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Succession, in legal terms, means succeeding to the rights of another. The word commonly refers to the distribution of property under a state's intestate succession laws, which determine who inherits the property when someone dies without a valid will. Succession denotes the transmission of rights and obligations of the deceased to the heirs. It not only includes the rights and obligations left by the deceased at the time of his or her death, but it also includes new charges, rights, and obligations that accrue to the existing ones after opening of the succession.

[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]