The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #5


Responses to Questions Of General Public Interest in the Year 1898

"M.F.H." asks: "Can a man living in New York Legally deed directly to his wife real estate located in the State of Maine?"

He can do so whether residing in New York or Maine, or any other state, since the deed would be governed by the statute of Maine, where the land is located.


"Anxious" is perplexed as to how he can get rid of a lawyer's grip. He says: "Several years ago my lawyer had a power of attorney made out so he could attend to some business for me, as I was going away. Now, I am living here again and do not wish him to have it any longer, as my confidence in him is shaken. What should I do about it? How ask him to give it up without offending him?"

Well, there is no need of offense at your resuming charge of your own business, provided you pay the attorney for what services he has already rendered. He has no right to assume that an indefinite appointment is an appointment for life or good behavior. Whether you have confidence in him now or not, you have a perfect right to terminate the employment at pleasure.


"Mrs. M. Mc." states the following case: "I built a house, twenty-four years ago, and now I am told that it is seven inches on the next lot. What I want to know is if I can be compelled to move, and if I can sell my house and give a quit claim deed; or can I claim the benefit of the squatters' act?"

The time of the statute of limitation having expired you can hold it or sell it. You cannot be compelled to remove, but may sell it and deed it if you wish.


"J.M.J." asks as follows: "A leases a store to B and C. B and C are brothers. B's name only appears in the lease. After a time B sells his interest to C. A accepts rents from C and gives him a receipt. When C defaults in rent, can A hold B for the rent?"

If the landlord knew of the transfer, and then accepted rent from C and receipted to C individually, he thereby accepted C as the sole tenant, and cannot have recourse to B on C's failure to pay.


"J.E." asks as follows: "Will you please give information as follows: A lady died without making a will, leaving a husband and two children. She had in her name the deed to a house and lot valued at about $7,000, on which there is a mortgage of $4,000, and also had about $800 in cash deposited in a savings bank, the deposit book for which is in her name. What proportion of the above is each heir entitled to and what action should be taken to get possession of and divide it? If her husband is to be appointed administrator, what must be done to secure the appointment and what expense is there in connection with it? Is the administrator obliged to give bond? The deceased person left no debts and there is no dispute or want of harmony between the heirs, is there any specified time after death in which application for appointment as administrator must be made? Is there any less trouble some way than this of arranging for settlement of the matter?"

The surviving husband has the first right to administer the estate. If he fails to do so within a reasonable time others may do so who are interested in the estate.

An administrator is appointed on application to the Surrogate Court, and must give bond. The cost is trifling.

The husband is entitled to one-third of the personal property, and is tenant by courtesy of the house and lot for life. The children are entitled to the remaining two-thirds of the personal property, equally divided, and to equal shares in the house and lot at the husband's death.

The easiest way, if the two children are of age, is by mutual arrangement. Then, as there are no personal debts, there does not need to be any administrator. But the mortgage will have to be paid on the house and lot, or the creditor can take it, and be appointed administrator for that purpose, if others fail to take out letters.


Website: The History
Article Name: The Lawyer's Corner: 1898 #5
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle February 13, 1898
Time & Date Stamp: