Prospective Heir Law and Legal Definition

Prospective heir is an heir who may inherit but who may be excluded. A prospective heir includes an heir apparent and an heir presumptive. Heir apparent is an heir whose right to an inheritance cannot be defeated if that person outlives the ancestor. Heir presumptive is a person who expects to inherit but whose right can be defeated by the birth of a nearer relative.

Rights of a prospective heir do not vest until the death of the intestate decedent. [United States v. Antonelli, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17583 (N.D.N.Y Oct. 30, 1998)].