Happy Valentine’s Day: Let's Talk About the Legality of Gift Giving

Happy Valentine’s Day: Let’s Talk About the Legality of Gift Giving

by / Friday, 14 February 2014 / Published in Goodwin & Scieszka, Tips

What are the legal consequences of giving a gift? In honor of everyone’s favorite February holiday, let’s talk about it.

If you’re thinking about tying the knot, this Michigan Court of Appeals case says it all when it comes to giving an engagement ring — and when the transaction goes horribly wrong:

Hands holding cracked heart

In sum, we hold that an engagement ring given in contemplation of marriage is an impliedly conditional gift that is a completed gift only upon marriage. If the engagement is called off, for whatever reason, the gift is not capable of becoming a completed gift and must be returned to the donor.

If you’re wondering why such a case went through the judicial system, consider this: the ring was worth almost $20,000.

Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to invest in the woman you love. If it doesn’t work out, you can take that ring back and use it as a down payment to get that cherry red convertible you’ve always wanted.

There are 3 legal requirements associated with giving a gift:

1. Intent to pass title
2. Delivery to the recipient, which can either be through something representative of the gift like car keys or actual physical delivery of the car
3. Acceptance; and acceptance is presumed when an item has significant value

Happy Valentine’s Day from Goodwin & Scieszka, a Southfield, Michigan personal injury law firm that’s here for you when you need us most. We’ve been fighting for residents in Detroit and Metro Detroit for over 30 years, handling everything from:

Dog bites
Slip and falls
Medical malpractice
Birth trauma
• Assault and battery
• Negligence
• Much more

Keep up with our blog; we constantly talk about Michigan’s laws, interesting news stories, and ways to reduce your liability.

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