rule in Strong v Bird

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A rule that operates to perfect an otherwise imperfect gift where the intended donee acquires the gift property by indirect means. The rule originated in the case of Strong v Bird (1874) LR 18 Eq 315, which was concerned not with a gift but with the extinguishment of a debt in circumstances where the deceased creditor had appointed his debtor as executor under his will. The court concluded that the right to sue for the repayment of the debt was voluntarily abandoned when the creditor appointed the debtor as his executor. The principle was subsequently extended to apply to gifts that had been promised but which, at the time of the testator's death, remained within the property of the testator's estate. In circumstances where the intended donee was appointed executor and came by the intended gift as a consequence of his executorship, the rule would also apply (Re Stewart [1908] 2 Ch 251). This extension of the doctrine has been accepted in the Court of Appeal (Re Freeland [1952] Ch 110). The rule is limited to circumstances in which there is a present intention to make a gift at the time of the donor's death and does not apply in the context of an intention to make a gift at some time in the future.

Subjects: Law.

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