A gift causa mortis is subject to the conditions (1) that it must be made in contemplation, fear or peril of death; (2) the donor must die of the illness or peril which he then fears or contemplates, and (3), the delivery must be made with the intent that the title shall vest only in case of death.
Decedent deposited jewelry with defendant trust company with instructions to distribute the jewelry to intervenors only if she died as a result of an upcoming operation. Decedent recovered from the surgery but died from her underlying condition. Before decedent's death her attorney advised her there might be a question about the validity of the gifts. She took no action. Upon her death, plaintiff, her administrator, sued in replevin to recover the jewelry. The trial court found for intervenors. On appeal, the court found there was no valid gift causa mortis. Judgment for intervenors was reversed and the court was directed to enter judgment for plaintiff.
Was there a valid gift mortis causa?
Mrs. Brind's recovery from the operation revoked the gifts. Decedent did not die of the peril she feared. Decedent's recovery from the operation revoked the gifts and she did not reaffirm.