King 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 the estate as reasonable financial provision. The principal issue was whether the deceased’s words and conduct a few months before her death gave rise to a donatio mortis causa.
Held: The charities’ appeal succeeded. Words and actions of a now deceased as to the transfer of her property at a point when she was not yet contemplating her impending death did not give rise to a donatio mortis causa.

Jackson, Patten, Sales LJJ
[2015] WLR(D) 245, [2015] EWCA Civ 581
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
CitedCosnahan v Grice PC 12-Jul-1862
Isle of Man – The Board emphasised the burden of proof in claims to have received a donatio mortis causa: ‘Cases of this kind demand the strictest scrutiny. So many opportunities, and such strong temptations, present themselves to unscrupulous . .
CitedIn Re Craven’s Estate ChD 1937
D was about to undergo an operation which might prove fatal. D gave a power of attorney to R (her son). She told R that she wanted him to have certain shares and monies in her bank account if she died. R notified the bank, which responded that it . .
Appeal fromKing v Dubrey and Others ChD 1-Jul-2014
The claimant said that before her death, the now deceased testator had handed the deeds of the house to him saying that she was giving the house to him. He said it was a donatio mortis causa gift. . .
CitedBirch v Treasury Solicitor CA 1950
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 . .
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 . .
DisapprovedVallee v Birchwood ChD 6-Jun-2013
On 6th August 2003 R visited D, her elderly father. He appeared to be in poor health and was coughing. R said that she would next visit him at Christmas. D said that he did not expect to live very much longer and that he might not be alive at . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Wills and Probate

Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.547670