In England titles of nobility are still inherited under the rules of male primogeniture. A proposed new law could allow a woman to inherit, however, if she changes her gender.
In the old days inheritance law was very simple. The rules of male primogeniture dictated that the closest male relative to the deceased inherited everything.
For the most part, those rules have long since been replaced in the English speaking world.
However, titles of nobility in Britain still follow the old rule.
This does not please the Earl of Balfour, who has been an outspoken critic of male primogeniture. It is perhaps because he does not have any sons, but does have four daughters.
His daughters cannot inherit his title and it is set to pass to his younger brother, when the Earl passes away.
He has recently mentioned that there might be a way around that, as the Daily Mail reported in "New gender laws could let my girls inherit title, says Earl: Aristocrat suggests one of his daughters could identify as male after his death to claim his title."
A proposed new law, which has the support of Prime Minister Theresa May, would allow British citizens to change their gender.
The Earl of Balfour suggests that one of his daughters could use the law to inherit his title.
It is not clear if he is actually suggesting that one of his daughters would go to that length to get around the strict rules of male primogeniture.
Fortunately, America’s founding fathers prohibited titles of nobility, so we do not have to argue about how those titles are passed down here.
Reference: Daily Mail (Nov. 29, 2017) "New gender laws could let my girls inherit title, says Earl: Aristocrat suggests one of his daughters could identify as male after his death to claim his title."
Suggested Key Words: Inheritance Laws