Inheritance Law

Inheritance is patrilineal on Soma, with sons inheriting all the assets, and daughters with rights to an income. The firstborn was also entitled to a minimum of twice what the other sons received. This offered a degree of flexibility should the father wish to keep the assets tightly held. For example, a father with four sons and four daughters could make an allocation of 60% for the firstborn, 20% for his favourite, and 10% each for the other two. The income for the daughters would be the responsibility of the eldest. As daughters were exempt from tax, this had generated a whole universe of creative accounting, and unwritten contracts, leading to much legal wrangling on a brother’s death, with assets often languishing in escrow for centuries, as disagreements awaited settlement in the courts.