Can my parents legally take back things that they have given to me as gifts?

am 20 years old.

Asked on January 30, 2013 under Business Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, once something is given as a gift, the giver has no rights to it and they cannot get it back. The issue then is whether the items in question really gifts were gifts and what, if any, evidence each side has to support their position.

A gift is something that is given to another without the expectation of receiving anything in return.  If you can show that these were gifts, not a loan of property, then you would not have to give them up. Additionally, once the donor of a gift gives it to the donee, the property becomes vested with the donor. So if your parents took it back from you without your permission that is technically theft.   

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.