« ForrigeFortsett »
does not apply to ordinary cases, or affect the general power of the wife, where no such check is inserted in the settlement. A clause in a gift or deed of settlement upon the wife, against anticipation, is held to be an obligatory and valid mode of preventing her from depriving herself, through marital or other influence, of the benefit of her property. But that restraint on anticipation ceases on the death of the husband, for the reason and expediency of the restraint have then also ceased.*
* Barton v. Briscoe, 1 Jacob's Rep. 603. The history of the fluctuations of the English chancery decisions on this subject is curious. Thus, the English rule formerly was, that in cases of property in trust for a married woman, to be paid into her own hands, upon her own receipts, the wife might still dispose of that interest, and her assignee would take it Hulme v. Tenant, 1 Bro. C. C. 16. Pybus v. Smith, 3 Ibid. 340. 1 Vesey.jun. 189. S. C. But in Miss Watson's case, Lord Thurlow altered his opinion, and held, that a proviso in a settlement that the wife should not dispose of her interest by any mode of anticipation, would restrain her; and Lord Alvanley, in Sockett v. Wray, 4 Bro. Rep. 483, held it to be a valid clause; and so it has been since considered. Lord Eldou, in Brandon v. Robinson, 18 Vesey, 434; and in Jackson v. Hobbouse, 2 Merivale's Rep. 487, Vice Ch. Shadwell said, that when he was in the habit of drawing conveyances, the proviso that he inserted against the power of anticipation was, that the receipts of the lady under her own hand, to be given from time to time for accruing rents or dividends, should be, and that no other receipt should be, sufficient discharges to the trustee. Brown v. Bamford, 11 Sim. 127. This case was reversed on appeal by Lord Lyndhurst on the ground that a general limitation in default of appointment did not enable the wife to anticipate, and it did not depend on the form of the receipt clause. Now, again, such a clause against anticipation, inserted in a will in favour of an unmarried female, and without any connection with coverture, is held to be not valid. See Woodmeston v. Walker, 2 Russ. dJ- Mylne, 197. Jones v. Sadler, ibid. 208. Brown v. Pocock, ibid. 210. Newton v. Reid, 4 Simons' Rep. 141; and see supra, p. 165, note a. The supreme court of North Carolina, sitting in equity, has followed the spirit of these latter decisions, and held that though real and personal property be conveyed in trust to apply the proceeds to A. for life, with a clause against a sale or anticipation, but without any disposition over in the case of such sale or anticipation, yet if the cestui que trust be a male or single, the restraint on his alienation or assignment was inoperative and void. Dick v. Pitchford, 2 Dev. <J- Battle, Eq. Cases, 480. The disposition over would seem to be material in the construction of the instrument. Lord Eldon, in Brandon (4.) Power to appoint by will.
A wife cannot devise her lands by will, for she is excepted out of the statute of wills; nor can she make a testament of chattels, except it be of those which she holds en autre droit, or which are settled on her as her separate property without the license of her husband. He may covenant to that effect, before or after marriage. and the court of chancery will enforce the performance of that covenant. It is not strictly a will, but in the nature of an appointment, which the husband is bound by his covenant to allow.1 1 The wife may dispose by will, or
T. Robinson, 18 Vesey, 429, observed, that property might bo limited to a man nntil he became a bankrupt and then over. But that if property be given to a man for life, the donor cannot take away the incidents to a life estate, or add a valid clause that he should not alien it. It cannot be preserved from creditors, unless given to some one else in trust. But we have again, in the English courts of equity, a recurrence tn the old and juster doctrine; for it was held in Tullett v. Armstrong, 1 Benvan. 1, 21, that a devise and bequest in trust for an unmarried woman, to her separate use, and with an inability to aliene, was effectual on any subsequent marriage, both as to the separate use and the restraint upon anticipation, though if unaccompanied by any restraint, it was subject to her power of alienation. And afterwards, in Dixon v. Dixon, 1 Bcavan, 40, it was held, that a settlement on the first marriage of a woman, in trust for her separate use exclusive of any husband, the trust to her separate use attached upon a remarriage.
The New-York Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 728, sec. 55, (as amended in 1830,) and 730, sec. G3 and G5, have thrown an effectual protection over the interests of persons not well able to protect themselves, by declaring, (1.) that an express trust may be created to receive the rents and profits of land, and apply them to the use of any person, di ring the life of such person, or for any shorter term; f2.) By declaring, that no person beneficially interested in a trust for the receipt and profits of lands, can assign, or in any manner dispose of such interest; and, (.1. that where the trust shall be expressed in the instrument creating the estate, every sale, conveyance, or other act of the trustees, in contravention of the trust, shall bo absolutely void. Uuder these provisions, a father may create a trust in favour of a daughter, and the interest would be unalienable even with the consent of the husband. Nothing can impair such a trust during the life of the cestui que truit; and the recent English decisions on this subject are wholly inapplicable, and not law in New York.
• Pridgeon v. Pridgcon, 1 Ch. Cas. 117. Rex v. Bettesworth, Str. Rep. 391. Newlin v. Freeman, 1 Iredell, N. C. Rep. 514.
by act in her lifetime, of her separate personal estate, settled upon her, or held in trust for her, or the savings of her real estate given to her separate use; and this she
may do without the intervention of trustees, for *171 the *power is incident to such an ownership.* It
has been held, even at law, in this country,b that the wife may, by the permission of her husband, make a disposition in the nature of a will, of personal property, placed in the hands of trustees, for her separate use, by her husband, or by a stranger, and either before or after marriage. If a feme sole makes a will, and afterwards marries, the subsequent marriage is a revocation in law of the will. The reason given is, that it is not in the nature of a will to be absolute, and the marriage is deemed equivalent to a countermand of the will, and especially as it is not in the power of the wife after marriage, either to revoke or continue the will, in as much as she is presumed to be under the restraint of her husband.0 But it is equally clear, that where an estate is limited to uses, and a power is given to a feme sole, before marriage, to declare those uses, such limitation of uses may take effect; and though a married woman cannot be said strictly to make a will, yet she may devise, by way of execution of a power, which is rather an appointment than a will; and whoever takes under the will, takes by virtue of the
execution of the power.d Thus, in the case of •172 Bradish v. Gibbs,* it was *held, that a feme
» Peacock v. Monk, 2 Vesey, 190. Rich v. Cockell, 9 Vcsey, 369. Wert v. West, 3 Randolph's Rep. 373. Holman v. Perry, 4 Metcalfs Rep. 492. b Emery v. Neighbour, 2 Halsted's Rep. 142.
» Foreo & Hambling's case, 4 Co. 60, b. 2 P. Wms. 624. 2 Term Rep. 695, S. P.
d She may, under a power of appointment over personalty in a marriage settlement, appoint by deed in favour of her husband; and if it appear that she did it freely and understandingly, equity will enforce it. Chesslyn v. Smith, 8 Vesey, 183. Whitall v. Clarke, 3 Edward's V. C. Rep. 149.
» 3 Johns. Ch. Rep. 523. By the New York Reeised Statutes, vol. i.p733—737, sec. 80, 87, a general and beneficial power may bo granted to a
covert might execute by will, in favor of her husband, a power, given or reserved to her while sole, over her real estate. In that case, the wife before marriage, entered into an agreement with her intended husband, that she should have power, during the coverture, to dispose of her real estate by will, and she afterwards during coverture, devised the whole of her estate to her husband; and this was considered a valid disposition of her estate in equity, and binding on her heirs at law. The point in that case was, whether a mere agreement entered into before marriage, between the wife and her intended husband, that she should have power to dispose of her real' estate during coverture, would enable her to do it, without previously to the marriage vesting the real estate in trustees, in trust for such persons as she should by deed or will appoint; and it was ruled not to be necessary; and the doctrine has received the approbation of the supreme court of Pennsylvania.11 Equity will carry into effect the will of a feme covert, disposing of her real estate in favour of her husband, or other persons than her heirs at law, provided the will be in pursuance of a power reserved to her in and by the antenuptial agreement with her husband.
married woman, to dispose during the marriage, and without the concurrence of her husband, of lands conveyed or devised to her in fee; or a special power of the like kind, in respect to any estate less than a fee, belonging to her, in the lands to which the power relates. She may, under the power, execute a mortgage; and, generally, she may execute a power during coverture, by grant or devise, according to the terms of it; and if she executes a power by grant, the concurrence of her husband as a party is not requisite, but she must acknowledge, on a private examination, the execution of the power. And if a married woman be entitled to an estate in fee, she may, by virtue of a power, create any estate which she might create, if unmarried; but she cannot exercise any power during her infancy, nor if, by the terms of ihe power, its execution by her, during marriage, be expressly or impliedly prohibited. Ibid. sec. 90, 110, 111, 117, 130. « 10 Serg. $ Rawte, 447.
(5.) Marriage settlements.
With respect to antenuptial agreements, equity will grant its aid, and enforce a specific performance of them, provided the agreement be fair and valid, and the intention of the parties consistent with the principles and the policy of the law. A voluntary deed is made good by a subsequent marriage.* Equity will execute covenants in marriage articles at the instance of any person who is within the influence of the marriage consideration, and in favor of collateral relations, as all such persons 173* rest their claims on the ground of valuable *consideration.'' The husband and wife, and their issue, are all of them considered as within that influence, and at the instance of any of them, equity will enforce a specific performance of the articles.0
Settlements after marriage, if made in pursuance of an agreement in writing entered into prior to the marriage, are valid, both against creditors and purchasers. The marriage is itself a valuable consideration for the agreement, and sufficient to give validity to the settlement. This was so decided in the case of Reade v. Livingston ;A
• See Infra, vol 4, 463.
b Pulvertoft v. Pulvertoft, 18 Vesey, 92.
< Osgood v. Strode, 2 P. Wms. 255. Bradish v. Gibbs, 3 Johns. Ch. Rep. 550. But if the settlement be made through the instrumentality of a party whose concurrence is necessary to the validity of the settlement such person is held not to be a mere volunteer, but falls within the range of th* consideration of the agreement. Never v. Scott, U. S. C. C. for Georgia, Law Reporter, Boston, for June, 1846. An antenuptial settlement, founded on a valuable consideration, such, for instance, as marriage, cannot be affected by fraud in the settler, if the other party be innocent. Magniac v. Thompson, 7 Peters' V S. Rep. 348. In North and South Carolina and Tennessee, the registration of marriage settlements and contracts is required by statute, in order to render them valid as a lien on the property of the settlor as against creditors. 2 Dev. <J• Battle, 391. 1 Rev. Stat. ff. C. 1837, p. 233. Statute of Tennessee, 1831.
* 3 Johns. Ch Rep. 481. Thomson v. Dougherty, 12 Serg. Rawle, 448, and Magniac v. Thompson, 1 Baldwin's C. C. U. S. Rep. 344. Duffy v. The Ins. Company, 8 Watts. $ Serg. 413. S. P.