Latin Legal Terms


Defungo – this Latin verb literally translates as to discharge one's duties, quit, and retire. It is used in the Labor Law. The word participates in the legal maxim “Poena ex delicto defuncti, haeres teneri non debet means”, used in the area of Tort Law and the Inheritance Law. It means that the heir should not be burdened with a penalty charged for a wrongful act, done previously by the deceased while he was alive. Basically this legal maxim reduces the possibilities for transferring personal obligations of the ancestor towards their heirs.
The word also relates to the legal term “in bonis defuncti”, applicable in the area of Inheritance Law, where means in the property of the deceased testator.

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