Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2013] All ER (D) 46 (Jun)
Neutral Citation: [2013] EWHC 1449 (Ch)
Court: Chancery Division

Jonathan Gaunt QC (sitting as a judge of the High Court)

Representation Sinclair Cramsie (instructed by Patrick Smith & Co) for the claimant.
  William Moffett (instructed by Rollingsons) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 6 June 2013


Gift - Donatio mortis causa - House - Claimant being adopted daughter of deceased - Deceased dying without making will - Deceased handing over keys and title deeds for house to claimant months prior to death and stating wish to give house to her - Defendant administrator being granted letters of administration for benefit of deceased's brother - Claimant applying for declaration that house given to her as 'donatio mortis causa' - Judge granting claimant's application - Defendant appealing - Whether judge erring - Whether contemplation of death within five months of death could be regarded as 'impending death' - Whether house subject matter of donatio mortis causa to claimant.

The Case

Gift Donatio mortis causa. The claimant was the adopted daughter of the deceased, who died without leaving a will. She brought proceedings against the administrator of the deceased's estate, seeking a declaration that the deceased had left his estate to her as a gift or 'donatio mortis causa'. The judge granted the declaration and the administrator appealed. The Chancery Division held that the judge had not erred in his conclusion in finding that the gift had been made to the claimant by the deceased in contemplation of his impending death.

Practice Areas

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