Keeling v Keeling looks at the deathbed gift

Keeling v Keeling – the failure of a death bed gift

In a recent blog,we looked at the deathbed gift – or donatio mortis causa. Putting the case law into practise, in Keeling v Keeling, the courts have recently rejected a claim by a brother that his sister made a ‘death bed gift’ to him of her house, at the expense of other relatives. The Facts of Keeling v Keeling Stephen and Frank Keeling and Ellen Exler were siblings. Ellen died […]

making a gift on your deathbed is not as straightforward as it might seem

Challenging Deathbed Gifts

The deathbed gift – known as donatio mortis causa (or ‘a gift given in anticipation of death’) is an aspect of English Law that comes directly from our Roman legal heritage. It covers the situation where someone (the Donor) makes a gift ‘on their deathbed’ – of money or of property – to take effect only on their death. As the courts have recognised,  deathbed gifts are open to abuse […]

if, in the sunset of your life, you try to make a deathbed gift, it may be challenged

The strict approach to the deathbed gift

‘Deathbed gifts’ are one of the limited exceptions to the general principle that on death, the property of the deceased should be disposed of according to either a written will, or the rules on intestacy. The courts have long recognised that the concept of the ‘deathbed gift’ is open to abuse. The case of Kenneth Paul King v The Chiltern Dog Rescue, Redwings Horse Sanctuary illustrates the strict approach that […]