It is a common situation, that objects comprised in the estate inherited by co-heirs are sold, destroyed or otherwise lost in the period of time between death of the deceased and the moment of distribution of the estate between co-heirs. At the same time some other items might be acquired in connection with the loss, for example the price or other compensation. It ought to be decided, whether these new items belong to the inherited estate. The problem might be sometimes of great practical importance, however the Polish Civil Code does not regulate it explicitly. It was proposed in the legal literature, that the problem should be resolved by application of the 'surrogation' principle. According to this principle the inherited estate - treated as an example of so called 'special property' - is deemed to comprise all objects acquired in substitution for any object, or by virtue of any right, comprised therein. The author of the article analyses doctrinal notions of 'surrogation' and 'special property'. Then he ascertains that validity of these notions for the Polish private law is at best dubious. Moreover, application of the 'surrogation' principle to the inherited estate does not give clear solutions itself. Finally the author draws a conclusion, that instead of dubious and uncertain 'surrogation' principle, general rules of tort liability and unjust enrichment should be applied to the estate inherited by co-heirs.