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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 ?
Evidence supporting the pathogenic roles of the p.G141R mutation includes: (1) Homozygous p.G141R mutation was identified in all three affected individuals (F1-II-1, F2-II-1, and F2-II-2), and the intrafamilial segregation pattern is consistent with the recessive inheritance (Figure 1).
MAP etiology should be suspected in CRCs that present at a young age, the presence of polyps, and with a recessive inheritance pattern.
Homozygous nonsense mutation in WNT10B and sporadic split-hand/foot malformation (SHFM) with autosomal recessive inheritance. Am J Med Genet 2010;152: 2053-6.
We describe a SEN syndrome patient and we suggest a possible recessive inheritance.
As far back as 1897, Japanese neurologist Hiroshi Kawahara first described what appeared to be SBMA in two brothers suffering from muscle atrophy and fasciculation of the tongue and limbs, with adult onset and sex-linked recessive inheritance [23, 24].
Usually X-linked recessive inheritance is seen with this syndrome.
Because of autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, the parents are not typically affected.
Situs Inversus is a rare congenital developmental anomaly with autosomal recessive inheritance wherein the position of organs in chest and abdomen are reversed along sagittal plane.
Note that renal failure in African Americans can now frequently be linked to autosomal recessive inheritance of common APOL1 mutations.
As the disease shows autosomal recessive inheritance, it is probable that the present case, with parental consanguinity, might have had a primary HLH.Unfortunately, the patient died within a short period of time.
Each phenotype has revealed different patterns of inheritance such as two-allele gene with co-dominant inheritance (7,8), oligogenic or polygenic model (9-11), recessive (12), two locus recessive13, mixed with recessive inheritance (14), and single locus with contribution for polygenes (15) although some studies have failed to demonstrate any autosomal patterns of inheritance (7).
Autosomal recessive inheritance of metaphyseal dysplasia (Pyle disease).