Definition of donatio mortis causa in English:

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donatio mortis causa

Pronunciation: /dəˌneɪʃɪəʊ ˌmɔːtɪs ˈkɔːzə/

noun (plural donationes mortis causa /dəˌneɪʃɪˈəʊniːz/)

A gift of personal property made by someone who expects to die in the immediate future, taking full effect only after the donor dies.
Example sentences
  • This type of transaction was used, when deposit receipts and pass-books were common, to effect a donatio mortis causa (a gift to mature on the assignor's demise), and has on a number of occasions been upheld by the courts.
  • In my submission it was and it is the effect of any transaction inter vivos or any contractual arrangement that gives rise to a debtor/creditor relationship and a donatio mortis causa has that effect.
  • There is a significant difference between a gift mortis causa in civil law and donatio mortis causa in common law.


Latin, literally 'gift by reason of death'.

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