Birch v Treasury Solicitor: CA 1950

There had been donationes mortis causa of the money standing in four accounts, by the delivery of a Post Office Savings Bank book and three other bank books of various descriptions. Lord Evershed MR stated: ‘the courts will examine any case of alleged donatio mortis causa and reject it if in truth what is alleged as a donatio is an attempt to make a nuncupative will, or a will in other respects not complying with the forms required by the Wills Act.’
Lord Evershed MR restated the principle in the following terms: ‘The question then is: Where actual transfer does not or cannot take place, what will ‘amount to that’? As a matter of principle, delivery of the indicia of title (viz., the document or thing the possession or production of which entitles the possessor to the money or property purported to be given), as distinct from mere evidence of title, should satisfy Lord Hardwicke’s condition.’

Lord Evershed MR
[1951] Ch 298, [1950] 2 All ER 1198
Wills Act 1837
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedKing v The Chiltern Dog Rescue and Another CA 9-Jun-2015
This is an appeal by charities who are entitled to inherit under a will against a decision that (a) the deceased transferred her house to her nephew by a donatio mortis causa, alternatively (b) the nephew is entitled to recover 75,000 pounds against . .
CitedSen v Headley CA 28-Feb-1991
D, who was in hospital and near death, said to R (his former partner): ‘The house is yours, Margaret. You have the keys. They are in your bag. The deeds are in the steel box.’ After D’s death R discovered that D had put had put into her bag the only . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 25 November 2021; Ref: scu.548013