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chong lee

Senior Member
The quote is from the story "The Elk" by H. H. Munro.

Is not "heir" just itself sufficient there? What does "heir-designate" mean additionally?

Thank you

The late Theodore Thropplestance had left her, some thirty-five years ago, in absolute possession of a considerable fortune, a large landed property, and a gallery full of valuable pictures. In those intervening years she had outlived her son and quarrelled with her elder grandson, who had married without her consent or approval. Bertie Thropplestance, her younger grandson, was the heir-designate to her property, and as such he was a centre of interest and concern to some half-hundred ambitious mothers with daughters of marriageable age.
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    You are not technically an heir until you either actually inherit, or it is certain that you will inherit. The grandmother was still alive, and could in theory decide to change her will at any moment, and leave her entire fortune to the local cat and dog home, disinheriting Bertie.
    Until she is "safely" dead, Bertie is merely heir-designate.
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