LEGATEE. A legatee is a person to whom a legacy is given by a last
will and testament.
2. It is proposed to consider, 1. Who may be a legatee. 2. Under what
description legatees may take.
3. - 1. Who may be a legatee. In general, every person may be a legatee. 2
Bl. Com. 512. But a person civilly dead cannot take a legacy.
II. Under what description legatees may take.
4. - §1. Of legacies to legitimate children. 1. When it appears from express
declaration, or a clear inference arising upon the face of the will, that a
testator in giving a legacy to a class of individuals generally, intended to
apply the terms used by him to such persons only as answered the description at
the date of the instrument, those individuals alone will be entitled, although
if no such intention had been expressed, or appeared in the will, every person
failing within that class at the testator's death, would have been included in
the terms of the bequest. 1 Meriv. 320; and see 3 Ves. 611; Id. 609; 15 Ves.
363; Ambl. 397; 2 Cox, 291; 4 Bro. C. C. 55; 3 Bro. C. C. 148; 2 Cox, 384.
5. - 2. Where a legacy is given to a class of individuals, as to children, in
general terms, and no period is appointed for the distribution of it, the legacy
is due at the death of the testator; the payment of it being merely postponed to
the end of a year after that event, for the convenience of the executor or
administrator in administering the assets. The rights of the legatees are
finally settled, and determined at the testator's decease. 1 Ball & B. 459;
2 Murph. 178. Upon this principal, is founded the well established rule that
children in existence at that period, or legally considered so to be, are alone
entitled to participate in the bequest. 1 Bro. C. C. 532, n.; 2 Bro. C. C. 658;
2 Cox, 190.; 1 Dick. 344; 14 Ves. 576; 1 Ves. jr. 405; 1 Cox, 68; 3 Bro. C. C.
391; Amb. 448; 1 Ves. sen. 485; 5 Binn. 607.
6. - 3. A child in ventre sa mere takes a share in a fund bequeathed to
children, under the general description of "children," or of "children living at
the testator's death." 1 Ves. sen. 85; and see 1 P. Wms. 244, 341; 2 Bro. C. C.
63; 1 Salk. 229; 2 Cox, 425; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 38. See tit. In ventre sa
7. - 4. When legacies are given to a class of individuals, generally, payable
at a future period, as to the children of B, when the youngest shall attain the
age of twenty-one, or to be divided among them upon the death of C; any child
who can entitle itself under the description, at the time when the fund is to be
divided, may claim a share, viz: as well children living at the period of
distribution, although not born till after the testator's death, as those born
before, and living at the happening of that event. 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 115, note
3, to Hill v. Chapman; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 157, note 1, to Lincoln v. Pelham.
This general rule may be divided into two branches. First, when the division of
the fund is postponed until a child or children attain a particular age; as,
when a legacy is given to the children of A, at the age of twenty-one; in that
case, so soon as the eldest arrives at that period, the fund is distributable
among so many as are in existence at that time; and no child born afterwards can
be admitted to a share, because the period of division fixes the number of
legatees. Distribution is then made, and nothing remains for future partition. 1
Ball & Beat. 459; 3 Bro. C. C. 402; 5 Binn. 607; 2 Ves. jr. 690; 3 Ves. 730;
3 Bro. C. C. 352, ed. by Belt; 14 Ves. 256; 6 Ves. 345; 10 Ves. 152; 11 Ves.
238. Second, when the distribution of the fund is deferred during the life of a
person in esse. In these cases, when the enjoyment of the thing given, is by the
testator's express declaration not to be immediate by those, among whom it is to
be finally divided, but is postponed to a particular period, as the death of A,
then the children or individuals who answer the general description at that
time, when distribution is to be made, are entitled to take, in exclusion of
those afterwards coming in esse. 1 Ves. sen. 111; 1 Bro. C. C. 386; Id. 530; Id.
582; Id. 537; 1 Atk. 509; 2 Atk. 329; 5 Ves. 136; 3 Bro. C. C. 417; 1 Cox, 327;
8 Ves. 375; 15 Ves. 122; 1 Madd. R. 290; 1 Ball & Beat. 449.
8. - 5. The word "children " does not, ordinarily and properly speaking,
comprehend grandchildren or issue generally; these are included in that term
only in two cases, namely, 1. From necessity, which occurs where the will would
remain inoperative unless the sense of the word "children" were extended beyond
its natural import; and, 2. Where the testator has shown by other words, that he
did not intend to use the term children in its proper and actual meaning, but in
a more extended sense. 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 202, note 2, to Bristow v. Ward. In
the following cases, the word children was extended beyond its natural import
from necessity. 6 Rep. 16; 10 Ves. 201; 2 Desauss. 123, in note. The following
are instances where by using the words children and issue, indiscriminately, the
testator showed his intention to use the former term in the sense of issue so as
to entitle grandchildren, &c. to take. 1 Ves. sen. 196; S. C. Ambl. 555; 3
Ves. 258; 3 Ves. & Bea. 68; 4 Ves. 437; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 158. There is
another class of cases wherein it was determined that grandchildren, &c.
were not included in the word children. 2 Vern. 107; 4 Ves. 692; 10 Ves. 195; 3
Ves. & Bea. 59; see 2 Desauss. 308.
9. - §2. Of legacies to natural children. 1. Natural children unborn at the
date of the will, cannot take under a bequest to the children generally, or to
the illegitimate children of A B by Mary C; because a natural child cannot take
as the issue of a particular person, until it has acquired the reputation of
being the child of that person, which cannot be before its birth. Co, Litt. 3,
10. - 2. Natural children, unborn at the date of the will and described as
children of the testator or another man, to be born of a particular woman,
cannot take under such a description. 1 Peere, Wms. 529; 18 Ves. 288.
11. - 3. A legacy to an illegitimate child in ventre sa mere, described as
the child of the testator or of another man, will fail, since whether the
testator or such person were or were not in truth the father, is a fact which
can only be ascertained by evidence that public policy forbids to be admitted. 1
Meriv. 141 to 152.
12. - 4. A child in ventre sa mere described merely as a child with which the
mother is enceinte, without mentioning its putative father; or if the testator
express a belief that the child is his own, and provide for it under that
impression, regardless of the chance of being mistaken; then the child will in
the first place be capable of taking and in the second, as presumed, be also,
entitled in consequence of the testator's intent to provide for it, whether he
be the father or not. 1 Meriv. 148, 152.
13. - 5. Natural children in existence, having acquired by reputation the
name and character of children of a particular person, prior to the date of the
will, are capable of taking under the name of children. 1 P. Wms. 529; 1 Ves.
& Bea. 467. But the term child, son, issue, and every other word of that
species, is to be considered as prima facie to mean legitimate child, son, or
14. - 6. Whether such children take or not depends upon the evidence of the
testator's intention, manifested by the will, to include them in the term
children; these cases are instances where the evidence of such intention was
deemed insufficient. 5 Ves. 530; 1 Ves. & Bea. 454; 6 Ves. 43, 48; 1 Ves.
& Bea. 4619; and see 1 Ves. & Bea. 456; 2 East, 530, 542. In the
following, the evidence of intention was held to be sufficient. 1 Ves. &
Bea. 469; Blundell v. Dunn, cited in 1 Madd. 433; Beachcroft v. Beachcroft,
cited in 1 Madd. 430; 2 Meriv. 419.
15. - §3. Of legacies of personal estate to a man and his heirs. 1. A legacy
to A and his heirs, is an absolute legacy to A, and the whole interest of the
money vests in him for his use. 4 Mad. 361. But when no property in the bequest
is given to A, and the money is bequeathed to his heirs, or to him with a
limitation to his heirs, if he die before the testator, and the contingency
happens, then if there be nothing in the will showing the sense in which the
testator made use of the word heirs, the next of kin of A, are entitled to claim
under the description, as the only persons appointed by law to succeed to
personal estate. 5 Ves. 403; 4 Ves. 649; 1 Jac. & Walk. 388.
16. - 2. A bequest to the heirs of an individual, without addition or
explanation, will belong to the next of kin; the rule, however, is subject to,
alteration by the intention of the testator. If then the contents of the will
show, that by the word heirs the testator meant other persons than the next of
kin, those persons will be entitled. Ambl. 273; 1 P. Wms. 432; Forrest, 56; 2
Atk. 89; See, also, 1 Ves. jr. 145; 4 Madd. 361; 14 Ves. 488; 1 Car. Law R.
17. - §4. Legacies to issue. 1. The term issue, is of very extensive import,
and when used as a word of purchase, and unconfined by any indication of
intention, will comprise all persons who can claim as descendants from or
through the person to whose issue the bequest is made; and in order to restrain
the legal sense of the term, a clear intention must appear upon the will. 3 Ves.
257; Id. 421; 1 Meriv. 434; 13 Ves. 344.
18. - 2. Where it appears clearly to be a testator's meaning to provide for a
class of individuals living at the date of his will, and he provides against a
lapse by the death of any of them in his lifetime, by the substitution of their
issue; in such case, although the word will include all the descendants of the
designated legatees, yet if any person who would have answered the description
of an original legatee when the will was made, be then dead, leaving issue, that
issue will be excluded, because the issue of those individuals only who were
capable of taking original shares, at the date of the will, were intended to
take by substitution; so that as the person who was dead when the will was made,
could never have taken an original share, there is nothing for his issue to take
in his place. 1 Meriv. 320.
19. - 3. When it can be collected from the will that a testator in using the
word issue, did not intend it should be understood in its common acceptation,
the import of it will be confined to the persons whom it was intended to
comprehend. 7 Ires. 531; 3 Ves. 383; 7 Ves. 522; 1 Ves. jr. 143.
20. - §5. Of legacies to relations. 1. Under a bequest to relations, none are
entitled but those, who in the case of intestacy, could have claimed under the
statute of distribution. Forrest. 251; 4 Bro. C. C. 207; 1 Bro. C. C. 31; 3 Bro.
C. C. 234; 5 Ves. 529; Ambl. 507; Dick. 380; 1 P. Wms. 327; 2 Ves. sen. 527; 19
Ves. 403; 1 Taunt. 263; 1 T. R. 435; n. See the following cases where the
bequests were to "poor relations;" 1 P. Wms. 327; 8 Serg. & Rawle, 45; 1
Scho. & Lef. 111; "most necessitous relations;" Ambl. 636.
21. - 2. To this general rule there are several exceptions, namely, first,
when the testator has delegated a power to an individual to distribute the fund
among the testator's relations according to his discretion; in such an instance
whether the bequest be made to "relations" generally, or to "poor," or
"poorest," or "most necessitous" relations, the person may exercise his
discretion in distributing the property among the testator's kindred although
they be not within the statute of distributions. 1 Scho. & Lef. 111, and 16
Ves. 43; 1 T. R. 485, n.; Ambl. 708; 16 Ves. 27, 43. Secondly. Another exception
occurs where a testator has fixed ascertain test, by which the number of
relatives intended by him to participate in his property, can be ascertained; as
if a legacy be given to such of the testator's relations as should not be worth
a certain sum, in such case, it seems, all the testator's relatives answering
the description would take, although not within the degrees of the statute of
distributions. Ambl. 798. Thirdly. Another exception to the general rule is,
where a testator has shown an intention in his will, to comprehend relations
more remote than those entitled nuder the statute; in that case his intention
will prevail. 1 Bro. C. C. 32, n., and see 1 Cox, 235 .
22. - 3. The word "relation" or "relations," may be so qualified as to
exclude some of the next of kin from participating in the bequest; and this will
also happen when the terms of the bequest are to my "nearest relations;" 19 Ves.
400; Coop. 275; 1 Bro. C. C. 293; and see 1 Ves. sen. 337; Ambl. 70; to
testator's relations of his name 1 Ves. sen. 336; or stock, or blood; 15 Ves.
23. - 4. The word relations being governed by the statute of distributions,
no person can regularly answer the description but those who are of kin to the
testator by blood, consequently relatives by marriage are not included in a
bequest to relations generally. 1 Ves. sen. 84; 3 Atk. 761; 1 Bro. C. C. 71,
24. - §6. Legacies to next of kin. 1. When a bequest is made to testator's
next of kin, it is understood the testator means such as are related to him by
blood. But it is not necessary that the next of kin should be of the whole
blood, the half blood answering the description of next of kin, are equally
entitled with the whole, and if nearer in degree, will exclude the whole blood.
1 Ventr. 425; Alleyn, 36; Styl. 74.
25 - 2. Relations by marriage are in general excluded from participating in a
legacy given to the next of kin. 18 Ves. 53; 14 Ves. 376, 381, 386; and, see 3
Ves. 244; 18 Ves. 49. But this is only a prima facie construction, which may be
repelled by the contrary intention of a testator. 14 Ves. 382.
26. - 3. A testator is to be understood to mean by the expression "next of
kin," when he does not refer to the statute, or to a distribution of the
property as if he had died intestate, those persons only who should be nearest
of kin to him, to the exclusion of others who might happen to be within the
degree limited by the statute. 3 Bro. C. C. 69; 19 Ves. 404; 14 Ves. 385. See 3
Bro. C. C. 64.
27. - 4. Nearest of kin will alone be entitled under a bequest to the next of
kin in equal degree. 12 Ves. 433; 1 Madd. 36.
28. - §7. Legacies to legal personal representatives or to personal
representatives. 1. Where there is nothing on the face of the will to manifest a
different intention, the legal construction of the words "personal
representatives," or "legal personal representatives," is executors or
administrators of the person described. 6 Ves. 402; 6 Mead. 159. A legacy
limited to the personal or legal personal representatives of A, unexplained by
anything in the will, will entitle A's executors or administrators to it, not as
representing A, or as part of his estate, or liable to his debts, but in their
own right as personae designated by the law. 2 Mad. 155.
29. - 2. In the following cases the executors or administrators were held to
be entitled under the designation of personal, or legal personal
representatives. 3 Ves. 486; Anstr. 128.
30. - 3. The next of kin and not the executors or administrators, were, in
the following cases, held to be entitled under the same designation. 3 Bro. C.
C. 224, approved by Lord Rosslyn in 3 Ves. 486; 3 Ves. 146; 19 Ves. 404.
31. - 4. The same words were held to mean children, grandchildren, &c. to
the exclusion of those persons who technically answer the description of
"personal representatives." 3 Ves. 383.
32. - 5. A husband or wife may take as such, if there is a manifest intention
in the will that they should and if either be clothed with the character of
executor or administrator of the other, the prima facie legal title attaches to
the office, which will prevail, unless an intention to the contrary be expressed
or clearly apparent in the instrument. See 14 Ves. 382; 18 Ves. 49; 3 Ves. 231;
2 Ves. sen. 84; 3 Atk. 758; 1 Rop. Husb. and Wife, 326; 2 Rop. Husb. and. Wife,
33. - §8. The construction of bequests when limited to executors and
administrators. 1. Where personal estate is given to B, his executors and
administrators, the law transfers to B the absolute interest in the legacy. 15
Ves. 537; 2 Mad. 155.
34. - 2. If no interest were given to B, and the bequest were to his
executors and administrators, it should seem that the individual answering the
description would be beneficially entitled as personal designatae, in analogy to
the devise of real estate to the heir of B, without a previous limitation to B,
whose heir would take by purchase in his own right, and not by force of the word
"heir" considered as a term of limitation. 2 Mad. 155. See 8 Com. Dig. Devise of
Personal Property, xxxvi.
35: - §9. Legacies to descendants. 1. A legacy to the descendants of A, will
comprehend all his children, grandchildren, &c.; and if the will direct the
bequest to be divided equally among them, they are entitled to the fund per
capita. Ambl. 97; 3 Bro. C. C. 369.
36. - §10. Legacies to a family. 1. The word family, when applied to personal
property, is synonymous with "kindred," or "relations;" see 9 Ves. 323. This
being the ordinary acceptation of the word family, it may nevertheless be
confined to particular relations by the context of the will; or the term may be
enlarged by it, so that the expression may, in some cases, mean children, or
next of kin, and in others may even include relations by marriage. See 8 Ves.
604; Dy. 333; 5 Ves. 166; Hob. 33; Coop. 122; 5 M. & S. 126; 17 Ves. 263; 1
Taunt. 266; 14 Ves. 488; 9 Ves. 319; 3 Meriv. 689.
37. - §11. Legacies to servants. 1. To entitle himself to a bequest "to
servants," the relation of master and servant must have arisen out of a contract
by which the claimant must have formed an engagement which entitled the master
to the service of the individual during the whole period, or each and every part
of the time for which he contracted to, serve. 12 Ves. 114; 2 Vern. 546.
38. - 2. To claim as a servant, the legatee must in general be in the actual
service of the testator at the time of his death. Still a servant may be
considered by a testator as continuing in his employment, and be intended to
take under the bequest, although he quitted the testator's house previous to his
death, so as to answer the description in the instrument; and to establish which
fact declarations of the testator upon the subject cannot be rejected; but
testimony that the testator meant a servant notwithstanding his having left the
testator's service, to take a legacy bequeathed only to servants in his
employment at his death, cannot be received as in direct opposition to the will.
16 Ves. 486, 489.
39. - §12. The different periods of time at which persons answering the
descriptions of next of kin, family relations, issue, heirs, descendants and
personal representatives, (to whom legacies are given by those terms generally,
and without discrimination,) were required to be in esse, for the purpose of
participating in the legatory fund. 1. When the will expresses or clearly shows
that a testator in bequeathing to the relations, &c. of a deceased
individual, referred to such of them as were in existence when the will was
made, they only will be entitled; as if the bequest was, "I give ú1000 to the
descendants of the late A B, now living," those descendants only in esse at the
date of the will can claim the legacy. Ambl. 397.
40. - 2. But, in general, a will begins to speak at the death of the
testator, and consequently in ordinary cases, relations, next of kin, issue,
descendants, &c., living at that period will alone divide the property
bequeathed to them by those words. See 1 Ball &. Beat. 459; 1 Bro. C. C.
532; 3 Bro. C. C. 224; 5 Ves. 399; 1 Jac. & Walk, 388, n.; 3 Meriv. 689; 5
Binn. 607; 2 Murph. 178.
41. - 3. If a testator express, or his intention otherwise appear from his
will, that a bequest to his relations, &c., living at the death of a person,
or upon the happening of any other event, should take the fund, his next of kin
only in existence at the period described, will be entitled, in exclusion of the
representatives of such of them as happened to be then dead. 3 Ves. 486; 9 Ves.
325; 1 Atk. 469; 15 Ves. 27; 4 Vin. Abr. 485, pl. 16; 8 Ves. 38; 5 Binn. 606;
see 6 Munf. 47.
42. - §13. When the fund given to legatees, by the description of "family,"
"relations" "next in kin," &c., is to be divided among them either per
capita, or per stirpes, or both per stirpes et capita. 1. Where the testator
gives a legacy to his relations generally, if his next of kin be related to him
in equal degree, as brothers, there being no children of a deceased brother, the
brothers will divide the fund among them in equal shares, or per capita; each
being entitled in his own right to an equal share. So it would be if all the
brothers had died before the testator, one leaving two children, another three,
&c., all the nephews and nieces would take in equal shares, per capita, in
their own rights, and not as representing their parents; because they are sole
next of kin, and related to the testator in equal degree. Pre. Ch. 54; and see 1
P. Wms. 595; 1 Atk. 454; 3 P. Wms. 50. But if the testator's next of kin happen
not to be related to him in equal degrees, as a brother, and the children of a
deceased brother, so as that under the statute the children would take per
stirpes as representing their parent, namely, the share he would have taken had
he been living; yet if the testator has shown au intention that his next of kin
shall be entitled to his property in equal shares, i. e. per capita, the
distribution by the statute will be superseded. This may happen where the
bequest is to relations, next of kin, &c., to be equally divided among them;
or by expressions of like import. Forrest. 251; and see 1 Bro. C. C. 33; 8 Serg.
& Rawle, 43; 11 Serg. & Rawle 103; 1 Murph. 383.
43. - 2. Where a bequest is to relations, &c., those persons only who are
next of kin are entitled, and the statute of distributions is adopted, not only
to ascertain the persons who take, but also the proportions and manner in which
the property is to be divided; the will being silent upon the subject, if the
next of kin of the person described be not related to him in equal degree, those
most remote can only claim per stirpes, or in right of those who would have been
entitled under the statute if they had been living. Hence it appears that taking
per stirpes, always supposes an inequality in relation-ship. For example, where
a testator bequeaths a legacy to his "relations," or "next of kin," and leaves
at his death two children, and three grandchildren, the children of a deceased
child; the grandchildren would take their parents' share, that is, one-third per
stirpes under the statute, as representing their deceased parent. 1 Cox,
44. - 3. Where a testator bequeaths personal estate to several persons as
tenants in common, with a declaration that upon all or any of their deaths
before a particular time, their respective shares shall be equally divided among
the issue or descendants of each of them, and they die before the arrival of the
period, some leaving children, others grandchildren, and great grandchildren,
and other grandchildren and more remote descendants in such case the issue of
each deceased person will take their parents share per stirpes; and such issue,
whether children only, or children and grandchildren, &c., will divide each
parent's share among them equally per capita. 1 Ves. sen. 196.
45. - §14. The effect of a mistake in the names of legatees. 1. Where the
name has been mistaken in a will or deed, it will be corrected from the
instrument, if the intention appear in the description of the legatee or donee,
or in other parts of the will or deed. For example, if a testator give a bequest
to Thomas second son of his brother John, when in fact John had no son named
Thomas, and his second son was called William; it was held William was entitled.
19 Ves. 381; Coop. 229; and see Ambl. 175; Co. Litt. 3, a; Finch's R. 403; 3
Leon, 18. When a bequest is made to a class of individuals, nomin-atim, and the
name or christian name of one of them is omitted, and the name or christian name
of another is repeated; if the context of the will sbow that the repetition of
the name was error, and the name of the person omitted was intended to have been
inserted, the mistake will be corrected. As where a testator gave his residuary
estate to his six grandchildren, by their christian names. The name of Ann, one
of them, was repeated, and the name of Elizabeth, another of them, was omitted.
The context of the will clearly showed the mistake which had occurred, and
Elizabeth was admitted to an equal share in the bequest. 1 Bro. C. C. 30; see 2
Cox, 186. And is to cases where parol evidence will be received to prove the
mistakes in the names or additions of legatees, and to ascertain the proper
person, see 3 B. & A. 632 to 642; 6 T. R. 676; 2 P. Wms. 137; 1 Atk. 410: 1
P. Wms. 421; 5 Rep. 68, b; 6 Ves. 42; 7 East, 302; Ambl. 75.
46. - §15. The effect of mistakes in the descriptions of legatees, and the
admission of parol evidence in those cases. 1. Where the description of the
legatee is erroneous, the error not having been occasioned by any fraud
practiced upon the testator, and there is no doubt as to the person who was
intended to be described, the mistake will not disappoint the bequest. Hence if
a legacy be given to a person by a correct name, but a wrong description or
addition, the mistaken description will not vitiate the bequest, but be
rejected; for it is a maxim that veritas nominis tollit errorem demonstrationis.
Ld. Bac. Max. reg. 25; and see 2 Ves. jr. 589; Ambl. 75; 4 Ves. 808; Plowd. 344;
19 Ves. 400.
47. - 2. Wherever a legacy is given to a person under a particular
description and character which he himself has falsely assumed; or, where a
testator, induced by the false representations of third persons to regard the
legatee in a relationship which claims his bounty, bequeaths him a legacy
according with such supposed relationship, and no motive for such bounty can be
supposed, the law will not, in either case, permit the legatee to avail himself
of the description, and therefore he cannot demand his legacy. See 4 Ves. 802; 4
Bro. C. C. 20.
48. - 3. The same principle which has establisbed the admissibility of parol
evidence to correct errors in naming legatees, authorizes its allowance to
rectify mistakes in the description of them. Ambl. 374; 1 Ves. jr. 266; 1 Meriv.
49. - 4. If neither the will nor extrinsic evidence is sufficient to dispel
the ambiguity arising from the attempt to apply the description of the legatee
to the person intended by the testator, the legacy must fail from the
uncer-tainty of its object. 7 Ves. 508; 6 T. R. 671.
50. - §16. The consequences of imperfect descriptions of, or reference to
legatees, appearing upon the face of wills, and when parol evidence is
admissible. These cases occur, 1. When a blank is left for the Christian name of
the legatee. 2. When the whole name is omitted. 3. When the testator has merely
written the initials of the name; and, 4. When legatees have been once
accurately described, but in a subsequent reference to one of them, to take an
additional bounty, the person intended is doubtful, from ambiguity in the
51. - 1. When a blank is left for the Christian name of the legatee, evidence
is admissible to supply the omission. 4 Ves. 680.
52. - 2. When the omission consists of the entire name of the legatee, parol
evidence cannot be admitted to supply the blank. 2 Ch. Ca. 51.; 2 Atk. 239; 3
Bro. C.C. 311.
53. - 3. When a legatee is described by the initials of his name only, parol
evidence may be given to prove his identity. 3 Ves. 148. When a patent ambiguity
arises from an imperfect reference to one of two legatees correctly described in
a prior part of the will, parol evidence is admitted to show which of them was
intended, so that the additional legacy intended for the one will depend upon
the removal of the obscurity by a sound interpretation of the whole will. 3 Atk.
257 and see 2 Ves. 217; 2 Eden, 107.
See further, upon this subject, Lownd on Leg. ch. 4; 1 Roper on Leg. ch. 2;
Com. Dig. Chancery, 3 Y; Bac. Abr. h.. t. Vin. Abr. h. t.; Nels. Abr. h. t.;
Whart. Dig. Wills, G. P.; Hamm. Dig. 756; GrimkÇ on Exec. ch. 5; Toll. on
Executors, ch. 4.