According to Roman law sui heredes acquired the inheritance due to them on succession; if a suus had not yet outwardly shown that he wanted to keep the inheritance, the praetor permitted him to abstain from it (se abstinere). In this case the suus was still the heres, but did not receive the inheritance and was not responsible for the debts of the estate; the next in line received the bonorum possessio. An extraneus did not need an abstentio; as he did not acquire the inheritance until he came into it, he could simply relinquish it, but also declare a disclaimer (omittere).
Cite this pageManthe, Ulrich (Passau), “Abstentio”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e101230>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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