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Donatio Mortis Causa

Donatio mortis causa! That might sound like a magical incantation right out of a Harry Potter book cursing an enemy with sudden death. Well, it does have to do with death, just not a very sudden one.

The phrase is Latin and actually means to 'gift on the occasion of death.' (Also known as a gift causa mortis.) This means a trust settlor, or donor, may make a gift during their lifetime upon the condition that the gift only takes effect once the donor dies. Meaning the gift can be revoked before the donor passes away.

There are some general conditions in which this kind of gift can be considered effective. Mainly that the death of the donor must be impending, not just under the umbrella of that we are all going to die someday from something. The gift should have also been delivered to the donee or constructively delivered such as a key to a house. And of course the donor must actually die from the intended ailment that was expected at the time they made the gift.

For more information on gifting estate assets please consult a professional Estate Administration Attorney in the Los Angeles area.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.

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