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heir

Before 1926, the person entitled under common law and statutory rules to inherit the freehold land of one who died intestate. The Administration of Estates Act 1925 abolished these rules of descent and the concept of heirship, except that *entailed interests and in certain rare cases the property of mental patients devolve according to the old rules. In addition, the Law of Property Act 1925 provides that a conveyance of property in favour of the heir of a deceased person conveys it to the person who would be the heir under the old rules. Where these exceptions apply, an heir apparent is the person (e.g. an eldest son) who will inherit provided that he outlives his ancestor; an heir presumptive is an heir (e.g. a daughter) whose right to inherit may be lost by the birth of an heir with greater priority (e.g. a son). See also *heirs of the body.

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