Going to die in the near future? No time to make a will? Donatio mortis causa ("Presentation in prospect of death") could help!

Your problem: You're going to die. Maybe. The will ain't up to scratch. You can't find time/money/energy to deal with this. You want to make some testamentary dispositions. You might just give your stuff away. Great for the soul (look at some bits of the Gospel of Luke if you don't believe me), but could have problems if you don't die. Like you not having anything. (if you don't believe me, consult a lawyer, accountant, or braincare specialist). But how do you get this wonderful legal mechanism? Just give your stuff away on the grounds that you might die! That's right! Send no money now, no salesmen will call at your home!

For this to work, you do have to have some reason for thinking that you are going to die, beyond the fact that you are a son of adam. The idea is that if the danger passes, you can reclaim your crap, as after a long and dangerous journey, for instance; that said, you could give your crap away on the grounds that you have HIV, and that would still be effective, even though it's not the sort of thing you get over.

On a practical note, you probably want to keep some record of why you you gave this stuff away if you have any intention of getting it back. Try announcing it in some newspapers, or something. The other thing to remember is that dispositions of land, including gifts, normally have to be evidenced in writing, and to be effective at law will usually require both registration and quite possibly execution of a deed. To complete a valid donatio, the donee has to be given dominion over the item given, or if not possible (as in abstractions like land or shares), should be given the indicia necessary. Whether shares can be the object of donatio is not certain (the authorities conflict); there is no precednet known to the author concerning donatio of registered land, although physical passing of the registration certificates may be effective.

If you do this, then, when you die (even if from another danger, as long as the anticipated danger is still present), then your stuff automatically belongs to the people you gave it to. This applies in England and Wales. I anal.

Enjoy Infinity!

Thanks to Nic for pointing out that this previously had the term bizarrely inflected.