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A Treatise on the Succession to Property Vacant by Death

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A Treatise on the Succession to Property Vacant by Death

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    John Ramsay McCulloch
Excerpt from book: CHAP. III. Origin of Entails. —Character and Influence of the Systems of Entail established in England and Scotland. The power to devise property by will is generally either extended beyond those limits which seem to be most advantageous, or compressed within a considerably narrower range. Thus, the recognition of the right to bequeath property to any particular heir, has been followed, in various countries, by the recognition of the right of the owners of estates to subject them to entails: that is, to devise them to a limited or, it may be, an unlimited series of heirs, none of whom shall have power to alienate the property, or to burden it with debt, but who shall merely possess it in the capacity of life-renters. In other countries, again, a return has been made towards the more ancient practices: and the power to devise property by will has been much restricted. The principles previously established are sufficient, perhaps, to enable an estimate to be formed, on general grounds, of the probable operation of these systems. But as they are widely acted upon, exercise a powerful influence over those among whom they are respectively established, and have given rise to the most contradictory theories and statements, it is necessary to look rather closely into the arguments for and against them, and at their practical results. The history of entails is involved in a good deal of obscurity. According to Adam Smith, " they wereintroduced to preserve a certain lineal succession, of which the law of primogeniture first gave the idea, and to hinder any part of the original estate from being carried out of the proposed line, either by gift, or devise, or alienation : either by the folly, or by the misfortune of any of its successive owners." (p. 171.) He adds, " They were altoge...  
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  • PDF | 154 pages
  • John Ramsay McCulloch
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 5
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