devises. An addition or supplement to a will; it must be
executed with the same solemnities. A codicil is a part of the will, the
two instruments making but one will. 4 Bro. C. C. 55; 2 Ves. sen. 242 4
Ves. 610; 2 Ridgw. Irish P. C. 11, 43.
2. There may be several codicils to one will, and the whole will be taken
as one: the codicil does not, consequently, revoke the will further than
it is in opposition to some of its particular dispositions, unless there
be express words of revocation. 8 Cowen, Rep. 56.,
3. Formerly, the difference between a will and a codicil consisted in this,
that in the former an executor was named, while in the latter none was appointed.
Swinb. part 1, s. 5, pl. 2; Godolph. Leg. part 1, c. 6, s. 2. This is the
distinction of the civil law, and adopted by the canon law. Vide Williams
on Wills, ch. 2; Rob. on Wills, 154, n. 388, 476; Lovelass on Wills, 185,
289 4 Kent, Com. 516; 1 Ves. jr. 407, 497; 3 Ves. jr. 110; 4 Ves. jr. 610;
1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 116, 140.
4. Codicils were chiefly intended to mitigate the strictness of the ancient
Roman law, which required that a will should be attested by seven Roman
citizens, omni exceptione majores. A legacy could be bequeathed, but the
heir could not be appointed by codicil, though he might be made heir indirectly
by way of fidei commissum.
5. Codicils owe their origin to the following circumstances. Lucius Lentulus,
dying in Africa, left. codicils, confirmed by anticipation in a will of
former date, and in those codicils requested the emperor Augustus, by way
of fidei commissum, or trust, to do something therein expressed. The emperor
carried this will into effect, and the daughter of Lentulus paid legacies
which she would not otherwise have been legally bound to pay. Other persons
made similar fidei-commissa, and then the emperor, by the advice of learned
men whom he consulted, sanctioned the making of codicils, and thus they
became clothed with legal authority. Just. 2, 25; Bowy. Com. 155, 156.
6. The form of devising by codicil is abolished in Louisiana; Code, 1563;
and whether the disposition of the property be made by testament, under
this title, or under that of institution of heir, of legacy, codicil, donation
mortis causa, or under any other name indicating the last will, provided
it be clothed with the forms required for the validity of a testament, it
is, as far as form is concerned, to be considered a testament. Ib. Vide
1 Brown"s Civil Law, 292; Domat, Lois Civ. liv. 4, t. 1, s. 1; Lecons Element,
du Dr. Civ. Rom. tit. 25.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
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