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 phrase which refers to a law which enables a foetus to inherit property. Under this law, the foetus is legally presumed to have been born for the purposes of inheritance. Such laws were common in Roman law and are used today in most European countries, in the Americas (where the fetus is at times legally considered to be a person) and in South Africa.
The phrase is translated as: "The unborn is deemed to have been born to the extent that its own benefits are concerned". "Nasciturus" (literally, "one who is to be born") refers to a child which has been conceived, but has not yet been born, i.e. a foetus.
This rule is an exception, and applies exclusively for the purpose of inheritance. Some additional conditions are required for this exception to be legally valid; primarily, the foetus has to be fully born.
Notable cases of the application of this maxim include John I of France, the short-lived posthumous son of King Louis X, who inherited the throne in utero and, once born, reigned for the five days of his life. Similarly, when Queen Victoria inherited the British throne, her accession proclamation specified that her inheritance was "...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, since any such unborn offspring would have had a prior claim to the throne and displaced Victoria as monarch.
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