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  • Writer's pictureHoward Brown

Donatio Mortis Causa - Gifts made in contemplation of death


In the case of Davey v Bailey[1] decided on 26-Feb-2021 different relatives argued over the validity of a gift made in contemplation of death.


There are 3 principal requirements:-


Two critical requirements are that

- The deceased contemplates his impending death

- The deceased makes a gift which will only take effect if and when his contemplated death occurs. Until then the deceased has the right to revoke the gift.


The third critical issue is that the deceased delivers dominion over the subject matter of the gift to the promisee.


If the land had been unregistered land , then when the deceased gave the promisee the deeds, he would have complied with that requirement and made a valid gift, in contemplation of death.


However here the land was registered. Thus when giving the promisee Office Copy entries, this did not serve to deliver dominion over the subject matter to the promisee and the gift failed.


The point being, before you do anything, if possible, take advice.


If you do not then the outcome may not be that which you intended.

[1]Davey & Anor v Bailey & Ors [2021] EWHC 445 (Ch) [2]King v Dubrey [2016] Ch 221

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