Legatee Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Legatee, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Legatee?

(n) Legatee is the person or legal entity who is the beneficiary named in a deceased’s will to receive a gift named in that will as per the terms contained in that will

History and Meaning of Legatee

Legatee is a legal term that refers to the person or entity who is named as the beneficiary in a last will and testament to receive a specific gift. The term "legatee" derives from the Latin word "legatus," which means "a person sent on a mission." In this context, the legatee is the person who is sent a gift by the deceased.

The law of wills has been around for centuries, and the concept of the legatee can be traced back to ancient Rome. In medieval times, the importance of the will and the role of the legatee grew as societies became more complex and wealth was more frequently transferred from generation to generation.

Today, the term legatee is a standard legal term used in wills and estate planning, and it is an essential concept for anyone making a will or dealing with the estate of a deceased person.

Examples of Legatee

  • In his will, John named his daughter as the legatee of his antique furniture collection.
  • Sarah was the legatee of her aunt's estate, which included a large sum of money and a lakeside cottage.
  • The local animal shelter was named as the legatee of Mr. Smith's estate, to help support the care of animals in need.
  • Jane was the legatee of her grandfather's prized stamp collection, which had been in the family for generations.

Legal Terms Similar to Legatee

  • Beneficiary - A term used more broadly in estate planning to describe anyone who receives assets or property from a deceased person, not just those named in a will.
  • Devisee - A person named in a will to receive real property.
  • Bequest - A specific gift of personal property named in a will.
  • Executor - The person named in a will to manage the estate and fulfill the wishes of the deceased.
  • Trustee - The person or entity responsible for managing a trust and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.