Heirless



[air] /ɛər/

noun
1.
a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter’s death.
2.
Law.

3.
a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another.
4.
a person or group considered as inheriting the tradition, talent, etc., of a predecessor.
verb (used with object)
5.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to inherit; succeed to.
/ɛə/
noun
1.
(civil law) the person legally succeeding to all property of a deceased person, irrespective of whether such person died testate or intestate, and upon whom devolves as well as the rights the duties and liabilities attached to the estate
2.
any person or thing that carries on some tradition, circumstance, etc, from a forerunner
3.
an archaic word for offspring
adj.

c.1400, from heir + -less.
n.

c.1300, from Anglo-French heir, Old French oir “heir, successor,” from Latin heredem (nominative heres) “heir, heiress” (see heredity). Heir apparent (late 14c.) has the French order of nounadjective, though it was not originally so written in English. It is the heir of one still alive whose right is clear. After death the heir apparent becomes the heir-at-law.

Under the patriarchs the property of a father was divided among the sons of his legitimate wives (Gen. 21:10; 24:36; 25:5), the eldest son getting a larger portion than the rest. The Mosaic law made specific regulations regarding the transmission of real property, which are given in detail in Deut. 21:17; Num. 27:8; 36:6; 27:9-11. Succession to property was a matter of right and not of favour. Christ is the “heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:15). Believers are heirs of the “promise,” “of righteousness,” “of the kingdom,” “of the world,” “of God,” “joint heirs” with Christ (Gal 3:29; Heb. 6:17; 11:7; James 2:5; Rom. 4:13; 8:17).

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