled to receive the agreed wages during the time of the contract, unless he leaves or is discharged for cause.
Torts. A tort is the intentional and wrongful doing or not doing of some act by which another is injured. The most common torts are slander, libel, fraud and assault. Slander is the willful injury of the reputation of another by spoken language. Libel is the willful injury of the reputation of another by writing, printing, engraving or other permanent form. Libel is also a crime. Fraud is a false representation, made with the intent to deceive, and resulting in actual injury. Assault, which is also a crime, will be defined later.
Definitions.-A crime is an act or omission forbidden by law and punishable by death, imprisonment, fine or other penalty. A felony is a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison. All other crimes are misdemeanors. Two elements are necessary to constitute a crime-the criminal intent and the criminal act. A principal is one who commits the crime, or one who is present aiding and abetting the act. An accessory is one who, not present, yet aids and abets the commission of a felony, or one who, with knowledge of the crime, aids the offender to avoid arrest and punishment. In the commission of treason and misdemeanors all the wrongdoers are principals.
Crimes against the State. The principal crimes against the State are treason, illegal voting, bribery, aiding
escape of prisoner, counterfeiting, forging, perjury and influencing another person to swear falsely, which is called subornation of perjury.
Crimes against Persons; Suicide.—The principal crimes against persons are suicide, homicide, assault, robbery and libel. Suicide is the intentional taking of one's own life. The attempt to commit suicide is also a crime.
Homicide. Homicide is the killing of a human being by another. Murder in the first degree is the wrongful killing of a person either with a premeditated design to cause his death; or by a reckless act dangerous to life, although without intent to take life; or by a person engaged in the commission of a felony. The usual punishment is death or life imprisonment. Murder in the second degree is the intentional killing of a human being without premeditation. The usual punishment is life imprisonment. All other forms of homicide are termed manslaughter. Homicide is excusable when committed by accident. Homicide committed in the defense of self or another is justifiable. No person can be convicted of homicide unless it is proved that a life has been taken and that he is the one who took it.
Assault.-An assault in its highest form is either an attack upon a person with intent to kill or commit a felony, with a weapon likely to produce death; or the administration of poison or drugs dangerous to life. It is a felony. Assault and battery is an attack upon a person with the fists with the intention to do him bodily injury. This is a misdemeanor.
Robbery.-Robbery is the unlawful taking of personal property from a person against his will, by force or vio
lence, or by arousing fear in such person. Secretly picking a person's pocket is not robbery.
Crimes against Property; Arson. The principal crimes against property are arson, burglary and larceny. Arson in its highest degree consists in setting fire at nighttime to a building or car or other structure in which there is a human being. The punishment varies in the different States, the most severe being imprisonment for life.
Burglary.-Burglary is the forcible entering of a house or room for the purpose of committing a crime. Its highest degree occurs when such entry is made in the night, when a human being is within, by a person armed with a dangerous weapon. It is a felony.
Larceny.—Larceny is the taking, concealing or withholding of personal property with the intent to deprive the owner of its possession. The highest degree, called grand larceny, consists in taking property from the person of another in the nighttime, or in the taking at any time of property above a certain value. All other stealing is petit larceny.
Bigamy. The principal crime against public morals is bigamy. It is bigamy when a person, having a living husband or wife, marries another.
Arrest.—Arrest is the apprehension of an offender in order that he may be punished for his crime. It is usually made by an officer upon a warrant, which is a mandate of a court commanding the arrest of the offender. an arrest may be made without a warrant when the offender is detected in the actual commission of a crime.