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Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law

Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law (6th edn)

Paul J. du Plessis
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date: 10 December 2022

p. 2098. Inheritancelocked

p. 2098. Inheritancelocked

  • Paul J. du PlessisPaul J. du PlessisProfessor of Roman Law, University of Edinburgh, School of Law


This chapter discusses the Roman law of inheritance. It covers intestacy; making a will; heirs; legacies; testamentary freedom; the failure of wills, heirs, and legacies; and codicils and trusts. The importance of inheritance as a means by which property can be acquired is obvious. A Roman citizen might easily pass through life untouched by the rules, say, of usucapion or accessio, but he could not escape the operation of the law of inheritance (or at least his estate could not when he died). And he would often have inherited property himself on the death of family members or friends. Moreover, inheritance, unlike most other forms of acquisition of property, involved the transfer of the whole of a person’s property.

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