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All that need be established to make a valid gift of property is an intention that the title of the donor shall be presently divested and presently transferred.
Gabriel Pascal, defendant's intestate who died in 1954, had been for many years a theatrical producer. In 1952 an English corporation named Gabriel Pascal Enterprises, Ltd., of whose 100 shares Gabriel Pascal owned 98, made an agreement with the English Public Trustee who represented the estate of George Bernard Shaw. The agreement granted to Gabriel Pascal Enterprises, Ltd., the exclusive world rights to prepare and produce a musical play to be based on Shaw's play "Pygmalion" and a motion picture version of the musical play. In 1954, the decedent wrote, signed and delivered to plaintiff a document confirming the assignment of share to the plaintiff. Plaintiff was granted summary judgment. On appeal, defendant argued that the delivery of an agreement did not constitute a valid, complete, and present gift to plaintiff by way of assignment of a share in future royalties when and if it was collected from the exhibition of the musical stage version and film version of a play.
Was the delivery of the 1954 agreement constitute a valid, complete, and present gift to plaintiff?
The Court held that the delivery of the 1954 agreement constituted a valid, complete, present gift to plaintiff by way of assignment of a share in future royalties when and if collected. According to the Court, it did not matter that, at the time of the delivery of the letter, there was no musical stage or film play in existence. There was a completed delivery of a kind appropriate to the subject matter. There was nothing left for decedent to do in order to make an irrevocable transfer to plaintiff.