legatum (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m), n.[Latin fr. legare “to bequeath”] 1.Roman law. A special bequest; a gift left by a deceased person to be paid from the estate by the heir. • Unlike an heir, a legatee acquired a benefit and no duties attached. 2.Hist. A legacy or bequest to the church, esp. for tithes not paid while the donor lived. See MORTUARY .

legatum debiti (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m deb-<<schwa>>-tI). [Latin “legacy of debt”] Roman law. A legacy to the decedent’s creditor of what the decedent owes. • This type of legacy was void unless it bettered the creditor’s position in some way, as by removing a valid defense that the debtor had to the creditor’s claim.

legatum dotis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m doh-tis). [Latin] Roman law. A legacy of dowry. • A husband might bequeath a dowry back to his wife, the result being that the husband’s heirs were not entitled to retain the usual deductions for children, and the widow could receive her dowry immediately.

legatum generis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m jen-<<schwa>>-ris). [Latin “legacy of a genus”] Roman law. A legacy of a subject of a general class; a legacy of a kind of thing, rather than a specifically named item. • For example, the testator might make a gift of a horse without specifically naming which one of ten horses in the estate.

“Legatum generis …. Normally the testator set in his testament who had to make the choice from among the things of the same kind (slaves, horses) belonging to the estate: the heir, the legatee or a third person. The jurists did not agree about the solution [when] … the testator did not entitle any person to make the selection. Apparently the rules varied according to the form in which such a legacy (legatum) was left. The Justinian law favored the choice by the legatee.” Adolf Berger, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law 540 (1953).

legatum liberationis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m lib-<<schwa>>-ray-shee-oh-nis). [Latin “legacy of a discharge”] Roman law. A legacy by which a testator released the indebted legatee from a debt. — Also termed liberatio legata (lib-<<schwa>>-ray-shee-oh l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>).

legatum nominis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m nahm-<<schwa>>-nis). [Latin “legacy of a name”] Roman law. A legacy by which a testator willed to the legatee a debt owed to the testator from a third party. • The heir was obliged to hand over the relevant documents and cede any rights of action on them.

legatum optionis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m op-shee-oh-nis). [Latin “legacy of an option”] Roman law. A legacy of one of several items that the designated beneficiary chooses from the testator’s estate. • Originally, if the legatee died after the testator but before making the selection, the legacy failed. Justinian later changed the law to make selection by the legatee’s representative under these circumstances valid.

legatum peculii (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m pi-kyoo-lee-I). [Latin] Roman law. A legacy of a peculium to a free person or to a manumitted slave; a legacy of a slave’s peculium with or without the slave. See PECULIUM.

legatum quantitatis (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m kwon-ti-tay-tis). [Latin “a legacy of quantity”] Roman law. A general legacy of a certain amount, such as a legacy of two horses. legatum rei alienae (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m ree-I ay-lee-ee-nee or al-ee-). [Latin “a legacy of something belonging to another”] Roman law. A legacy of an item that belongs to a third party. • The heir was obliged to purchase the item from the third party, if that was possible, and give it to the legatee or otherwise pay its value to the legatee.

legatum      universitatis       (l<<schwa>>-gay-t<<schwa>>m yoo-ni-v<<schwa>>r-s<< schwa>>-tay-tis). [Latin “a universal legacy”] Hist. A legacy of the testator’s entire estate.
[Blacks Law 8th]