In The Sims 2, family members and best friends inherit money on the death of a Sim. There is no inheritance in The Sims, although Sims can die. In The Sims 3, inheritance returns in The Sims 3: Generations, but as a lifetime reward rather than as something received when Sims die.
The Sims 2Edit
Inheritance allows family members and best friends of a deceased Sim to receive money from that Sim, and get a memory of having inherited it. However, only Sims who died from old age leave an inheritance. The amount a Sim receives is unrelated to the net worth of the deceased or the amount of family funds they had. It is also unrelated to where the recipient lives; when a Sim dies, other members of his or her household can inherit. Therefore, this is more like a death benefit than an actual inheritance. In fact, the pop-up message which announces the payouts treats them as benefits from the deceased Sim's insurance policy. Receiving an inheritance does not fulfill the want to earn some money, and the inheritance does not count toward the amount of money the Sim has earned.
How much a Sim will inherit depends on three things; the deceased Sim's aspiration level at death, the type of relationship the Sim had with the deceased, and the Sim's lifetime relationship with the deceased. A Sim who dies in platinum or gold aspiration will leave behind more than one who dies in green. All other things being equal, a spouse will get more than a child, who will get more than a grandchild, who will get more than a friend. Finally, the lifetime relationship determines what percentage of the possible bequest the Sim will get.
Of course, with Seasons or later, Sims can transfer items to others by giving them as gifts, and this can be an indirect way to transfer funds. As long as the inventory feature is present, this can also be done by using cheats to make a Sim selectable and having that Sim put items into inventory. While this can be used as a form of inheritance, it's at the discretion of the player, and is separate from the bequests that are generated by the game.
The Sims 3: GenerationsEdit
Inheritance is a lifetime reward in The Sims 3: Generations. It costs 30,000 lifetime happiness points and can be purchased by children on up. When purchased, it grants a large amount of money, around §30,000 - §40,000 from a "long lost relative".
- If two Sims in a household are scheduled to die on the same day, the Grim Reaper may first come for one, then come back later for the other. If this happens, the second Sim can inherit from the first, even though he or she will die later that day.