Legacy is a basically a testamentary gift of personal property from a deceased individual through a will. A legacy is secondary to the claims of the deceased individual’s creditors. Furthermore, a legacy could be simple, or also known as a specific legacy, in that it is directly referring an actual specific object or a part of the estate of the testator. This is in contrast to being a general legacy, which would state that the gift could come from any of the deceased individual’s assets. A legacy could also be a demonstrative legacy, which means that it is a general legacy that will be paid from a specific fund from the deceased individual.
Technically, when viewed narrowly, a legacy is distinct from a devise, which is a gift of real property through will. Nonetheless, this difference between a devise and a legacy cannot defeat the intent of the individual who makes the will, also known as the testator sometimes. However, these terms of legacy and devise are sometimes used interchangeable for real property or personal property depending on the context and the intent of the testator.
Legacy is sometimes known as a bequest.
[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]