Libertarian perspectives on inheritance

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Most libertarians believe individuals should have complete freedom of determination of their property's fate after death (once all open contracts have been settled). Therefore any degree of inheritance, disinheritance and bestowal to individuals or organisations of choice is permitted. They are against inheritance tax or compulsory inheritance. In their view, an individual may also have the right to retain some forms of ownership posthumously. In theory, land owners may also have the right to declare their land off-bounds to anyone for eternity, though consequentialist libertarians may reject this.

There is some debate among libertarians as to what should happen to property in absence of a will or a contract such as marriage. Some argue that "natural" heirs like family members, related by blood or otherwise, do not have an automatic right to inherit property of the deceased as they are as much subject to the principle of voluntary contracts as the rest of society. Instead, a deceased person's property would simply be declared as unclaimed property. The first individual to claim the property would then be its legitimate owner.