Deathbed Gifts – Donatio Mortis Causa and Real Property
A will needs to be in writing, and a will needs to be witnessed by two people. That is plain from section 9 of theWills Act 1837. Absent these two essential characteristics a will is not effective and property will pass under either a pre-existing will or alternatively under the rules of intestacy.
Donatio mortis causa (“DMC”) demonstrates that there is an exception to this.
DMC is an old equitable doctrine that a gift made in conte...