Can someone take a gift bank after a year?

Full Question:

I live in Texas and am currently having an issue. My wife's friend gave us a table and some chairs well over a year ago because she was getting new stuff. Now that I am not currently at home she is trying to take it back. Is this legal?
04/08/2009   |   Category: Donations ยป Gifts   |   State: Pennsylvania   |   #15923

Answer:

It will be a matter for the court to determine, based on all the facts and circumstances involved, whether the donor intended to unconditionally make a gift. The answer will depend on the circumstances involved, such as the delivery and acceptance of the gift and whether there were any conditions attached to making the gift. Typically, when a gift is delivered by the donor (gift giver) and accepted by the donee (receiver of the gift), the donor has given up rights of ownership and the donee is the new owner. In order to prove a gift was made, there needs to be a completed delivery by the donor and acceptance by the donee. However, a gift may be made conditionally, so that if the conditions aren't met, the gift may be taken away from the done.

Gifts are not enforceable in the same manner that contracts are because they aren't supported by consideration, meaning that they are given without an exchange of something in return. Courts disfavor enforcing a promise to make a gift, and typically require the donee to prove detrimental reliance on the gift in order to enforce the promise. For example, if a person signs a pledge from to donate money to a charity and the charity signs a contract with penalties for cancellation to build a hospital wing based on this promised gift, the gift may be enforced.