What is the verb for being the non-volitional source of an inheritance? For example:

I "inherit" a car from my parent when they die. My parent "_____" a car to me when they die.

What is the "____"? I thought about "bequeaths" but that refers to specifically mentioning someone in a will, rather than passively being the source of the inheritance.

Relatedly, what is the term for the relationship between these two words? These words aren't antonyms, it's more like immigrate vs emigrate.

  • I am not clear on why "bequeath" does not work there... – Cascabel Dec 1 '20 at 16:33
  • Bequeath: verb (used with object) to dispose of (personal property, especially money) by last will: She bequeathed her half of the company to her niece. – user 66974 Dec 1 '20 at 16:34
  • I guess the OP is looking for inheriting something without a will, but by law. – user 66974 Dec 1 '20 at 16:37
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    @Jonathan If you're looking for a passive source, then literally use the passive voice: "The inheritance _was bequeathed by the benefactor." – Mitch Dec 1 '20 at 17:47
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    If you get something from a dead person without them explicitly mentioning it in their will, e.g. because it's the law that you get it (in some countries children get shares in a parent's estate whether there is a will or not) then you could say it passed to you, and there is no verb for the parent's action, because there was no action. – Michael Harvey Dec 1 '20 at 18:32

The word you mentioned


is the correct verb for giving things in a will (after you die). The person who does the giving is called a


(though that works for people who are still alive). The thing that is given is a


Putting it all together:

The benefactor bequeathed a bequest to the inheritor (or heir or recipient).

This is fairly formal. The way to say it normally is (after commenter user121863) is:

They left me an inheritance.

As to what to call the relationship between the two verbs 'inherit' and 'bequeath' they are not antonyms (they don't appear in thesauruses as such). They are called


of each other. An antonym or opposite of X is something that is -not- X, but for relations that are naming the same action but go in the opposite direction, one is the inverse of the other.

'Emigrate' and 'immigrate' aren't inverses but are obviously on the opposite sides of -something-. It's all about where the speaker is in relation to the person who moved countries. Someone emigrates from here to there, but they immigrate to here from there. Some kind of inverse relation could be extracted from these, but on the surface the words are not antonyms or inverses.

  • CED mandates that the benefactor arranges for the legacy to be in line with their wishes. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 1 '20 at 17:32

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