The donation according to the Bulgarian law of obligations


The donation is a bilateral contract with the immediate and gratuitous assignment of an object performed by the giver in favour of the donee (who must accept the donation).

The subject matter of the contract may be the transfer or encumbrance of property and rights, the remission of a claim, a constitutive promissory letter as well as actions such as gratuitous work performances and services. It is not required that the gifted object is owned by the giver before.
If the donation concerns future assets it is void. “Future assets” concern only the rights which the giver may not even expect to acquire. The donation of other persons’ assets that become part of the giver’s assets due to an actual and/or partially lawful legality are valid.

Types of contracts

There are 3 types of donation contracts to be distinguished:

  1. indifferent donation – usual case,
  2. donation by obligation – due to moral obligations,
  3. donation by decency.

The significance of this division becomes apparent in respect of the donation’s revocation: Donations made due to moral obligations or decency may not be revoked.

  1. Donation with condition: the condition may be agreed in favour of the giver, third parties and not personalized persons. There are two rules that may be applied: According to Article 18 of the inheritance law each person that is interested in the fulfilment of the condition may demand it. The non-fulfilment may not cause invalidity of the contract. According to Article 226 of the law of obligations and contracts, the donation is void if it or its intent infringes the good morals or if the conditions are impossible.

Formal requirements:

According to Article 226 of the law of obligations and contracts, the promise of donation is not binding – consequently, pre-contracts regarding donations are void. Concerning the formal requirements, there are two types of donations to be distinguished: the formal donation and the donation issued by hand (resp. Article 225 (2) of the law of obligations and contracts). Regarding the donation of real estate, the validity requires a notarial certification; regarding the donation of mobility the form is eased: only the notarial certification of the signatures is required; regarding the donation of securities, the respective form of transfer must be maintained. The donation contract issued by hand may be concluded by handing over the subject of donation.

Revocation of donations

The revocation of donations due to ingratitude of the donee is provided in Article 227 of the law of obligations and contracts. This rule does not apply to donations by obligation or donations by decency. The claim may be filed within one year after the reasons for the revocation have become known. Within this period, the claim may also be filed by the heirs of the giver in case of his decease. The revoked donation does not infringe the rights of third parties that have been acquired before the statement of claim had been filed. Though, the donee owes the giver compensation for his part of the enrichment.

The waiver of this claim in advance is void.

If the donation with condition is considered as a bilateral contract with opposed rights and obligations, it may be revoked like provided by Article 87 of the law of obligations and contracts.

If the donation was issued between spouses it may be revoked with the divorce.