succession

succession

[suhk-sesh-uhn]
succession: see ecology.
succession, apostolic: see apostolic succession.

Levy on the property accruing to each beneficiary of the estate of a deceased person. Inheritance tax may be more difficult to administer than estate tax because the value passing to each beneficiary must be fixed, and this often requires complex actuarial calculations. Inheritance taxes date back to the Roman Empire. In the U.S. inheritance taxes have always been collected by the individual states, while the federal government has imposed an estate tax. The first state inheritance tax was imposed by Pennsylvania in 1826.

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Devolution of property on an heir or heirs upon the death of its owner. In civil law jurisdictions it is called succession. The concept depends on a common acceptance of the notion of private ownership of goods and property. Under some systems, land is considered communal property and rights to it are redistributed, rather than bequeathed, on the death of a community member. In many countries, a minimum portion of the decedent's estate must be assigned to the surviving spouse and often to the progeny as well. Intestacy laws, which govern the inheritance of estates whose distribution is not directed by a will, universally view kinship between the decedent and the beneficiary as a primary consideration. Inheritance usually entails payment of an inheritance tax. Seealso inheritance tax; intestate succession; probate.

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In law, the process of proving in a court (probate court) that an instrument is the valid last will and testament of a deceased person. The term also refers broadly to the process of administering an estate. Unless it is contested or shown to contain obvious anomalies, a document purporting to be a will requires little authenticating proof for certification (admission to probate). Probate courts also often supervise the administration of estates by executors and oversee the guardianship of minors and others lacking capacity under the law.

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In the law of inheritance, transmission of property or property interests of a decedent as provided by statute, as distinguished from transfer according to the decedent's will. Modern laws of intestacy, though they vary widely, share the common principle that the estate should devolve upon persons standing in some kinship relation with the decedent; modern practice tends to favour the rights of the surviving spouse.

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Observation that taxonomic groups of animals follow each other in time in a predictable manner. Sequences of successive strata and their corresponding fauna have been matched to form a composite picture detailing the history of the Earth, especially from the beginning of the Cambrian Period. Faunal succession is the fundamental tool of stratigraphy and is the basis for the geologic time scale. Floral (plant) succession is also an important tool. Climate and conditions throughout the Earth's history can be studied using the successive groups because living organisms reflect their environment.

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In Christianity, the doctrine that bishops represent an uninterrupted line of descent from the Apostles of Jesus. This succession gives bishops special powers, including the right to confirm church members, ordain priests, consecrate bishops, and rule over the clergy and church members of a diocese. Clement, bishop of Rome, stated the doctrine as early as AD 95, and it is accepted by Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic, and several other churches. Some Protestant churches maintain that succession is spiritual and doctrinal rather than ritual and historical.

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(1701–14) Conflict arising from the disputed succession to the throne of Spain after the death of the childless Charles II. The Habsburg Charles had named the Bourbon Philip, duke d'Anjou, as his successor; when Philip took the Spanish throne as Philip V, his grandfather Louis XIV invaded the Spanish Netherlands. The former anti-French alliance from the War of the Grand Alliance was revived in 1701 by Britain, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman emperor, who had been promised parts of the Spanish empire by earlier treaties of partition (1698, 1699). The English forces, led by the duke of Marlborough, won a series of victories over France (1704–09), including the Battle of Blenheim, which forced the French out of the Low Countries and Italy. The imperial general, Eugene of Savoy, also won notable victories. In 1711 conflicts within the alliance led to its collapse, and peace negotiations began in 1712. The war concluded with the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which marked the rise of the power of Britain at the expense of both France and Spain, and the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden (1714).

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(1733–38) European conflict waged ostensibly to determine the successor to Augustus II. Austria and Russia supported his son Augustus III, while most Poles, France, and Spain supported Stanisław I, a former Polish king (1704–09) and father-in-law of France's Louis XV. Stanisław was elected king in 1733, but a Russian threat forced him to flee, and Augustus was elected in his place. France, with Sardinia and Spain, declared war on Austria (1733), seeking to reclaim territory in Italy held by Austria. An inconclusive campaign ended in the preliminary Peace of Vienna (1735), which redistributed the disputed Italian territory and recognized Augustus as king. A final treaty was signed in 1738.

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(1778–79) Conflict in which Frederick II of Prussia prevented Joseph II of Austria from acquiring Bavaria. After the death of the Bavarian elector Maximilian Joseph (1727–77), his successor, Charles Theodore (1724–99), ceded Lower Bavaria to Austria. Frederick II responded by declaring war (1778). There was little fighting because each force was concerned with cutting its opponent's communications and denying it supplies. Short on supplies, soldiers foraged for potatoes; hence, the conflict was nicknamed the “potato war.” In 1779 Austria and Prussia signed a treaty giving Austria a fraction of the territory originally occupied.

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(1740–48) Group of related wars that took place after the death (1740) of Emperor Charles VI. At issue was the right of Charles's daughter Maria Theresa to inherit the Habsburg lands. The war began when Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia in 1740. His victory suggested that the Habsburg dominions were incapable of defending themselves, prompting other countries to enter the fray. The conflict was ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

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(1701–14) Conflict arising from the disputed succession to the throne of Spain after the death of the childless Charles II. The Habsburg Charles had named the Bourbon Philip, duke d'Anjou, as his successor; when Philip took the Spanish throne as Philip V, his grandfather Louis XIV invaded the Spanish Netherlands. The former anti-French alliance from the War of the Grand Alliance was revived in 1701 by Britain, the Dutch Republic, and the Holy Roman emperor, who had been promised parts of the Spanish empire by earlier treaties of partition (1698, 1699). The English forces, led by the duke of Marlborough, won a series of victories over France (1704–09), including the Battle of Blenheim, which forced the French out of the Low Countries and Italy. The imperial general, Eugene of Savoy, also won notable victories. In 1711 conflicts within the alliance led to its collapse, and peace negotiations began in 1712. The war concluded with the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which marked the rise of the power of Britain at the expense of both France and Spain, and the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden (1714).

Learn more about Spanish Succession, War of the with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(1733–38) European conflict waged ostensibly to determine the successor to Augustus II. Austria and Russia supported his son Augustus III, while most Poles, France, and Spain supported Stanisław I, a former Polish king (1704–09) and father-in-law of France's Louis XV. Stanisław was elected king in 1733, but a Russian threat forced him to flee, and Augustus was elected in his place. France, with Sardinia and Spain, declared war on Austria (1733), seeking to reclaim territory in Italy held by Austria. An inconclusive campaign ended in the preliminary Peace of Vienna (1735), which redistributed the disputed Italian territory and recognized Augustus as king. A final treaty was signed in 1738.

Learn more about Polish Succession, War of the with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(1778–79) Conflict in which Frederick II of Prussia prevented Joseph II of Austria from acquiring Bavaria. After the death of the Bavarian elector Maximilian Joseph (1727–77), his successor, Charles Theodore (1724–99), ceded Lower Bavaria to Austria. Frederick II responded by declaring war (1778). There was little fighting because each force was concerned with cutting its opponent's communications and denying it supplies. Short on supplies, soldiers foraged for potatoes; hence, the conflict was nicknamed the “potato war.” In 1779 Austria and Prussia signed a treaty giving Austria a fraction of the territory originally occupied.

Learn more about Bavarian Succession, War of the with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(1740–48) Group of related wars that took place after the death (1740) of Emperor Charles VI. At issue was the right of Charles's daughter Maria Theresa to inherit the Habsburg lands. The war began when Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia in 1740. His victory suggested that the Habsburg dominions were incapable of defending themselves, prompting other countries to enter the fray. The conflict was ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Learn more about Austrian Succession, War of the with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Succession is the act or process of following in order or sequence. (It is not to be confused with secession, the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or political entity).

Succession may further refer to, within the context of "order" and "sequence":

  • In politics, order of succession is the ascension to power by one politician or monarch after another, usually in a clearly defined order.
  • In large corporations, companies, non-profit organizations and associations succession may occur to an elected position on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • In music, a succession is a series of any musical parameters including pitches, pitch classes, or simultaneities.
  • In ecology, ecological succession are the series of changes in an ecological community that occur over time after a disturbance.
  • In urban renewal, urban succession refers to the concept that as neighbourhoods mature, older housing stock is replaced by more modern housing, which again in turn is eventual re-developed into higher density housing.
  • In law, succession of property law covers the two distinct concepts of inheritance and heirship, and applies where property is passed to one or more dependants according to a formula set out in law, religion, custom or under the terms of a trust. Succession may also apply to artificial persons, usually through corporate mergers or reorganizations.
  • In decomposition, different groups of animals find a corpse attractive at different stages of decomposition, resultant changes in the animal community living on a body over time are known as a succession.

Succession may also refer to:

  • 30 Rock, The title of the thirteenth episode of NBC's second season of 30 Rock.

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