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
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Spiritual riches and poverty 5 hours ago
Vibrant Catholicism, 1: Lamenting the entire 20th century 11 hours ago
Holding bishops accountable: the next steps May 27
The real story behind the French ambassador's nomination to the Holy See May 27
A joyful noise unto the Lord: Goal met! May 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days