Rule of Shifting Inheritances Law and Legal Definition

The rule of shifting inheritances is a common law of England in which an estate is given to an only child, who dies, it may descend to an aunt, who may be stripped of it by an after-born uncle, on whom a subsequent sister of the deceased may enter, and who will again be deprived of the estate by the birth of a brother. Every one has a right to retain the rents and profits which accrued while he was thus legally possessed of the inheritance. [Bates v. Brown, 72 U.S. 710 (U.S. 1867)].