—heirless, adj./air/, n.1. a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death.2. Law.a. (in common law) a person who inherits all the property of a deceased person, as by descent, relationship, will, or legal process.b. Civil Law. a person who legally succeeds to the place of a deceased person and assumes the rights and obligations of the deceased, as the liabilities for debts or the possessory rights to property.3. a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another.4. a person or group considered as inheriting the tradition, talent, etc., of a predecessor.v.t.5. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to inherit; succeed to.
* * *One who inherits or is entitled to succeed to the possession of property after the death of its owner.In most jurisdictions, statutes of descent determine transfer of title to property if no will names the recipient. One may be either heir apparent or heir presumptive during the lifetime of the property holder. An heir apparent's right to an inheritance cannot be voided or undone except by exclusion under a valid will. An heir presumptive's right to inherit may be defeated by the birth of a nearer relative. In Britain, the heir apparent of the monarch is the eldest son. If there are no sons, the eldest daughter is heiress presumptive. See also primogeniture.
* * *▪ lawone who succeeds to the property of a person dying without a will or who is legally entitled to succeed by right of descent or relationship. In most jurisdictions, statutes of descent determine transfer of title to property if there is no will naming the legatee. In English common law, originally an heir was one who inherited real estate; next of kin inherited personal property. With important exceptions (titles of nobility, etc.) statutory law has all but abolished the distinction.One may be either heir apparent or heir presumptive during the lifetime of the property holder. The heir apparent is one whose right to inherit is indefeasible as long as he or she outlives the property holder. The heir presumptive is one whose right may be defeated by the birth of a nearer heir. In Sweden, the eldest child of the sovereign is heir apparent to the crown. In Great Britain, the heir apparent of the sovereign is the eldest son. If there are no sons, the eldest daughter is heiress presumptive unless there is no possibility of the birth of a brother to replace her in the line of descent.
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