heir at law

Also found in: Legal.
Related to heir at law: intestacy

heir′ at law′

n., pl. heirs at law.
a person who inherits, or is entitled to inherit, the real property of one who has died intestate.
References in classic literature ?
Neither Hamlet, nor Macbeth, nor Othello, nor Douglas, nor The Gamester, presented anything that could satisfy even the tragedians; and The Rivals, The School for Scandal, Wheel of Fortune, Heir at Law, and a long et cetera, were successively dismissed with yet warmer objections.
For about the fifth time he then proposed the Heir at Law, doubting only whether to prefer Lord Duberley or Dr.
Now every one is permitted to make a woman his heir if he pleases; and if he dies intestate, he who succeeds as heir at law gives it to whom he pleases.
Indenture of B & S between Jerome Rupert of Sidney, Hastings, heir at law of John Rupert deceased, son and heir at law of Peter Rupert deceased of Osnabruck, regarding same Lot 24, Conc.
41) The taxpayer was the sole heir at law to his mother's estate.
A comparison of the two works, however, reveals that Austen has used The Heir at Law to highlight flaws in Tom's character and, more ominously, to intimate that he may be displaced as the heir to the Bertram estate.
The term does not include an heir at law or a devisee who has received his or her distribution.
Pangloss, the elderly pedant in The Heir at Law (first performed 1797), is his only outstanding comic creation.