Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Legatee Definition:

The person to whom personal property is gifted pursuant to a will.

Related Terms: Devise, Bequeath or Bequests, Legacy

A person to whom a will has gifted money or some personal property or has excused a debt owed to the testator.1

The Wharton dictionary:

"Legatee: one who has a legacy left to him."

As Justice Gilbert of the Supreme Court of Georgia wrote in Yopp:

"[T]he word legatee generally refers to a beneficiary of personal property under a will....

"[I]n ordinary usage the terms legatee and devisee are frequently used as synonymous or interchangeable."


  • Edwards v Smith, 25 Gr. 159 (1855 - NOTE 1)
  • Wharton, John Jane Smith, Law Lexicon, or Dictionary of Jurisprudence: Explaining the Technical Words and Phrases Employed in the Several Departments of English Law, including also the Various Legal Terms Used in Commercial Transactions; Together with an Explanatory as well as Literal Translation of the Latin Maxims Contained in the Writings of the Ancient and Modern Commentators (London: Stevens & Sons, 1872), page 543.
  • Yopp v Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. 97 S.E. 534 (1918)

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