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Report No. 110

32.4. English law as to donations mortis causa.-

Three conditions must be satisfied for a donation mortis causa, as at present understood in English law:

(a) The gift must be made in contemplation of death (though not necessarily in expectation of death by suicide.1-2

(b) The gift must be made upon the condition that it is to be absolute and complete only on the donor's death, and is to be revocable during his life. (Death need not, however, occur from the very cause contemplated by the donor).

(c) The subject-matter of the gift must be delivered to the donee. Delivery may be before or after the words of gift3, and may even be to an agent4. Delivery of a key to a box or drawer is enough, if the property is identified.5-6

1. Dudman (in re:), (1925) Ch. 553.

2. Wilkes (in re:) v. Halington, (1834) Ch 104.

3. Cain v. Moan, 1896 QB 283.

4. Moore v. Darton, (1851) 4 De and G 51.

5. Cf. Lillington (in re:), (1952) 2 All ER 184 (191), for comment, see (1952) 96 Solicitors Journal.

6. Barlow in (1956) 19 Modern Law Review 394, 471.

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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