In the trade and economy of the Old Babylonian period wealthy families played an important role. The property of these families was under the control of the pater familias. When the father died the property was inherited by his sons and his nadītu-daughters. All heirs got an equal share, while in Middle and Southern Babylonia the eldest brother received an extra share. This mode of inheritance division implicated a considerable reduction of the family property from generation to generation. The paper will illustrate this effect and discuss attested strategies of counteraction.