Can Someone Take Back A Gift?

It’s a fun thing to exchange gifts with our friends, family members, and beloved ones. Usually, we give gifts to show our love, appreciation, or affection for the recipient. Unfortunately, things got awkward if a friendship or relation does not last. In this type of situation, many people want to take back the gifts that have been given. So the question is; is anyone can take back a gift? What does the law say about it?

Well, legally you can’t take a gift back once it is given. The law states that this is not allowed to take a gift back, except in special circumstances. Usually, gifts don’t have any required obligations like the gift recipient has to give something back to the gift giver. In fact, the gift becomes the personal property of the recipient. However, you can ask for a gift back if the gift was given in exchange for a promise. This type of gift is known as conditional gifts.         

Can Someone Take Back A Gift

What Is A Conditional Gift?

The name indicates what this type of gift means. A conditional gift is a type of gift that has some condition attached to it. A conditional gift can be revoked if the recipient does not fulfill the conditions attached to the gift. A common example of a conditional gift is an engagement ring. When a man asks a woman to marry him, he gives a ring if the woman says yes and agrees to marry the man. Here, the ring is a conditional gift because the woman is promising to marry the man. If for any reason the woman doesn’t want to marry the man then the woman has to return the engagement ring.

Gift Items on Amazon

Laws Regarding Broken Engagements

The Kansas Supreme Court has stated the potential difficulties of following a fault-based approach. Therefore, the Court listed some of the common and very personal reasons for broken engagements which the court would have to referee, such as:

1. Having nothing in common;

2. Disliking prospective in-laws;

3. Hostility toward the prospective step-parent by children (minors or adults);

4. Having pets that don’t get along;

5. Being hasty in proposing/accepting the proposal;

6. Being in a rebound situation which is now regretted;

7. Having untidy habits that irritate the other; or

8. Religious differences

FAQs About Taking Back A Gift

1. Is It Rude To Ask For A Gift Back?

Well, it’s kind of rude that you ask for a gift back. Once you give someone a gift you don’t have the right to demand that back. In this type of situation, people might think that you have a lack of respect for asking for the gift back and being rude when you were told no. However, if the gift is a conditional gift then you can ask the gift recipient to return the gift.

2. Is It Wrong To Take A Gift Back?

If it’s a casual gift then by law you don’t have any right to take the gift back. The gift recipient can give the gift away or donate it to charity; there is nothing you can do. For conditional gifts, you can ask the gift recipient to return the gift. An example of a conditional gift is an engagement ring.

3. How Do You Respond When Someone Asks For A Gift?

Asking for gifts is rude. So in this type of situation, you should give a polite negative response. You can say “No, I can’t buy that for you.” without any further explanation. Make sure you remain strong and straight forward to your friend who asks for a gift.

4. Can Someone Sue You For A Gift They Gave You?

Yes, the gift giver can sue you for a gift that they gave you. But that doesn’t mean a jury will agree with him. Gifts are not something that you have to give back or repay legally. If someone sues you over a gift then he has to show a jury that they were not gifts but some sorts of loans.

5. Is It Stealing If You Take Back A Gift?

Once you give someone a gift the item is no longer yours. There is no law that will let you take the gift back unless you prove that it was not a gift but a loan. So if you take back the gift without the permission of the owner then it will consider as stealing.

6. When Gift May Be Suspended Or Revoked?

According to the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 –

The donor and donee may agree that on the happening of any specified event which does not depend on the will of the donor a gift shall be suspended or revoked; but a gift which the parties agree shall be revocable wholly or in part, at the mere will of the donor, is void wholly or in part, as the case may be

A gift may also be revoked in any of the cases (save want or failure of consideration) in which, if it were a contract, it might be rescinded.
Save as aforesaid, a gift cannot be revoked.
Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to affect the rights of transferees for consideration without notice.

7. What Do You Do With Unwanted Gifts?

If you receive a gift that you don’t want then below are some ideas for your unwanted gifts:

1. Return the gift to the store
2. Donate the gift to a hospital or non-profit organization
3. Use the gift for a while and then sell it
4. Return the unwanted gift back to the gift-giver
5. Re-gift it to someone else


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