A distributee is a person or party who receives a share of assets from a total of assets of a decedent. In simpler terms, a distributee could be defined as an heir; a person entitled to an interest or share in the estate distribution process. Usually, it describes a person entitled under their state's statute of distribution to the personal estate of a decedent distributor intestate. In the simplest term, a distributee is a beneficiary entitled to some sort of payment. Expectant distributee would be a prospective heir whose interest in the estate has a contingency. Legal Distributee would be a person legally entitled to take their share of property provided by a will. It is often synonymous with the word beneficiary. In the context of wills, a distributee is the beneficiary of an estate. A California Appellate Case, In re Berk, highlighted this meaning by referring to distributees and heirs of an estate synonymously. In the context of trusts, a distributee is a recipient of the proceeds of the trust. For example, in O’Leary v. Grant, the New York Supreme Court referred to the possible beneficiaries of the trust as the distributees.
[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]