Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.
Chapter 92: The Disposition of Property: Transfers between the Dead and the Living
Acentral fact of social life is that individual people die but societies live on, as does whatever personal property individuals have managed to accumulate over their lifetimes. Because death is inevitable, societies establish formal and informal rules for the disposition of accumulated property at death. The rules of inheritance constitute a complex and variable social, economic, and political process that links generations and provides the foundation for social organizational continuity.
Inheritance is an integral component ...