An overview of surviving spouse’s financial position in Roman Law
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surviving spouse
Ancient Roman Law
Pretorian Roman Law
Imperial Roman Law
intestate succession


We conducted an analysis of the succession rights of surviving spouse the succession rights of surviving spouse in Ancient Roman Law, Pretorian Law and Imperial Roman Law. Thus, we have done research starting from the Law of Twelve Tables, dating from Ancient Roman Law and we have come across the years until Iustinian’s Codification, in the 6th century BC. The focus is mainly on the historical and sociological context in which the surviving spouse had a usufruct over the decedent’s share which was generated by the transmission of the estate of the deceased and the termination of the matrimonial regime.

Concerning every relevant historical period, we have studied the mandatory conditions that needed to be fulfilled in order to provide a legal usufruct to the surviving spouse. However, to enhance the fluency of the study, we have made some remarks related to the rights of the surviving spouse and other heirs, in general.
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