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DONATIO MORTIS CAUSA Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

A gift made by a person in sickness, who, apprehending his dissolution near, delivers, or causes to be delivered, to another the possession of any personal goods, to keep as his own incase of the donor’s decease. 2 Bl. Comm. 514. The civil law defines it to be a gift under apprehension of death; as when anything is given upon condition that, if the donor dies, the donee shall possess it absolutely. or return it if the donor should survive or should repent of having made the gift, or if the donee should die before the donor.Adams v. Nicholas. 1 Miles (Pa.) 109-117. A gift in view of death is one which is made in contemplation, fear, or peril of death, and with intent that it shall take effect only in case of the death of the giver. Civ. Code Cal. $ 1149. A donation mortis causa (in prospect of death) is an act to take effect when the donor shall no longer exist, by which he disposes of the whole or a part of his property, and which is irrevocable. Civ. Code La. art. 1469.


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