Heir, * One born in lawful matrimony, who succeeds by descent, and right of blood, to lands, tenements or hereditaments, being an estate of inheritance. It is an established rule oflaw, that God alone can make an heir. Beame's Glanville, 143; 1 Thomas, Co. Lit. 931; and Butler's note, p.938. Under the word heirs are comprehended the heirs of heirs in infinitum.1 Co. Litt. 7 b, 9 a, 237 b; Wood's Inst. 69. According to many authorities, heir may be nomen collectivuum, as well in a deed as in a will, and operate in both in the same mannar, as heirs in the plural number. 1 Roll. Abr. 253; Ambl. 453; Godb. 155; T. Jones, 111; Cro, Eliz.313; 1 Burr. 38; 10 Vin. Abr. 233, pl. 1; 8 Vin. Abr. 233; sed vide 2 Prest. on, Est. 9, 10. In wills, in order to effectuate the intention of the testator, the word heirs is sometimes construed to mean next of kin; 1 Jac. & Walk. 388; and children, Ambl. 273. See further, as to the force and import of this word, 2 Vent. 311; 1 P. Wms. 229; 3 Bro. P. C. 60, 454; 2 P. Wms. 1, 369; 2 Black. R. 1010; 4 Ves. 26, 766, 794; 2 Atk. 89, 580; 5 East Rep. 533; 5 Burr. 2615; 11 Mod. 189; 8 Vin. Abr. 317; 1 T. R. 630; Bac. Abr. Estates in fee simple, B.

2. There are several kinds of heirs specified below.

3. By the civil law, heirs are divided into testamentary or instituted heirs legal heirs, or heirs of the blood; to which the Civil Code of Louisiana has added irregular heirs. They are also divided into unconditional and beneficiary heirs.

4. It is proper here to notice a difference in the meaning of the word heir, as it is understood by the common and by, the civil law. By the civil law, the term heirs was applied to all persons who were called to the succession, whether by the act of the party or by operation of law. The person who was created universal successor by a will, was called the testamentary heir; and the next of kin by blood was, in cases of intestaby, called the heir at law, or heir by intestacy. The executor of the common law is, in many respects, not unlike the testamentary heir of the civil law. Again, the administrator ln many respects corresponds with the heir by intestacy. By the common law, executors unless expressly authorized by the will and administrators, have no right, except to the personal estate of the deceased; whereas, the heir by the civil law was authorized to administer both the personal and real estate. 1 Brown's Civ. Law, 344; Story, Confl. of Laws, §508.

5. All free persons, even minors, lunatics, persons of insane mind or the like, may transmit their estates as intestate ab intestato, and inherit from others. Civ. Code of Lo., 945; Accord, Co. Lit. 8 a.

6. The child in its mother's womb, is considered as born for all purposes of its own interest; it takes all successions opened in its favor, after its conception, provided it be capable of succeeding at the moment of its birth. Civ. Code of Lo. 948. Nevertheless, if the child conceived is reputed born, it is only in the hope of its birth; it is necessary then that the child be born alive, for it cannot be said that those who are born dead ever inherited. Id. 949. See In ventre sa mere.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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