Inheritance lawyer Naomi Ireson considers the legal doctrine of ‘Donatio Mortis Causa’ answering the question, “Are deathbed gifts valid?”
When these gifts (sometimes known as deathbed gifts) are made they must comply with the ancient doctrine of Donatio Mortis Causa, which has its roots in Roman law.
The essential requirements of a Donatio Mortis Causa are:
- The gift must be made in contemplation of the donor’s death;
- The gift must be conditional upon the donor’s death;
- The donor must part with dominion over the subject matter of the gift;
- The property must be capable of being the subject of donatio mortis causa; and
- The donor must have mental capacity.
If the principles of a Donatio Mortis Causa are met then the deathbed gift is likely to be legally valid.
If the deceased’s estate refuses to honour the deathbed gift then the recipient of the gift can make an application to the court for a formal court Order.
If you are involved in a deathbed gift dispute or need to know more about the question, “Are deathbed gifts valid?” then contact our free legal helpline. We offer free case assessments and can often work under a No Win, No Fee agreement. Call us on 0333 888 0404 or alternatively you can send brief details of the case to us by email at [email protected]