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714
INTERVAL—INTESTACY

with the orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission without suit; but even then the total by 1906 was somewhat meagre.

The establishment of the Bureau of Corporations in 1903, and the considerable extension of the powers of inspection of the Department of Agriculture are recent changes of which the results cannot yet be fairly judged. The aim of the Bureau of Corporations is to ensure publicity in the management of corporations engaged in interstate and foreign commerce. The first commissioner, Mr James R. Garfield, showed much activity in pursuing the purposes of the act, and published informing reports upon the beef trust (1905) and upon the Standard Oil Company (1906). But the effect and possible extension of federal interference became from this time burning political questions of far-reaching importance of too recent a date to be dealt with historically in this article.

See also the Annual Reports of the Interstate Commerce Commission since 1887, and decisions; Prentice and Egan, The Commerce Clause of the Federal Constitution (Chicago, 1898); Reports of the Commissioner of Corporations on the Beef Industry (1905), on the Transportation of Petroleum (1906); W. Z. Ripley (ed.), Trusts, Pools and Corporations (1905), containing leading cases and analyses of the voluminous “trust” literature; F. N. Judson, The Law of Interstate Commerce and its Federal Regulation (Chicago, 1905); Beale and Wyman, Railroad Rate Regulation (Boston, 1906); Frank Hendrick, The Power to Regulate Corporations and Commerce (New York, 1906), favouring less of new legislation. (F. A. F.)

INTERVAL, a space left between the component parts of a continuous series, a pause in continuous action, a period of time intervening between two other points of time or chronological sequence of events. The Lat. intervallum, from which the English word has come through the French, originally meant a space between the palisades on a rampart (vallum), or between the rampart and the tents of the legionaries. In medical language “interval” is used of the intervening periods between attacks or paroxysms of a disease, particularly of the periods of a rational or normal condition of mind sometimes experienced by an insane person, a “lucid interval”; this phrase frequently occurs in legal documents from the 13th to the 15th centuries, non compos mentis sed gaudet lucidis intervallis. In music “interval” expresses the distance in pitch between two or more musical sounds (see Music). Interval, or more commonly “intervale,” is used, particularly in North America, as a geographical term for a low-lying tract of land along the banks of rivers, frequently overflowed by freshets, or more loosely for any low level land shut in by hills. This particular application, as also the form “intervale,” is due to a confusion of the termination of the word with “vale,” valley.

INTESTACY (Lat. intestatus, one who has not made a will, from testari, to bear witness), the condition of the property of a person who dies without making a will. Here the law of England distinguishes sharply between his real and his personal property. The devolution of the former is regulated by the rules of inheritance (q.v.). The destination of the latter is marked out by the Statute of Distributions. The proper conditions of a testamentary disposition of property will be found under the heading Will.

The distribution of an intestate’s personal property is carried out under the authority of administrators, whose duties are generally the same as those of executors under a will. Administration was until 1857 a matter cognizable by the ecclesiastical courts, and the ordinary was in fact the administrator until the passing of an act of Edward III. for administration upon intestacy (1357). An earlier statute (Westminster 2, 1275), directed against the abuses of the system, required the ordinary, instead of applying the residue of the estate to “pious uses,” to pay the debts of the intestate. The act of Edward III. went further in providing that “in case where a man dieth intestate, the ordinaries shall depute of the next and most lawful friends of the dead person intestate to administer his goods,” with power to sue for debts due to the deceased, and under obligation to pay debts due by him, and to answer to the ordinary like executors in the case of testament. Administrators remained on this footing of deputies appointed by the ordinary until the Probate Act 1857 transferred the jurisdiction in administration of the ecclesiastical courts to the new court of probate.

The courts of law having held that by the grant of administration the authority of the ecclesiastical courts was exhausted, the administrator became entitled to the privilege, similar to that formerly enjoyed by the ordinary, of dealing as he pleased with residue of the property. The next of kin of the same degree of relationship to the deceased were thus aggrieved by the preference of the administrator, and it was to remedy this grievance that the Statute of Distributions 1670/1 was passed. It empowered the ordinary to take a bond from the administrator binding him to make a fair and complete distribution of the property among the next of kin. Such distribution is to be in the following manner: one-third to the wife of the intestate, and all the residue by equal portions to and amongst the children, and their representatives if any of such children be dead, exclusive of children who shall have any estate by the settlement of the intestate, or shall be advanced by the intestate in his lifetime by portions equal to the shares allotted to the other children under the distribution. If such advancement should be less than the share of the other children in distribution, then it shall be made equal thereto. But the “heir-at-law, notwithstanding any land that he shall have by descent or otherwise from the intestate, is to have an equal part in distribution with the rest of the children” (§ 5). By § 6, if there be no children nor any legal representatives of children, one moiety of the property is to be allotted to the wife of the intestate, the residue “to be distributed equally to any of the next of kindred of the intestate who are equal in degree and those who legally represent them.” By § 7 there shall “be no representation admitted among collaterals after brothers’ and sisters’ children; and in case there be no wife, then all the said estate to be distributed equally to and among the children; and in case there be no child, then to the next of kindred in equal degree of or unto the intestate and their legal representatives as aforesaid, and in no other manner whatsoever.” For the protection of creditors it is enacted that there shall be no distribution till a full year after the intestate’s death, and if any debts should be discovered after distribution, the persons sharing the estate shall refund the amount of the same ratably. With reference to the above rules the following points may be observed: (1) The husband’s absolute right to administer his wife’s estate is not affected by the act. This was made clear by a later act of the same reign. (The Statute of Frauds 1677). Administration is now granted to the representatives of the husband where he has died without taking out administration to his wife, unless it can be shown that the wife’s next of kin are beneficially interested. (2) The widow, in the event of there being no children or next of kin, takes only her half. The other half goes to the crown. The widow’s rights, however, have been enlarged by the Intestate Estates Act 1890. By this act where a man dies wholly intestate and without issue, his property, both real and personal, shall, if it does not exceed £500 in net value, belong to his widow absolutely. If the estate exceeds £500 net, the widow is entitled to £500 out of the estate and has a charge for that amount upon the real and personal property of the deceased. (3) The child or children take equally, two-thirds if the widow be alive, and the whole if she be dead. If some of the children be alive and some dead having issue, then such issue will take their parents’ share equally among themselves. There has been some difference of opinion as to whether if all the children have predeceased their parent but have left issue, such grandchildren take as between themselves per stirpes as representatives of their parent or per capita as next of kin. Thus if A and B predecease their father but A leaves three children and B one, should the property be divided into fourths, or first into moieties and then one moiety subdivided into thirds among A’s children and the other moiety be given undivided to B’s child? It is now settled that the latter method of distribution is the correct one, and it is thought that this will also apply when only great-grandchildren are alive. (4) The next of kin must be ascertained according to the rules of consanguinity,