Nasciturus pro iam nato habetur, quotiens de commodis eius agitur

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"Nasciturus pro iam nato habetur, quotiens de commodis eius agitur" is a Latin legal maxim that refers to a law that grants or protects the right of a foetus to inherit property. The maxim translates to: "The unborn is deemed to have been born to the extent that his own benefits are concerned". "Nasciturus" literally translates to "one who is to be born" and refers to a conceived foetus, i. e., a living child who has not yet been born. Pursuant to this legal principle, the foetus is presumed to have been born for the purposes of inheritance. The principle was reified in Roman law and continues to be implemented today in most European nations, in the Americas (where the foetus is sometimes legally considered to be a person), and in South Africa.

When considered a legal exception, it is thought to apply exclusively for the purposes of inheritance and that conditions must be satisfied for it to be valid, primarily that the foetus has to be born.

Historical instances of application[edit]

Notable cases of the application of the maxim include King John I of France, the short-lived, posthumous son of King Louis X, who inherited the throne of France in utero and, upon birth, reigned for the 5 days of his post-natal life. Similarly, when Queen Victoria inherited the British throne, her proclamation of accession specified that she inherited it "saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort" Queen Adelaide, because any such unborn progeny would have had a prior claim to the throne; had there been such progeny born subsequent to the accession of Queen Victoria, he would have ipso facto displaced Victoria as British monarch.

See also[edit]