Legacy Duty Law and Legal Definition

Legacy duty refers to a tax imposed on a legacy. It is a provision stating that the rate increases as the relationship of the legatee becomes more remote from the testator. Legacy duty is imposed on personal property other than leasehold that passes by will or through intestacy. The legacy duty is regarded a gift to be added and abated. It is also known as collateral inheritance tax. In McGrath & Byrum v. Barnes, 13 S.C. 328 (S.C. 1880), it was held that the rule of legacy duty, is a sufficient consideration to support a promise to pay so that indebitatus assumpsit will lie upon it. So far as it regards the payment of the debts of an intestate, applies equally to administrators. However, it does not make any difference whether the promise was made individually, or as executor, or administrator.