Act concerning apparent heirs their payment of their own and their predecessors' debts2

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, taking into consideration that apparent heirs immediately after their predecessors' death, do frequently convey their estates in whole or in part in prejudice of their predecessors' lawful creditors, before their death come to their knowledge, or before they can do lawful diligence against the said apparent heirs, and which dispositions the said apparent heirs do often make before they are served heirs and infeft, or otherwise by collusion they suffer their predecessors' estates to be comprised or adjudged from them for payment of their own proper debts, real or simulated, without respect to their predecessors' creditors. And his majesty, considering how just it is that every man's own estate should be first liable to his own debt before the debts contracted by the apparent heirs; therefore, his majesty, with consent foresaid, declares that the creditors of the deceased shall be preferred to the creditors of the apparent heir in time coming, as to the defunct's estate; providing always that the defunct's creditors do diligence against the apparent heir and the real estate belonging to the deceased within the space of three years after the defunct's death; and because it is most unreasonable that the apparent heir, when he is served and retoured heir and infeft respectively, should for the full space of three years be bound up from making rights and alienations of his predecessor's estate, and yet it being as unreasonable that he should transfer thereupon immediately or shortly after his predecessor's death in prejudice of his predecessor's creditors, he having year and a day to advise whether he will enter heir or not, therefore it is hereby declared that no right or disposition made by the said apparent heir, in so far as may prejudge his predecessor's creditors, shall be valid unless it be made granted a full year after the defunct's death.

  1. NAS. PA2/27, f.3v-4.
  2. This act has also been inserted under its proper date of 15 March 1661, its repetition in the record at this point a clear error in the register. See PA2/26, 88-89 (1661/1/118).