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date: 03 April 2020

inheritance and wills 

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity
Johannes PlatschekJohannes Platschek, Catherine HezserCatherine Hezser

In Roman *law an inheritance could be passed on according to the rules of intestate or testate succession. In the case of intestate succession the heirs were called to the inheritance by the rules of the Roman civil law, rather than by the express intentions of the deceased. Roman rules for intestate succession thus effectively operated as a set of default rules which only came into operation when an individual either failed to leave a will, or when the will that had been left failed. The post-classical Roman rules for intestate succession were complex but focused upon ensuring transmission of the patrimony to the deceased person’s closest relatives—in most cases these would be the deceased’s children, although this would be others if the deceased died childless.... ...

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