Legatee: What It Is, How It Works

A legatee is an individual or an organization that receives a legacy from an estate. A legacy can be any personal property and includes objects such as jewelry, furniture or cars, and financial accounts.

The term “legatee” is often used interchangeably with “devisee,” the person to whom real estate is given through a will. However, other related terms, including “heir” and “account beneficiary,” have differences worth considering as you think through your estate.

The main difference between a legatee and a beneficiary is that all legatees are beneficiaries, but not all beneficiaries are legatees (a beneficiary can also be a devisee).

It’s also important to know that you can name a beneficiary outside of a will. Specifically, you can designate a beneficiary for certain financial accounts directly with the account provider. This includes checking accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

These designations — sometimes called account beneficiaries or named…

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This article was written by Kurt Woock and originally published on www.nerdwallet.com