Legal Definition of Descent
Descent is the title, whereby a person, upon the death of his ancestor, acquires the estate of the latter, as his heir at law.5 min read
What Is Descent?
Hereditary succession. Descent is the title, whereby a person, upon the death of his ancestor, acquires the estate of the latter, as his heir at law: This manner of acquiring title is directly opposed to that of purchase. It will be proper to consider:
1. What kind of property descends
2. The general rules of descent.
All real estate, and all freehold of inheritance in land, descend to the heir. And, as being accessory to the land and making a part of the inheritance, fixtures, and emblements, and all things annexed to, or connected with the land, descend with it to the heir. Terms for years, and other estates less than freehold, pass to the executor, and are not subjects of descent. It is a rule at common law that no one can inherit read estate unless he was heir to the person last seised. This does not apply as a general rule in the United States.
The General Rules Of The Law Of Descent.
It is a general rule in the law of inheritance, that if a person owning real estate, dies seised, or as owner, without devising the same, the estate shall descend to his descendants in the direct line of lineal descent, and if there be but one person, then to him or her alone; and if more than one person, and all of equal degree of consanguinity to the ancestor, then the inheritance shall descend to the several persons as tenants in common in equal parts, however remote from the intestate the common degree of consanguinity may be. This rule is in favor of the equal claims of descending line, in the same degree, without distinction of sex, and to the exclusion of all other claimants.
The following example will, illustrate it; it consists of three distinct cases: