What is an Assignee?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

An assignee is an individual, group, or business that has received the right or privilege to manage some sort of a resource for the owner of record. Typically, he or she receives this benefit directly from the owner and not through third parties. The ability to assign rights and privileges to another person or corporation is a fairly common practice that is found in a variety of different situations.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

It is possible to be designated as an assignee for just about any type of physical property. There are actually two types of property transfer that would involve the designation of an assignee. One scenario would mean a title transfer to the person, such as in the case of a parent choosing to transfer the title of the family home to a child. Another example would be a situation in which the owner retains ownership, but transfers the rights to the property to someone else, who has the authority to manage and develop the property as long as the owner wishes to allow the relationship to continue.

Items other than physical property may be granted to an assignee. Insurance is a good example. Whole life insurance policies build up cash value, which generally may be drawn on by the insured party if necessary. It is possible to reassign that benefit to a designated assignee, which may then draw upon the cash value.

Business applications to the role of assignee are also common. One typical use of the concept has to do with the development of a new product. An inventor who develops a good or service may in turn allow a business to produce and develop that product for wide distribution. Essentially, the inventor chooses to transfer rights to the product to the manufacturer. While the owner retains ownership of the transferred rights, the manufacturer has the legal right to produce and market the product for the inventor.

The role of an assignee is defined by the specific terms of the assignment. An owner may choose to grant the person or business full control, or there may be limits placed on the authority in regard to the transferred property. In either case, it is anticipated that the assignee will attempt to manage the property to the best of his or her ability, resulting in further development and enhancement of the assigned trust.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@indemnifyme - Interesting. I knew of an instance when I was in college of parents letting students have family property as assignees. These were obviously wealthier families and usually the property was a home or an apartment for the student to live in. Must be nice!


The assignor/assignee relationship applies in insurance another way: at the insurance agency. At most agencies the agent owns the agency and the business that is written belongs to him. However usually sales professionals act as assignees of the agent and sell and service policies.

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