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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Hint about Reading old Documents

Some of the older last wills and testaments and other documents are difficult to read. That is because of writing styles during the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries! Yes, styles have changed rather dramatically. I was reading an old will last evening which had not been preserved well and which was probated in the 17th century. As I read it again and again, the words began to make sense. Having a knowledge of the standard legal description helps. "In the Name of God, Amen, I, John Smith, do hereby make this my last will and testament, forsaking all others, etc."  Deeds begin with these words: "Know All Men by these Presents".  Forms for wills and other documents can be purchased at office supply companies and used as guide lines.  The Latin documents are the same, except words like "Primus" are used.  See the dictionary for meanings.  It is the legaleze.

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