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Amongst the ATHENIANS, a testator was not allowed, in default of legitimate heirs, to bequeath his property to one not of his own family. (See GENNETAe.) It was Solon who first legislated for the removal of this restriction, which custom, however, continued to maintain. Solon, however, granted free testamentary powers only in those cases where there were no legitimate sons. If there were any such sons, a will could only be made in favour of other persons in the event of the sons dying before their majority. If a father had daughters only, he could make a will in favour of other persons only on condition that they married his daughters. Children, born out of wedlock, who had not been legitimized, were only allowed to have a legacy bequeathed them, which was not to exceed 1,000 drachmae (£33) in amount. Besides persons under age or of unsound mind, those who held an official post, and had not yet rendered an account of their administration, were considered incapable of making a will. The will, when drawn up, was sealed in the presence of witnesses and deposited with a responsible person in order that it might be opened, also in presence of witnesses, immediately on the death of the testator, in case he might have given any special directions for his funeral.
Type: Standard
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