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Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights and obligations upon the death of an individual. It has long played an important role in human societies. The rules of inheritance differ between societies and have changed over time. Inheritance also refers to the hereditary passing on of physical and psychological characteristics from one generation to the next.


  • Hellenes ... think that as men and animals beget men and animals, so from good men a good man springs. But this is what nature, though she may intend it, cannot always accomplish.
  • And all to leave what with his toil he won,
    To that unfeather'd two-legged thing, a son.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 169.
  • What we have inherited from our fathers and mothers is not all that 'walks in us.' There are all sorts of dead ideas and lifeless old beliefs. They have no tangibility, but they haunt us all the same and we can not get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. Ghosts must be all over the country, as thick as the sands of the sea.
  • The privilege of executors is too great already. They ought to be properly informed when they bring actions.
    • Lord Mansfield, Hawes v. Saunders (1764), 3 Burr. Part IV., p. 1585; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 92.
  • He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind. And the fool shall be servant to the wise in heart.
    Proverbs 11:29
  • He lives to build, not boast, a generous race;
    No tenth transmitter of a foolish face.
  • De male quæsitis vix gaudet tertius pæres,
    Nec habet eventus sordida præda bonos.
    • What's ill-got scarce to a third heir descends,
      Nor wrongful booty meets with prosperous ends.
    • Quoted by Thomas Walsingham, History, p. 260; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 394.

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