Legal Terms Glossary

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heir / heiress


An individual who receives an interest in, or ownership of, land, tenements, or hereditaments from an ancestor who has died intestate, through the laws of Descent and Distribution. At Common Law, an heir was the individual appointed by law to succeed to the estate of an ancestor who died without a will. It is commonly used today in reference to any individual who succeeds to property, either by will or law.

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