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INHERITANCE

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Roman. If a man died intestate leaving a wife and children of his body or adopted, they were his heirs (sui heredes). But this did not apply to married daughters who had passed into the manus of their husbands, or the children who had been freed by emancipation from the potestas of their father. If the man left no wife or children, the agnati, or relations in the male line, inherited, according to the degree of their kinship. If there were no agnati, and the man was a patrician, the property went to his gens. The cognati, or relations in the female line, were originally not entitled to inherit by the civil law. But, as time went on, their claim was gradually recognised more and more to the exclusion of the agnati, until at last Justinian entirely abolished the privilege of the latter, and substituted the principle of blood-relationships for that of the civil law. Vestal Virgins were regarded as entirely cut off from the family union, and therefore could not inherit from an intestate, nor, in case of their dying intestate, did the property go to their family, but to the state. But, unlike other women, they had unlimited right of testamentary disposition. If a freedman died intestate and childless, the patronus and his wife had the first claim to inherit, then their children, then their agnati, and (if the patronus was a patrician) then his gens. In later times, even if a freedman, dying childless, left a will, the patronus and his sons had claim to half the property. Augustus made a number of provisions in the matter of freedmen's inheritance. The civil law made it compulsory on a man's sui heredes to accept an inheritance whether left by will or not. But as the debts were taken over with the property, the edictum of the praetor allowed the heirs to decline it. A fortiori, no other persons named in the will could be compelled to accept the legacy. (See WILL.)
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gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint