Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

INHERITANCE

As a title to ownership, it is the disposition of property after the death of the owner. Since property is intended not only for the good of the individual but of the family, the natural law requires that the family should be supported from the property of a deceased owner. If a person dies intestate, without declaring the heirs, the family has first claim on the property, and the civil law should reflect this primary responsibility. If there is a bequest, declaring the intention of the owner regarding his or her property to take effect at death, again one's natural heirs must be provided for. Beyond this, a person may make any disposal of his or her property that would have been legitimate when that person was alive. Bequest is an effective way that one can take care of friends and provide for the continuance of the work in which one was chiefly interested. Implied in inheritance, therefore, is the natural right to dispose of one's property not only during life but also after death.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: The Other Greek Apologists 19 hours ago
Mysteries, again and again! April 17
Tips for getting comfortable with evangelization April 17
The Shroud of Turin on Display (and an odd canonical case against it) April 16
The Vatican says the LCWR is acting Catholic. And that's news. April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16