What is heritage?

We explain what heritage is and what are the elements of heritage in Law. In addition, its main features.

  1. What is heritage?

The word heritage comes from the Latin heritage , and refers to the set of assets acquired by a person through the corresponding title deed.

In the epistemological sense of the word, heritage is understood as what is obtained through the father’s line , that is, it has a close relationship with the term we know today as inheritance. This term was already used since the time of ancient Rome, where family properties could be inherited.

  1. Heritage in the Law

Inheritance - Heritage - Law
Rights and obligations must be subject to a value expressed in currency.

In the field of law, the concept of heritage acquires great importance, especially in civil law matters and in relation to private law institutions . Although it is also defined as the set of assets, the right adds to its definition the rights and obligations of a person, be it physical or legal , which can be externalized in monetary value.

However, this definition is always subject to change according to the author who treats it . However, there is a point in common in the three basic elements that make up the heritage, which are:

  • Set of rights and obligations.  These two elements act in a unitary manner, that is, they cannot be separated from each other.
  • Monetary value.  The elements mentioned in the previous point must be subject to a value that can be expressed in the currency of use.
  • Title.  For these rights and obligations to be valid there must be a title that proves or accredits it. In the event that the subject who owns the estate is creditor must prove it, in case of being a debtor there must be another subject that demonstrates the debt that the former owes to him.
  1. Heritage Characteristics

From this definition it is also possible to distinguish between assets and liabilities of equity:

  • The assets refer to the rights and assets held by the subject, be they real or credit.
  • The liabilities refer to debts, charges and obligations of the subject.

Certain authors give certain particular characteristics to heritage, such as:

  • Indivisibility.  that is to say that a single person can own a certain patrimony.
  • Intransmissibility  that is, that the estate cannot be inherited if the person who owns it has not yet died. When the individual has died, their ownership of the estate is extinguished, thus being able to inherit their descendants.
  • Impossibility of embargo.  in this case when the right to inherit has not yet been acquired, the good, meanwhile, cannot be seized.

The patrimony can be classified in different ways according to the characteristics that it has, some of them are the residual, the collective, the patrimony of nasciturus and the one of administration , also known as the destination.

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