The Korean Civil Code’s article 562 provides that the rules on legacy should be mutatis mutandis applied to the donation mortis causa. This article s meaning is not obvious, because it neither defines its concept nor specifies the applicable rules. The dominant opinion as well as the case law hereby insist on consulting only the rules on the legacy’s effects. The author, however, questions this view. He traces the development of the donation mortis causa from a historical and comparative viewpoint and submits his own suggestions as follow. 1. The donation mortis causa which has its origin in Roman law lost its practical relevance after the inheritance contract had emerged. As a result, the modern Civil Codes either denies its existence (France and Italy) or make it effective only in the form of legacy or inheritance contract (Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Spain). 2. The same must be true of the Korean law. Therefore, all rules on legacy, including its testamentary forms and possible withdrawal, should be applied to the donation mortis causa. Otherwise the Civil Code’s rules on last will would be dangerously circumvented, because the formless and binding legacy contract would be in fact created. This danger would be still greater according to the case law, which re-interprets a void last will into a donation mortis causa. 3. A donation mortis causa exists when the parties agree on the suspensive condition that the donee survives the donor. The donation which merely becomes effective on the donor s death or the donation under the resolutive condition that the donor survives the donee are not governed by the article 562, unless the donor retains the right to dispose of the donation’s object. Moreover, the donation mortis causa will be treated as the donation inter vivos when it is carried out by the donor.