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twenty-one years. All questions touching the competency of a party to act as administrator shall be tried and determined on like proofs and in the same manner as with an executor.
SEC. 4. It shall be incumbent on the person applying for adminis tration to prove the intestacy of the party on whose estate he seeks to qualify, unless the same be notorious; and the court may examine such person, or any other, on oath, touching the time, place, and manner of death, and whether or not the party dying left any will; and if such intestacy be not proved to the satisfaction of the court, no administration shall be granted. In no event shall administration be granted until at least twenty days after the death of the supposed intestate, and five days after application for the same.
SEC. 5. If the intestate be a married woman, it shall not be neces sary for her husband to administer, but all her choses in action shall devolve on him; provided, that if he shall not, in his lifetime, reduce such choses in action into possession, or obtain jndgment thereon, they shall devolve on her representative, and administration may be granted accordingly.
SEC. 6. If the intestate leave a widow and a child or children, administration may be granted by the court, at its discretion, to either.
SEC. 7. If there be a widow and no child, the widow shall be preferred; if there be a child or children and no widow, the child or one or more of the children, shall be preferred; and next to the widow and children, a grandchild shall be preferred.
SEC. 8. If there be neither widow, child, nor grandchild, the father shall be preferred; and next to him, brothers or sisters shall be preferred; and next to them, the mother.
SEC. 9. It shall not be necessary to delay the granting of administration for such parties when they are without the District at the time of any application for the same. When they are within the District at such time, they shall be summoned as hereinbefore provided in the case of executors not present at the probate of a will but within the District, after which, and at any time before they do apply, administration may be granted, as if such parties were not entitled.
SEC. 10. If there be neither widow nor child, nor grandchild, nor father, nor brother, nor sister, nor mother, the next of kin applying for administration shall be preferred.
SEC. 11. In equal degrees of kin, males shall be preferred to females; relations on the side of a father to relations on the side of a mother; an unmarried woman to a married one; relations of the whole blood to those of the half blood; and, in the collateral lines, relations descending to those ascending.
SEC. 12. None shall be preferred in the ascending lines beyond a father or mother, or in the descending lines below a grandchild.
SEC. 13. If there be no relations entitled, administration shall be granted to the largest creditor applying for the same.
SEC. 14. If there shall be neither widow, nor child, nor grandchild, nor father, nor brother, nor sister, nor mother, or if these be incompetent, or renounce, or fail to appear and qualify, on proper summons, or if other relations and creditors shall fail to apply and qualify, administration may then be granted at the discretion of the orphans' court.
SEC. 15. Administration may be granted to two or more persons, with the consent of the person first entitled.
SEC. 16. When a married woman is entitled to administration, the same may be granted to her and her husband if he be competent.
SEC. 17. If any person entitled to administration shall deliver or transmit to the orphans' court a declaration, in writing, that he is willing to decline the trust, the court shall proceed as if such person were not entitled.
SEC. 18. If any person applying for administration shall fail to qualify within thirty days after his right to administer has been recognised by the orphans' court by an order to that effect, administration may be granted as if such party were not entitled.
SEC. 19. Neither letters testamentary nor of administration shall be granted in any case to the judge of the orphans' court or register of wills of this District.
SEC. 20. Before administration shall be granted to the party entitled, he must qualify, by taking an oath and executing a bond similar to those herein before prescribed for an executor; and such bond shall be recorded, and shall be liable to suit, and be, in all respects, on the same footing as an executor's bond.
SEC. 21. If letters of administration be granted, and afterwards a will disposing of the personal property of the deceased be proved, and an executor shall apply for letters testamentary within thirty days
thereafter, and shall qualify, letters testamentary shall be granted, and the same shall be construed as a revocation of letters of administration: provided, that all acts done by any administrator according to law, before any actual or implied revocation, shall be valid; and that he shall be entitled to costs incurred in conducting any suit, as if letters testamentary had not been granted.
SEC. 22. Such executor shall also be authorized to prosecute any action commenced by the administrator, and to obtain judgment thereon in his own name; and to defend any such suit commenced against the admistrator, which suit may be prosecuted to judgment by the plaintiff, notwithstanding the grant of letters testamentary.
SEC. 23. Such executor shall have the benefit of all judgments obtained by the administrator, and shall be bound by all had against him, unless the same shall be revised, as hereinafter provided in Part III, by the court in which they were rendered. If such judgment shall have been obtained by fraud, the court may set it aside at any time without regard to the time of the application therefor.
SEC. 24. If an executor or administrator shall die before administration is completed, letters de bonis non, or letters de bonis non with the will annexed, may be granted, at the discretion of the court, giving preference, however, to the person entitled, if he apply for the same; and in no case shall the executor of an executor be entitled, as executor, to administration de bonis non of the first deceased.
SEC. 25. The form of such letters shall be the same as herein before directed for administrators, except that the words "already not administered" shall be added in their proper place; and the authority thereby conferred shall be to administer all things hereinafter described as assets and debts, not converted into money, and not distributed, or delivered, or retained by the former executor or administrator under the court's direction.
SEC. 26. The orphans' court shall, on the application of an administrator de bonis non, order the administrator or executor of a deceased administrator or executor to account and deliver over all the bonds, notes, accounts, and evidences of debt, or other property, which the deceased administrator or executor may have taken or had in such capacity, at the time of his death, and also to pay over the money in his hands which came to the deceased administrator or executor in that capacity.
SEC. 27. The court shall indicate in such order a certain day by which the same shall be complied with; and, on proof of the service of the same, and the neglect or refusal of the party to comply therewith, it may order the bond of the deceased administrator or executor, or the bond of the party refusing or neglecting, to be put in suit by the administrator de bonis non; both of which bonds shall be liable.
SEC. 28. The executor or administrator of such deceased party shall return, upon oath, to the orphans' court, on or before the day named in the order, a list of such bonds, notes, accounts, evidences of debt, and moneys, as far as he can ascertain the same.
SEC. 29. If such administrator or executor shall return such list, he shall be entitled to retain, out of the money, bonds, notes, and accounts, such commissions as the court may, in its discretion, allow, not exceeding three per cent. thereon; and the same shall be accounted for by him in the settlement of the estate of his decedent. If he refuse or reglect to return such list, no commission shall be allowed; but he shall be bound to account, in the settlement of his decedent's estate, for the commissions so lost by his default.
SEC. 30. Administration durante minoritate of an executor may be granted by the orphans' court, to last until the executor attain the age of eighteen years.
SEC. 31. Administration pendente lite may be granted by the orphans' court, in all cases where the validity of a will is contested, to the executor therein named, or to the person to whom the largest portion of the personal estate is bequeathed by the will, or to the person entitled to administration, in the discretion of the court.
SEC. 32. The decision of such contest, and the grant of letters testamentary, shall, ipso facto, revoke the administration pendente lite; and such revocation shall have the same effect, and shall be subject to like rules and provisos as are herein before mentioned on the revocation of administration by grant of letters testamentary.
SEC. 33. If at any time, except during a contest about the decedent's will, one year shall elapse from the death of the decedent, without some one qualifying on his estate, the orphans' court shall, on the application of any person, or of its own motion, order the marshal of the District to take into his possession the estate of such decedent and administer the same. The marshal shall thereupon, without taking any other oath of office, or giving any other bond or security
than he may have before taken or given, shall be administrator, or administrator de bonis non, with or without the will annexed, as the case may be, and shall thence forward be entitled to all the rights, and bound to perform all the duties of such administrator. The court may, however, at any time revoke such order, and allow any other person to qualify as executor or administrator.
SECTION 1. When, from any cause whatever, there shall be any delay in granting letters testamentary or administration, the orphans' court may, at discretion, issue letters of collection, authorizing the collection and preservation of the personal property of the deceased, and the return of an inventory thereof.
SEC. 2. The form of such letter shall be as follows:
UNITED STATES OE AMERICA,
Dictrict of Columbia, Washington county, to wit:
To all persons to whom these presents shall come, greeting:
Know ye, that whereas
deceased had at the time of his death, personal property within this District, the administration whereof cannot be immediately granted, but which, if speedy care be not taken, may be lost, destroyed, or diminished; to the end, therefore, that the same may be preserved for those who may appear to have an interest therein, I do hereby authorize of
to collect, secure, and preserve the same, and to make a true and perfect inventory thereof, to be exhibited with due speed, together with an account of his collection, in the office of the register of wills. Witness -, judge of the orphans' court of Washington connty, District of Columbia, this
Register of Wills.