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To receive property according to the state laws of intestate succession from a decedent who has failed to execute a valid will, or, where the term is applied in a more general sense, to receive the property of a decedent by will.

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


v. to receive all or a portion of the estate of an ancestor upon his/her death, usually from a parent or other close relative pursuant to the laws of descent. Technically, one would "inherit" only if there is no will, but popularly it means any taking from the estate of a relative, including a wife or husband, by will or not. (See: descent and distribution, will, intestacy, intestate succession, heir, heiress)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Rachel Iredale, from Cardiff University's Institute of Medical Genetics, said: "People worried about the risks of inheriting cancer often feel isolated.
Combining these in Judeo Christian suggests that, after inheriting Palestine in this life, unbaptized Jews will inherit hell in the next.
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Inheriting the balance of a retirement account has become a much more common occurrence in recent years -- meaning that clients increasingly have questions as to what, exactly, they can do with these funds in order to maximize their tax savings potential in future years.
One fact about Down's syndrome, which stems from inheriting an extra copy of chromosome 21, has intrigued Huntington Potter for years.
"People need to plan for inheriting wealth to avoid the pitfalls that result in so many heirs making emotional or ill-informed decisions they later regret," says Michael Abbott, a veteran financial consultant and CFO of The Abbott Bennett Group.
Inheriting mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 gives a woman an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer.