Legatee

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Legatee'

A recipient of all or part of a deceased person's estate. A legatee is more commonly known as a beneficiary or heir to the terms of a will. The term comes from the word "legacy", meaning inheritance. If a person dies without a will and has no living relatives, the assets will go to the state.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Legatee'

If a legatee does not want to accept an inheritance, he or she can formally disclaim the assets within nine months of the testator's death (unless the legatee is underage, which in that case they cannot disclaim until they reach the age of majority). The disclaimer is permanent and the assets will then pass to the contingent beneficiary. An heir might want to disclaim an inheritance if it would be burdensome to own (like an undesirable piece of real estate), or if the legatee didn't need the inheritance and felt it would be more helpful to the contingent beneficiary.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Secondary Beneficiary

    A person or entity that inherits assets under a will, trust or ...
  2. Primary Beneficiary

    A beneficiary in a will, trust or insurance policy that is first ...
  3. Escheat

    The transfer of title of property or an estate to the state when ...
  4. Heir

    HeirA person who inherits some or all of the estate of another ...
  5. Beneficiary

    Anybody who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. ...
  6. Inheritance

    All or part of a person's estate/assets that is given to an heir ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Why You Should Draft A Will

    Don't trust the courts to follow your wishes - plan the distribution of your own assets.
  2. Options & Futures

    Getting Started On Your Estate Plan

    With some preparation, you can save your heirs from paying a hefty estate tax. Here are some tips.
  3. Options & Futures

    Three Documents You Shouldn't Do Without

    Estate planning is not just about the division of assets after you die. Read on to save your loved ones extra grief.
  4. Retirement

    Refusing An Inheritance

    Contrary to popular belief, inheriting assets isn't always a good thing. Find out what to do if you want to disclaim them.
  5. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

    Don't let bad estate planning lead to unnecessary costs and stress for your inheritors.
  6. Retirement

    Mistakes In Designating A Retirement Beneficiary

    Make sure your beneficiary designations not only reflect your intentions but also meet the requirements to be effective.
  7. Retirement

    What are the keys to setting up a trust fund?

    Setting up a trust to secure your assets for a beneficiary allows you to set the terms under which the beneficiaries are allowed to access these assets.
  8. Investing Basics

    How Advisors Can Protect Inherited IRAs

    A new Supreme Court ruling has some financial advisors rushing to set up trusts to help protect inherited IRAs. Is that necessary?
  9. Retirement

    What's the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

    Seeking professional advice from a financial advisor may involve asking for financial help from a certified financial planner, stockbroker or an accountant.
  10. Personal Finance

    Top 10 Money Mistakes New Parents Make

    Although having a child is an exciting and exhilarating experience, it is very easy to lose track of finance or make unwise decisions with money.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  2. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  3. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  4. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  5. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  6. Break-Even Analysis

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even ...
Trading Center