Gift In Contemplation Of Death Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Gift In Contemplation Of Death, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Gift In Contemplation Of Death?
(n) Gift in Contemplation Of Death is the volunteer transfer of a property or article without any monitory consideration, by a person nearing his death, to a person or entity out of natural love and affection towards such transferee
History and Meaning of Gift in Contemplation of Death
A Gift in Contemplation of Death, also known as a deathbed gift, is a legal term that refers to the transfer of property from a person who is about to die to another person, often a family member or close friend, without requiring any payment. The gift is made out of love and affection for the recipient, and not as a result of any legal obligation. The person making the gift must be close to death at the time of the transaction, but need not have actual knowledge of their impending death.
The history of Gift in Contemplation of Death can be traced back to ancient Roman law. In medieval England, these gifts were called "donatio mortis causa" – or gifts made in contemplation of death. In the United States, Gift in Contemplation of Death is recognized by most states as a valid legal transaction, although the requirements for establishing the validity of a gift of this type may vary from state to state.
Examples of Gift in Contemplation of Death
- An elderly woman, who has no children, gives her jewelry collection to her best friend before undergoing life-threatening surgery.
- A terminally ill patient transfers his properties to his siblings as a gift before he passes away.
- A man gives his car to his son-in-law as a gift when he finds out that he has a terminal illness.
Legal Terms Similar to Gift in Contemplation of Death
- Testamentary Gift: A gift that is made in a will and is only effective upon the death of the testator.
- Inter Vivos Gift: A gift that is made during the giver's lifetime and does not take effect after their death.
- Intestate Succession: The distribution of a deceased person's property if they die without leaving a valid will.