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. 484, 485.