Classification of Legacies

In estate administration, legacies refer to the gifts of personal property that are bequeathed in a will. There are several types of legacies that may be included in a will:

  • A specific legacy is a gift of a specific item of personal property, such as a piece of jewelry or a particular piece of art.
  • A demonstrative legacy is a gift that is paid out of a specific source, as specified in the will. For example, a demonstrative legacy may be a specific amount of money to be paid out of a specific bank account or the proceeds from a specific insurance policy.
  • A general legacy is a gift of an unspecified amount of money or quantity of something, without a designation of the source.
  • A residual legacy is a gift of all remaining property in the estate after all debts have been paid and all other legacies have been distributed or provided for.

It is important for estate administrators and trustees to understand the different types of legacies and how they are to be handled during the estate administration process.


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