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Property received from a decedent, either by will or through state laws of intestate succession, where the decedent has failed to execute a valid will.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. whatever one receives upon the death of a relative due to the laws of descent and distribution, when there is no will. However, inheritance has come to mean anything received from the estate of a person who has died, whether by the laws of descent or as a beneficiary of a will or trust. (See: inherit, heir, heiress, descent and distribution, intestacy, intestate succession, will)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 hereditary succession to an estate or title.
2 the right of an heir to succeed to property on the death of an ancestor.
3 something that may legally be transmitted to an heir.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

INHERITANCE, estates. A perpetuity in lands to a man and his heirs; or it is the right to succeed to the estate of a person who died intestate. Dig. 50, 16, 24. The term is applied to lands.
     2. The property which is inherited is called an inheritance.
     3. The term inheritance includes not only lands and tenements which have been acquired by descent, but also every fee simple or fee tail, which a person has acquired by purchase, may be said to be an inheritance, because the purchaser's heirs may inherit it. Litt. s. 9.
     4. Estates of inheritance are divided into inheritance absolute, or fee simple; and inheritance limited, one species of which is called fee tail. They are also divided into corporeal, as houses and lands and incorporeal, commonly called incorporeal hereditaments. (q. v.) 1 Cruise, Dig. 68; Sw. 163; Poth. des Retraits, n. 2 8.
     5. Among the civilians, by inheritance is understood the succession to all the rights of the deceased. It is of two kinds, 1 . That which arises by testament, when the testator gives his succession to a particular person; and, 2. That which arises by operation of law, which is called succession ab intestat. Hein. Lec. El. Sec. 484, 485.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is perhaps unsurprising given that inheritances become more common as individuals age - more of their parents will be dying as they themselves get older.
received 2014 and 2016 PS11,000 ag 24 th Young people aged between 16 to 24, meanwhile, were the least likely to get big inheritances, with just two per cent receiving inheritances of PS1,000 or more.
Calls for equality between men and women in inheritance have arisen once again in Egypt, after protests continued in Tunisia by a number of women's organisations to demand equality with men in inheritance rights.
Egyptian courts hear annually about 144,000 cases related to disputes over inheritances, mainly among members of the same family, according to a recent government study.
This is not an entirely uncommon example, and illustrates the point that where debts and inheritances are involved, there are numerous alternatives for dealing with debt, so professional advice is encouraged.
It found that inheritances do not significantly affect the retirement security of the population as a whole.
In "Inheritances and the distribution of wealth or whatever happened to the great inheritance boom?" (The Journal of Economic Inequality, November 2013), Edward N.
Almost nine out of every 10 inheritances (88.4%) consisted of money or savings, while just under one in five inheritances (19.5%) included property or land.
THE amount of money left to loved ones in inheritance will jump to pounds 1.1 trillion by 2047 from pounds 194bn in the current decade, research showed today.
THE amount of money left to loved ones in inheritance will jump to pounds 1.1 trillion by 2047 from pounds 194 billion in the current decade, research showed yesterday.
Jens Beckert has produced a fascinating and admirable work on inheritance laws in France, Germany, and the United States from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, explaining the special circumstances that generated such laws and the forces that over time modified them.
"With average inheritances of around pounds 40,000 being collected in the past three years it is only natural that many people are counting on windfalls when planning their finances.