Legal-Ease: Enforceability of promises and gifts

Gifts and the law have a long history together. Some promises are actually enforceable against the person making the promise. To be enforceable, a promise must either include some reciprocal promise or be reasonably relied upon by the receiver in a way that causes harm or damage to the receiver.

The multiple conditions that are required to make a promise or gift enforceable underline the value of written agreements. Written agreements help clarify every aspect of a promise or a gift.

Earlier this year, my 5-year-old niece decided to cut her long hair and donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that uses donations of hair to create wigs for people whose medical issues preclude hair growth.

Perhaps the most thoughtful part of my niece’s gift came after her beautician explained where her hair donation would go. At that point, my sweet, little niece sincerely asked if the beautician could please offer the hair to me first. Of course, the lack of hair on my head is not due to a medical condition (other than male pattern baldness). Nonetheless, I was touched by my niece’s thoughtfulness.

Read more about gifts and the law in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Enforceability of promises and gifts

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Enforceability of promises and gifts,” by Lee R. Schroeder, January 6, 2018

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

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