I was given an amount of money (less than 2,000$ CAD) as a gift from someone with her confirmation (by message and on paper). At first, I told her that I would accept the gift, but in the future, if possible, I will return it as my will because I do not want to owe anyone any amount of money (with no confirmation of the exact date/time to return it). Now the relationship has gone badly, and she asked me for the money back and told me that she would bring me to court for this.

Can she legally do this, and am I obliged to pay it back?

  • 3
    I do not want to owe anyone - If it was a gift, you don't owe the giver anything. Gifts don't create obligations. If the giver thinks otherwise, they were not, in fact, giving, and should perhaps be reminded of what giving means. Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Under normal common-law principles, she has provided you a gift and you have accepted it, which transfers the property to you unconditionally.

You also made a gratuitous promise that you might attempt to repay her. That promise has no legal effect as a contract, both because the promise is so uncertain as to be unenforceable, and because it is not supported by mutual consideration (i.e., she has not promised to do in anything in exchange for your promise to pay you back).

If the case is presented with these facts, a court should therefore deny her request to force your repayment.

  • ...and also because there was no intention to create legal relations as the pair were friends/couple.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 8:24
  • @Greendrake What does that mean? Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 12:04
  • @user253751 Informal people are presumed to not be intending to enter contract unless there is clear evidence they are e.g. written agreement. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention_to_create_legal_relations
    – Greendrake
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 12:19
  • @greendrake Why do you say the parties' relationship was that of friends or a couple? And even if it were, that doesn't mean that there is no intention to create a legal relationship (as your own source says).
    – bdb484
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 16:15
  • I infer they were friends/couple because asking gifts back when "relationship does not go right" is not what people in strictly formal relationship usually do. In informal context, the law presumes no intention to create legal relations unless there is clear evidence otherwise e.g. a written agreement with terms.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 0:02

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