The first part in Lord Brown-Wilkinson's citation "Although Equity will not aid a volunteer" is one of the most important maxims in equity. The general definition of a maxim is "a general truth or rule of conduct expressed in a sentence". In the context of equity, maxim has a particular meaning: maxims are major principles, emerging from the historical development of equity and serve as a framework for judicial decision. Lord Brown-Wilkinson's citation does concern the gifts which are considered a special kind of trust. Perhaps, that is why, throughout this essay we will focus on gifts rather than in every other kind of trust. In the first part, we will analyze the notion of gift, the meaning of the maxim and its implication. In the second part, we will consider the different situations where according to Lord Brown-Wilkinson's citation "[Equity] will not strive officiously to defeat a gift" Equity does assist volunteers. And finally, we will discuss why equity should assist volunteers.
[...] Since Re Stewart, this exception does not concern only the debt but to gift in general. When there is in parallel of a testator / executor relation a donor / done relation, if the testator demonstrate that he wanted to offer a property to the done ‘during his life and after his death' the gift gave from the testator/donor to the executor/done will be perfected. If Equity does assist volunteer here, the application of this exception is however limited as it is only possible when someone endorses the roles of the executor and done Equity also assists volunteer in the situation of donations mortis causa. [...]
[...] The doctrine of estoppel has been defined as principle of justice and of equity. It comes to this: when a man, by his words or conduct, has led another to believe in a particular state of affairs, he will not be allowed to go back on it when it would be unjust or inequitable for him to so." If the possibility for courts to grant remedy is a discretional power, they have done it in Dillwyn v Llewelyn. A father had assured to his son land that he would give him land, but never transferred the propriety title. [...]
[...] Romer J stated that the gift fails: as the transfer of the property was not effective there was no ‘outright transfer' of the property. However, despite those principles of not aiding a volunteer, in some particular circumstances, Equity does perfect gift. The first exception of the maxims has been established in Strong v Bird, and may be use in very particular situation. When a testator's executor is also his debtor, if the testator manifested the continue intention to erase this debt, then the executor will not have to sue himself because of his debt. [...]
[...] In a first part we will analyse the notion of ‘gift', the meaning of this maxim and its implication, then in a second part we will consider the different situations where according to the second part of Lord Brown- Wilkinson's citation “[Equity] will not strive officiously to defeat a gift” Equity does assist volunteers. And then in a third part we will discuss why Equity should assist volunteers. A common definition of a gift is thing given willingly to someone without payment”. However, at law; a gift is the transfer of the legal title of the donor to a beneficiary with out any consideration. [...]
[...] At the 17th century, the flexible set of equity has been rigidified in order to obtain a more conventional justice and in a way a safer justice. The two possible answers to this question can be argued. In my opinion, Equity should not automatically help the volunteers, but should be able to help the volunteer, considering each case in an incremental approach, as it is the only way for Equity to stay this particular justice based on fairness. Strangled in fix principles, Equity would lose its particularity. [...]
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