The donor was entitled to the income of a trust for her life. Income in the amount of $9,000 had accrued in the hands of the trustee and was subject to the immediate call of the donor. While a resident of Spain, the donor wrote a letter addressed to the trustee in New York reciting that she was in poor physical condition and desirous of distributing her American money. The letter directed the trustee to transfer the accumulated income to the donee. Because of troubles with the Spanish Government the donor did not wish to mail the letter directly to New York. She sealed the letter in an envelope addressed to the trustee, and enclosed it together with a note of explanation in another envelope, which she mailed to the donee in Tangier. Before this envelope with enclosures reached the donee, the donor died. There being neither will nor heirs, the Public Administrator claimed the fund on the ground that the gift was ineffectual. Held, there was a valid gift. The terms of the letter addressed. to the trustee, coupled with the fact that it was mailed to the donee, showed an intent to make the transfer immediately effective. In view of the fact that the subject matter of the gift was virtually impossible of delivery, the mailing of the letter to the donee sufficed for delivery. Since delivery was completed when the letter was deposited in the mails, the gift was effectual even though the donor died before the letter was received. In re Kaufman's Estate, (N.Y. Surrogate's Court, 1951) 107 N.Y.S. (2d) 681.
Wendell B. Will S.Ed.,
PERSONAL PROPERTY-GIFTS-BENEFICIARY'S LETTER DIRECTING TRUSTEE TO TRANSFER ACCUMULATED INCOME AS A GIFT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol50/iss7/18