The rights of vassals over fiefdoms became greater and greater over time, and soon fiefdoms became hereditary in the sense that investiture could not be denied to an heir willing to venerate. Inheritance rules tended to ensure an unshared fiefdom and preferred the eldest among the sons (Primogenian). This principle was far from absolute; Under pressure from younger sons, parts of an inheritance may be withdrawn for them as compensation (see appensage). Vassals also acquired the right to cede their fiefdoms, provided that the Lord had first given His consent and then paid a certain tax. In the same way, they had the right to submit – that is, to become masters themselves by assigning part of their fiefs to their own vassals. When a vassal died without inheritance or committed a crime, his fief returned to the Lord (see escheat). .