A disposition of personalty by will. A bequest. In a technical sense and strictly construed, "legacy" is a gift or bequest by will of personal property, whereas a "devise" is a testamentary disposition of real estate, but such distinction will not be permitted to defeat the intent of a testator, and such terms may be construed interchangeably or applied indifferently to either personalty or real estate if the context of the will shows that such was the intention of the testator. Festorazzi v. First Nat. Bank of Mobile, 288 Ala. 645, 264 So.2d 496, 505.
See also ademption
- cumulative legacies
- vested legacy
- lapsed legacy
@ absolute legacy
One given without condition and intended to vest immediately.
@ accumulative legacy
A second, double, or additional legacy; a legacy given in addition to another given by the same instrument, or by another instrument.
+ accumulative legacy
A second, double or additional legacy; a legacy given in addition to another given by the same instrument, or by another instrument.
See also legacy
@ additional legacy
One given to the same legatee in addition to (and not in lieu of) another legacy given before by the same will or in a codicil thereto.
@ alternate legacy
One by which the testator gives one of two or more things without designating which.
@ conditional legacy
One which is liable to take effect or to be defeated according to the occurrence or non-occurrence of some uncertain event.
@ contingent legacy
A legacy given to a person at a future uncertain time, that may or may not arrive; as "at his age of twenty-one," or "if or "when he attains twenty-one." A legacy made dependent upon some uncertain event. A legacy which has not vested.
@ cumulative legacies
These are legacies so called to distinguish them from legacies which are merely repeated. In the construction of testamentary instruments, the question often arises whether, where a testator has twice bequeathed a legacy to the same person, the legatee is entitled to both, or only to one of them; in other words, whether the second legacy must be considered as a mere repetition of the first, or as cumulative, i.e., additional. In determining this question, the intention of the testator, if it appears on the face of the instrument, prevails.
+ cumulative legacies
Legacies given in addition to a prior legacy, as when one legacy is given in a will and another legacy is given to the same person in a codicil.
See also legacy
@ demonstrative legacy
A bequest of a certain sum of money, with a direction that it shall be paid out of a particular fund. It differs from a specific legacy in this respect: that, if the fund out of which it is payable fails for any cause, it is nevertheless entitled to come on the estate as a general legacy. And it differs from a general legacy in this: that it does not abate in that class, but in the class of specific legacies. Kenaday v. Sinnott, 179 U.S. 606, 21 S.Ct. 233, 45 L.Ed. 339.
A bequest of a certain sum of money, stock, or other property, payable out of a particular fund of property or security, but it can neither amount to a gift of the corpus nor serve the purpose of releasing the estate from liability in event particular fund or property should fail. In re Jeffcott's Estate, Fla.App., 186 So.2d 80, 83.
A legacy of quantity is ordinarily a general legacy; but there are legacies of quantity in the nature of specific legacies, as of so much money, with reference to a particular fund for payment. This kind of legacy is called by the civilians a "demonstrative legacy," and it is so far general and differs so much in effect from one properly specific that, if the fund be called in or fail, the legatee will not be deprived of his legacy, but be permitted to receive it out of the general assets; yet the legacy is so far specific that it will not be liable to abate with general legacies upon a deficiency of assets.
@ general legacy
A pecuniary legacy which is payable out of general assets of estate of testator, being bequest of money or other thing in quantity and not separated or distinguished from others of the same kind. Shamberger v. Dessel, 240 Md. 650, 215 A.2d 177, 179, 15 A.L.R.3d 1029.
One so given as not to amount to a bequest of a particular thing or particular money of the testator, distinguished from others of the same kind; one of quantity merely, not specific
Compare specific legacy.
@ indefinite legacy
One which passes property by a general or collective term, without enumeration of number or quantity; as, a bequest of "all" the testator's "goods," or his "bank stock."
@ lapsed legacy
Where the legatee dies before the testator, or before the legacy is payable, the bequest is said to lapse. Such legacy then falls into residue unless there is an anti-lapse statute in which case the legacy passes to the issue of the legatee.
@ modal legacy
A bequest accompanied by directions as to the mode or manner in which it shall be applied for the legatee's benefit, e.g., a legacy to A. to buy him a house.
@ pecuniary legacy
A bequest of a sum of money, or of an annuity. It may or may not specify the fund from which it is to be drawn. It is none the less a pecuniary legacy if it comprises the specific pieces of money in a designated receptacle, as a purse or chest.
@ residuary legacy
A bequest of all the testator's personal estate not otherwise effectually disposed of by his will. A bequest of "all the rest, residue, and remainder" of the personal property after payment of debts and satisfaction of the particular legacies. Legacy containing assets after other legacies and estate debts and costs of administration have been paid. Alston v. U. S., C.A.Ga., 349 F.2d 87, 89.
@ special legacy
A "specific legacy" (q.v.) is sometimes so called.
@ specific legacy
One which operates on property particularly designated. A legacy or gift by will of a particular specified thing, as of a horse, a piece of furniture, a term of years, and the like. In a strict sense, a legacy of a particular chattel, which is specified and distinguished from all other chattels of the testator of the same kind; as of a horse of a certain color. A legacy of a quantity of chattels described collectively; as a gift of all the testator's pictures. A legacy is specific, when it is limited to a particular thing, subject, or chose in action, so identified as to render the bequest inapplicable to any other; as the bequest of a horse, a picture, or jewel, or a debt due from a person named, and, in special cases, even of a sum of money
Compare general legacy.
@ trust legacy
A bequest of personal property to trustees to be held upon trust; as, to pay the annual income to a beneficiary for life.
@ universal legacy
In the civil law, a testamentary disposition by which the testator gives to one or several persons the whole of the property which he leaves at his decease.
@ void legacy
Term formerly used to describe legacy given to one who died before execution of will. Now, such legacy is considered a lapsed legacy and is treated as such.
See legacy (lapsed legacy)
@ legacy duty
A duty formerly imposed in England upon personal property (other than leaseholds) devolving under any will or intestacy
@ legacy tax
@ succession tax
legacy or succession tax
An excise on privilege of taking property by will or inheritance or by succession on death of owner. In re Rosing's Estate, 337 Mo. 544, 85 S.W.2d 495, 496; State Tax Commission v. Backman, 88 Utah 424, 55 P.2d 171, 174.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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