Good news: your old and rarely-heard-from uncle died and left you an amazing old mansion in the countryside. Which sadly is infested by a fear-eating wraith that will make your sojourn a living hell. Otherwise, that shiny old medallion that your great aunt left to you is actually the home of a powerful demon, or that magnificent katana
that you obtained from that old friend of yours is wanted by the Yakuza, and so on.
In short, this trope is usually played at the start of a story/arc in order to start the plot, which will usually revolves about the heir dealing with the unwanted side effects of their inheritance. Ghost-infested mansions are a frequent choice, but the "side effect" can also be mundane (e.g. the house has a severe infestation of cockroaches, spiders and centipedes). Sometimes it can also be played for laughs.
Sometimes there's a variation where in order to obtain full possession of the inheritance the heir has to perform a certain sinister task of some kind
. But this is another trope.
- There's a Daisy's Diary comic where Daisy gets an inheritance from a prince she once interviewed. However, the deceased prince had a lot of debts, and the palace was mortgaged. Donald find out that the prince faked his death, and intended to escape with the family jewels while Daisy inherited his debts.
- In L'armata Brancaleone (or for english speakers: "The Incredible Army of Brancaleone") the titular character manages to inherit his own citadel just in time to have to protect it from some saracen raiders.
- In the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon finds out that his precious sword Zar'roc, left to him by his master and father Brom is actually the sword of Morzan, an evil Dragon Rider who served Galbatorix.
- The heir to the Baskerville estate in The Hound Of The Baskervilles fears he might also have inherited the curse which causes him to be stalked by the eponymous creature. It's actually a large dog, trained by a nearby distant relative who wants to kill him and claim the estate.
- In Skullduggery Pleasant, the series kicks off with our heroine's uncle dying. He leaves her his house, which nearly gets our poor girl killed. Several times.
- The Lord of the Rings begins with Bilbo, the discoverer of a magical invisibility ring, reluctantly letting his heir Frodo inherit it so he can retire to Rivendell. A few decades later, Gandalf belatedly reveals to Frodo that it's the One Ring, Soul Jar of the Dark Lord Sauron's vast evil power and greatest threat to Middle-earth. And now it's Frodo's job to sneak it out of the country...
- Classic Traveller Adventure 13 Secret of the Ancients. Trow Beckett receives a statuette in his father's will. Shortly thereafter he's attacked by thugs who are after the statuette and then approached by Imperial agents who want to confiscate it.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement The Asylum and Other Tales, adventure "Black Devil Mountain". A PC receives some property as a bequest from their recently deceased brother. It turns out to be near the site of some extremely nasty Cthulhu Mythos activity.
- Parodied in the Futurama episode "The Honking," where Bender the robot inherits a creepy old castle in Robo-Hungaria. The castles comes complete with holographic ghosts and a computer virus that turns the target robot into a were-car.