Inheritance Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Inheritance, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Inheritance?

It refers to the receipt of the assets and properties including money of an ancestor, usually from parents or close relative, with or without the Will.

History and Meaning of Inheritance

Inheritance has been a part of human society since ancient times, and the transfer of property and wealth within families has been a common practice. Inheritance is the legal transmission of property, money, and other assets by a deceased person to their heirs. The concept of inheritance is grounded in the principles of succession law, which determines how a person's estate will be distributed after they die. Inheritance laws vary by jurisdiction and often depend on the relationship between the deceased and their heirs.

Inheritance can be passed on through a will or through intestacy, which is the legal process by which property is distributed when a person dies without a will. The process of distributing assets can be complicated, particularly when the deceased has not left clear instructions on how their estate should be divided. Inheritance law aims to ensure that distribution is fair and equitable.

Examples of Inheritance

  1. John inherited his father's house and other properties after his father's death.
  2. If a person dies without a will, their estate will be distributed among their legal heirs according to intestacy laws.
  3. Mary inherited a large sum of money from her grandmother's estate.
  4. The inheritance tax is a tax on the transfer of property, money, and other assets from a deceased person to their heirs.
  5. After his mother's death, Joseph received an inheritance in the form of a family business.

Legal Terms Similar to Inheritance

  1. Succession: The process by which property is transferred from a deceased person to their heirs.
  2. Will: A legal document that specifies how a person's estate should be distributed after their death.
  3. Estate: The sum of a person's assets, including property, money, and other possessions.
  4. Intestacy: The legal process by which the property of a person who died without a will is distributed among their heirs.
  5. Trust: A legal arrangement in which one person (the trustee) holds property on behalf of another person (the beneficiary).