The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

DEVASTAVIT Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Lat He has wasted. The act of an executor or administrator in wastingthe goods of the deceased; mismanagement of the estate by which a loss occurs ; abreach of trust or misappropriation of assets held in a fiduciary character; any violationor neglect of duty by an executor or administrator, involving loss to the decedent’sestate, which makes him personally responsible to heirs, creditors, or legatees. Clift v.White, 12 N. Y. 531; Beardsley v. Marsteller, 120 Ind. 319, 22 N. E. 315; Steel v.Holladay, 20 Or. 70, 25 Pac. 69, 10 L R. A. 670; Dawes v. Boylston, 9 Mass. 353, 6 Am.Dec. 72; McGlaughlin v. McGlaughlin, 43 W. Va. 226, 27 S. E. 378.Also, if plaintiff, in an action against an executor or administrator, has obtainedjudgment, the usual execution runs de bonis tes- tatoris; but, if the sheriff returns tosuch a writ nulla bona testatoris nec propria, the plaintiff may, forthwith, upon thisreturn, sue out an execution against the property or person of the executor oradministrator, in as full a manner as in an action against him, sued in his own right.Such a return is called a “devastavit.” Brown.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.