In England and in all of our states the common law in this re-, spect has been very greatly changed by statute. In some states it has been virtually abolished and in these states the marriage of a woman does not in any way affect her rights or liabilities under contracts entered into before marriage.10
201. Death passes to the executors or administrators of the deceased all rights of action in respect of the personal estate, and, to the extent of his estate, all liabilities chargeable upon it. This does not include -
EXCEPTIONS - (a) Contracts depending on the personal services or skill of the deceased.
(b) Contracts the breach of which involves a purely personal loss.
On the death of a person all his personal estate passes, by operation of law, to his executors or administrators, and with it also pass all rights of action on contract which will affect such estate, and all liabilities arising out of contract which are chargeable upon it;11
9 HOWARTH v. WARMSER, 58 111. 48, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 329. See "Husband and Wife," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 213; Cent. Dig. §§ 787-790.
10 HOWARTH v. WARMSER, supra. See "Husband and Wife," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 112-114; Cent. Dig. §§ S98-S95.
11 Anson, Cont. (4th Ed.) 235; BILLINGS' APPEAL, 10G Pa. 558, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 330; Jewett v. Smith, 12 Mass. 309; Snodgrass v. Cabinoss, 15 Ala. 160; Henderson v. Henshall, 54 Fed. 320, 4 C. C. A. 357; Beecher v. Buckingham, 18 Conn. 110, 44 Am. Dec. 580; Shirley v. Healds, 34 N H. 407; Drummond v. Crane, 159 Mass. 577, 35 N. E. 90, 23 L. R. A. 707, and note, 38 Am. St Rep. 4G0; Dumont v. Heighton, 14 Ariz. 25, 123 Pac. 300, and actions on such contracts are brought by or against the personal representative in his own name.12 Covenants, for instance, which are attached to a leasehold estate, pass, as to benefit and liability, with the personalty to the executor or administrator; but covenants affecting freehold estates, such as covenants for title in a conveyance of freehold property, pass to the heir or devisee of the realty.
This rule does not include such contracts as depend upon the personal services or the skill of the deceased, which expire on the death of either of the parties.13 An apprenticeship contract is thus terminated by the death of the master, and no claim to the services of the apprentice survives to the executor or administrator.14 In like manner, breach of a contract which involves a purely personal loss does not confer a right of action upon executors or administrators. Thus, where an executor sued for a breach of promise to marry his testatrix, the promise having been broken, and the right of action having accrued in her lifetime, it was held that he could not recover, as it did not clearly appear that the breach of contract had resulted in damage to the personal estate.15
Executors and administrators take no personal benefit from the contracts of the decedent, nor are they personally liable. They merely stand in his shoes, and represent him to the extent of his estate.
39 L. R. A. (N. S.) 11S7. This subject is covered by statute in most of the states. See "Executors and Administrators" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 43; Cent. Dig. §§ 279, 281.
12 Potter v. Van Vranken, 36 N. T. 619. See "Executors and Administrators," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 438; Cent. Dig. §§ 1165-1185.
13 Baxter v. Burfield, 2 Str. 1266; Dickinson v. Calahan's Adm'rs, 19 Pa. 227; BILLINGS' APPEAL, 106 Pa. 558, Throckmorton Cas. Contracts, 330; Yerrington v. Greene, 7 R. I. 589, 84 Am. Dec. 578; Lacy v. Getman, 119 N. Y. 109, 23 N. E. 452, 6 L. R. A. 728, 16 Am. St. Rep. 806; Marvel v. Phillips, 162 Mass. 399, 38 N. E. 1117, 26 L. R. A. 416, 44 Am. St Rep. 370; Blakely v. Sousa, 197 Pa. 305, 47 Atl. 286, 80 Am. St Rep. 821. See post P- 596- See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 311; Cent. Dig. §§ 1448-1456; "Master and Servant," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 26, 28; Cent. Dig. §§ 26, 21.
14 Baxter v. Burheld, 2 Strange, 1266. See "Apprentices," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 10; Cent. Dig. § 20.
15 Chamberlain v. Williamson, 2 Maule & S. 408. And see Finlay v. Chirney, 20 Q. B. D. 494; Stebbins v. Palmer, 1 Pick. (Mass.) 71, 11 Am. Dec. 146; Smith v. Sherman, 4 Cush. (Mass.) 408; Chase v. Fitz, 132 Mass. 359; Wade v. Kalbfleisch, 58 N. Y. 282, 17 Am. Rep. 250; Hovey v. Page, 55 Me. 142; Lat-timore v. Simmons, 13 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 183; Grubbs v. Sult, 32 Grat (Va.) 203, 34 Am. Rep. 765. See "Abatement and Revival," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 53; Cent. Dig. §§ 251, 252; "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 311; Ceni. Dig. §§ 1448-1456.