I do I collect on bad checks that were given to me as a gift?
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 it. 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.
In order to prove a gift was made, there needs to be a completed delivery by the donor and acceptance by the donee. Courts have found that the delivery of a gift in the form of a check isn't complete until the check is paid. The donor has a legal right to revoke the gift before the check is presented to the bank for payment, such as by issuing a stop payment order. It will be a matter for the court to determine, based on all the facts and circumstances involved, whether the donor intended to revoke the gift.