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Product Description

Understanding the Language of a Will


After you view this class you will know that legal language is extremely conservative. A will written in the 1700s contains some of the same language as one written in the 1900s. In the United States, we rely on the English Common Law system with a few exceptions. You will learn about a system that relies on stare decisis, that is the precedence of prior court rulings. The fact that the language, particularly that used in wills, has changed very little over many hundreds of years, makes reading old wills much easier for those already educated in the law. On the other hand, the old language and terms can make reading a will for those not initiated to the language, extremely difficult. Like many areas of genealogical research, using old legal documents can be a challenge and take some considerable study and experience. In this class you will begin your education into the language of wills.

This presentation was recorded live for the "The Ins and Outs of Probate" Expo. The individual Research Guide for this class is included with this video. It is available to download as a PDF immediately upon purchase. If you would like a printed copy of the book, The Ins and Outs of Probate for Genealogists Research Guide, please click here


How to View: 

  • Login 
  • Click on the GenTeacher tab 
  • Click on the Expo Classes image 
  • Choose video from the "My Videos" drop down list


Product Code: Video Class-PR1506


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