Inherit Law and Legal Definition

The term inherit denotes receiving the property of a decedent by will. In cases where the decedent has not executed a valid will, the intestate succession will be according to the state laws. Generally, on the death of an ancestor, a person succeeds to the estate of the deceased or inherits his/her property.

Some states impose an inheritance tax to gifts received from a decedent. The tax is based upon a person’s (beneficiary’s) right to receive money or property which was owned by the decedent at the date of death. This is in contrast to the federal estate tax, which is a tax upon the entire amount of property owned by the decedent at the time of death. Also, federal tax rules have special provisions for the valuation of inherited property.