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An heir at law is the only person who, by the common law, becomes the owner of land without his own agency or assent. A title by deed or devise requires the assent of the grantee or devisee before it can take effect. But in the case of descent, the law casts the title upon the heir, without any regard to his wishes or election. The right to inheritance or succession does not rest on the contract, but is derived from positive law.
Adda Coomes died intestate on January 26, 1941, seized of about 91 acres of land in Carroll County, Iowa, and left surviving her husband, the plaintiff, seven children, and the children of a deceased daughter. Prior to the death of the intestate, the defendant Dreesen had procured a judgment in the district court of Carroll county against Albert Miller and wife, Lola Miller. The latter was a daughter and an heir of the intestate. Subsequently, Lola miller executed an instrument renouncing and rejecting any and all right of inheritance she might have as heir of deceased. The defendant alleged that the purported renunciation was made without consideration, with intent to defraud defendant, and to defeat the collection of the judgment. According to the defendant, the renunciation did not affect his superior right of judgment lien. The district court dissolved the temporary injunction and denied the grantee’s petition for a permanent injunction to preclude the sheriff from selling the property.
Under the Iowa statutes of descent, can a child who took an interest in real estate from an intestate parent, defeat the lien of a prior judgment by renunciation of that interest?
The court held that renunciation did not defeat the fact that the lien and the title vested in the judgment holder at the time of the testator’s death by operation of law, requiring no assent or acceptance by the heir. According to the court, the renunciation was not effective to destroy the lien of the judgment. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.