Full Title: The New Vade Mecum; or, Young Clerk’s Magazine; Digested and improved to correspond with the Laws of the State of New-York in particular, and the United States in general: Containing A variety of the most useful Precedents, adapted to almost every Transaction in Life; such as Articles of Agreement, Awards, Bonds, Conditions, Recognitzances, Letters and Warrants of Attorney, Covenants, Releases, Indentures, Charter-Parties, Copartnerships, Bargains, and Sales, Gifts, Grants, Exchanges, Leases, Mortgages, Assingments [sic], Deseassances, Surrenders, Uses, Trusts, Converyances by Lease and Release, Feoffments, Jointures, Marriage Settlements, Wills and Codicils, Levying of Fines, &c. &c. &c. To which is added A Collection of Forms of Writs, &c. most common in Use in the Supreme Court of the State of New-York. The First Edition. Entered According to Law. Lansingburgh: Printed by Silvester Tiffany, for, and sold by. Tho’s Spencer, at this Book-Store, in Albany. MDCCXCIV .
Of Wills or Testaments.
A WILL, according to its common acceptation, is the declaration of a person’s mind or intent, in relation to what he would have done after his death. The common law calls that a will, whereby lands or tenements are divised; but when it concerns only chattels, viz. moveables, or what is not inheritable, it is called a testament; where lands are given by will, it is termed a devise; and where goods and chattels, commonly termed a personal estate, are bequeathed, it is called a legacy. . . .
Devises of lands, &c. must be in writing, signed by the devisor or person giving, generally called the Testator, or some other person by his express direction, in the presence of three credible witnesses. If a personal estate of above the value of thirty pounds be bequeathed by word of mouth, which the law calls a nuncupative will, it must likewise be done in the presence of three witnesses. . . .