Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Heritable Obligation Definition:

A legal obligation or right which is not extinguished by the death of the person who held those rights, or was liable for the obligation, but are transferred to the estate.

Related Terms: Mortis Omnia Solvit

Obligations which do not expire with the person of the contracting party.

Most contractual obligations are enforceable by or against the estate, on behalf of the deceased. For example, the debts of the deceased are payable by the estate.

However, there are some obligations, contractual or otherwise, which expire upon the death of an individual. For example, a contract may assert that it does not survive a party or may otherwise not be enforceable against the estate of a party. Child support obligations are not, usually, heritable obligations - not enforceable against the estate of a payor (except as to arrears).

The distinction of heritable obligations is one of the civil law.

It is not consistent with the ancient pre-Justinian Roman law, on which the civil law is based, which held that all debts of a debtor are extinguished with the death of the debtor (mortis omnia solvit).

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