Does my business partner have the right to rescind a gift of stock?
I am prohibited from giving a legal opinion. This service provides information of a general legal nature. The answer will depend on all the facts and circumstances involved. Three elements are required to determine whether a valid, enforceable gift was made: delivery, donative intent, and acceptance by the donee.
Delivery of a gift is complete when it is made directly to the donee, or to a third party on the donee's behalf. In the event that the third person is the donor's agent, bailee, or trustee, delivery is complete only when such person actually hands the property over to the donee.
A delivery may be actual, implied, or symbolic, as long as some affirmative act takes place. If, for example, the symbolic delivery of a car as a gift can take place when the donor hands the keys over to the donee. Delivery can only occur when the donor surrenders control of the property. For example, an individual who tells another he intends to make a gift of a car to another but continues to drive the car whenever he wishes has not surrendered control of the car.
Donative intent to make a gift is primarily determined by the donor's words, but the courts also consider the surrounding circumstances, the relationship of the parties, the size of the gift in relation to the amount of the donor's property as a whole, and the behavior of the donor toward the property subsequent to the purported gift.
The final requirement for a valid gift is acceptance, which means that the donee unconditionally agrees to take the gift. It is necessary for the donee to agree at the same time the delivery is made. The gift can, however, be revoked at any time prior to acceptance. However, in some cases the court will set aside an otherwise valid gift if there is evidence that the donor was defrauded by the donee, coerced to make the gift, or strongly influenced in an unfair manner. I suggest you contact a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved.