Devisees play a crucial role in the execution of a last will, acting as beneficiaries entrusted with specific bequests. 

This blog post delves into the legal aspects surrounding devisees in wills.

It will also highlight their rights, responsibilities, and the intricacies associated with their designation.

Defining The Devisee

A devisee, within the context of a will, is a designated recipient of real or personal property as stipulated in the decedent’s testamentary document. 

Unlike heirs, who inherit assets by operation of law, devisees receive their entitlements through the explicit instructions set forth in the will. 

These instructions can encompass a wide range of assets, including real estate, cash, stocks, or personal possessions, often reflecting the decedent’s specific wishes.

Rights And Entitlements

Devisees, named recipients of bequests, hold certain rights and entitlements under the will. 

These rights include:


Upon the testator’s passing, the devisee gains legal ownership of the bequeathed property.

This ownership is typically subject to any conditions or restrictions outlined in the will.

Such as provisions requiring the devisee to reach a certain age before taking possession.


Devisees have a higher priority than heirs when it comes to inheriting property specified in the will.

The will’s instructions take precedence over the laws of intestacy, ensuring that the decedent’s wishes are honored.

Legal Protection:

Devisees have a right to challenge the will if they believe there are issues with its validity, such as undue influence or lack of capacity on the part of the testator.

Legal recourse is available to ensure fairness in the distribution of assets.

Challenges And Considerations

While being named a devisee can bring about financial benefits, it can also entail challenges and complexities.

Disputes among devisees, ambiguities in the will, or issues with asset valuation can complicate matters.

Moreover, estate taxes and creditors’ claims may affect the assets intended for distribution to devisees.

Scenario 1: The Family Estate

Testator (Person creating the will): Sarah Thompson

Devisee: Jason Thompson (Sarah’s son)


Sarah Thompson is a wealthy individual who owns a large family estate comprising a mansion, several acres of land, and valuable heirlooms.

She wishes to pass down this estate to her son, Jason, upon her death, as he has shown a deep attachment to the family property and has expressed a desire to maintain it for future generations.

Will Provision:

“I, Sarah Thompson, hereby devise and bequeath my entire family estate, including the mansion, land, and all associated assets, to my beloved son, Jason Thompson, to be his absolute property upon my demise.

Scenario 2: Charitable Bequest

Testator: John Anderson

Devisee: The Anderson Foundation (a charitable organization)


John Anderson is a philanthropist who has dedicated his life to supporting various charitable causes.

He wants to ensure that his legacy of giving continues even after his passing.

To achieve this, he decides to devise a portion of his wealth to The Anderson Foundation, an organization he founded to support education and healthcare initiatives in underprivileged communities.

Will Provision:

“I, John Anderson, hereby devise and bequeath the sum of one million dollars from my estate to The Anderson Foundation, a charitable organization that I established, to be used for the advancement of education and healthcare for the less fortunate.”

In these examples, a “devisee” refers to the person or entity named in a will to receive specific assets or bequests from the testator’s estate upon their death.

Devisees can be family members, friends, charitable organizations, or any entity the testator wishes to benefit through their will.

The specific provisions in the will outline what assets or amounts are being devised and to whom they are being given.