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Strong v Bird, [1874] LR 18 Eq 315 (UK Ch D)

Facts:

Bird borrowed money from his step-mother, who was living with him. Bird agreed to pay back the loan through reduced rent from her. She started to pay reduced rent, but mostly continued to pay full rent until she died.

Upon death, Bird was appointed (in her will) as the executor of her estate. Her relatives who were also beneficiaries of her will attempted to collect the money owed by Bird.

Issue(s):

Was Bird required to pay back the loan?

Ratio:

When a donee of an imperfect inter vivos gift becomes the executor of the donor's estate, it perfects the gift.

For the rule to apply, there are four conditions:
** 1. The donee must be an executor of the donor’s estate
** 2. The donor must have intended to give donee an inter vivos gift
** 3. The donative intention of the donor did not change before death
** 4. The subject matter of the gift must be capable of enduring the death of the donor.

This is an exception to the general rule that equity will not perfect and imperfect gift.

Analysis:

No, the stepmother made an inter vivos gift to Bird. This was demonstrated by making Bird the executor of her estate. As the executor of her estate, Bird would be responsible for calling in all debts to the estate. It would not make sense for Bird to sue himself.

Holding:

Decision in favour of Bird.


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