The Legatee

The legatee

The legatee is an acquirer, not a successor, and as such, there is no liability for the deceased’s debts. These debts could mean that the estate assets would disappear because creditors have preference over inheritors or legatees, but the legatee isn’t personally responsible, so his or her own assets are not at risk.

For this reason, it is not necessary to accept the legate; the property of the bequeathed assets will transfer directly to the legatee, ministerio legis, from the opening of the inheritance. Of course, the legatee can reject the legate bequeathed to him or her, but it is not necessary to be accepted in order to acquire the property.

However, as the legated assets may possibly be affected by the debts of the testator, and can be consumed in their payment, and also as the legate can affect the reserved share, the legated assets must be given by the heirs to the legatee.

If the legate consists of real estate, to be inscribed in the Land Registry, it will be necessary to present the deed before a public notary in which the heirs (or the contador partidor if someone is appointed and authorised to do so) give the bequeathed asset to the legatee.

The testator can authorise the legatee to take the bequeathed assets without asking for delivery from the heirs, but if there is any beneficiary with a right to the reserved share, the legatee will need to request delivery and possession from any such beneficiaries, who jointly with the legatee must make the title deed to inscribe the immovable assets in the Land Registry in the name of the legatee, unless a contador partidor has been appointed to do so.

Please take into account that if the bequeathed asset is mortgaged as a guarantee of a testator’s debt (even if the credit was given for the purchase of the asset), the payment of the mortgage falls to the heir, unless otherwise stated in the last will and testament.