A bénéfice was a right given to a member of the Catholic clergy, to receive compensation from a piece of church property. The property might be an abbey or a church (with its surrounding farming lands). Loosely, the term bénéfice referred to the property itself.
A bénéfice was not inherited by the family of the benefice holder. In 16th century France, generally the king bestowed such bénéfices, not the church in Rome.
Theoretically, the bénéfice holder provided a spiritual service (eg care for souls, celebration of mass) in exchange for the property income. In reality, many bénéfice holders were not ordained and were absentee landlords with a hired staff to do the pastoral work.