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Gift Deed

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A gift deed is a legal paper that transfers the right of property, asset, or funds from one individual to another without exchanging consideration or money. Moreover, it is a voluntary act of the contributor who plans to gift the asset or property to the recipient. Besides, a gift deed is executed when the contributor is alive, and the recipient obtains the gift during the donor's lifetime. The transfer of ownership is quick and irrevocable, which implies that once the gift deed is signed, the donor cannot cancel or revoke the gift.

Key Components of a Gift Deed

A gift deed must fulfill certain prerequisites to be valid and enforceable.

  • Competent Parties: The donee and donor must be competent to contract and have a sound mind.
  • Acceptance: The donee must accept the gift during the donor's lifetime. If the donee dies before accepting the gift then it becomes invalid.
  • Free Consent: The donor must execute the gift deed willingly without coercion, undue influence, fraud, or misrepresentation.
  • Registration: A gift deed must be documented with the Sub-Registrar of Assurances in the property's jurisdiction.
  • Delivery: Delivery of possession of the property or asset must be made to the donee when signing the gift deed.

How to Create a Gift Deed

The process of creating a gift deed involves the following steps:

  1. Drafting of a Gift Deed. The primary step in drafting a gift deed is to prepare the gift deed by adding the relevant details. A gift deed must incorporate the details of the recipient and donor, the property's value, a description of the property, and any other terms and conditions agreed upon by the recipient and donor.
  2. Stamp Duty and Registration. Once the gift deed is drafted, it must be stamped and registered as per the prevailing laws of the state where the property is situated. The stamp duty and registration charges vary from state to state.
  3. Delivery of Possession. After the gift deed is signed, the donor must provide possession of the property or asset to the recipient. The transfer of ownership is concluded only when the possession of the property is provided to the recipient.
  4. Execution of the Gift Deed. After the gift deed is registered and stamped, the donor and the recipient must execute the gift deed in the presence of two appointed witnesses. The named witnesses must also sign the gift deed.
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Features of a Gift Deed

Below are some important features of a gift deed.

  • Voluntary Transfer: A gift deed is a voluntary transfer of ownership from one individual to another.
  • No Consideration: A gift deed transfers ownership without exchanging funds or consideration. The donor grants the asset or property to the recipient without accepting anything in return.
  • Quick and Irrevocable Transfer: The transfer of ownership is quick and irrevocable. Once the gift deed is executed, the donor cannot cancel or withdraw the gift.
  • Stamp Duty and Registration: A gift deed must be registered and stamped as per the state's prevailing regulations where the property is located. In addition, the registration costs and stamp duty differ from state to state.

Benefits of Gift Deeds

A gift deed offers several benefits for both the donor and the recipient.

  • Transfer of Ownership without Monetary Exchange

    One of the most prominent advantages of a gift deed is that it lets the donor transfer the right of their property to someone else without executing any financial transaction. It can be exceptionally beneficial for parents who want to transfer the right of their property to their kids without causing any financial obligation to them. And by gifting their property, parents can guarantee their kids can use their property and assets without spending money.

  • Avoidance of Probate

    By gifting property during one's lifetime, individuals can bypass the probate process, which can be costly and time-consuming, and ensure a smooth transfer of their assets to their loved ones.

  • Tax Benefits

    Gift deeds also offer tax benefits to both the recipient and the donor. In addition, any gift obtained from a relative or immediate family member is exempt from tax. It implies that you do not have to settle any tax if you obtain a gift from your siblings, parents, spouse, or children. Also, a donor can claim tax advantages for charitable donations made through a gift deed.

  • Security of Assets

    Gift deeds can also be valuable for safeguarding assets. For instance, a person facing bankruptcy or a lawsuit may risk losing their assets. By gifting their property to another individual, they can guard it against creditors' taking it. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that gift deeds may be deemed fraudulent if made to defraud creditors.

  • Peace of Mind

    Ultimately, gift deeds can provide better peace of mind to both the recipient and donor. By transferring ownership of their property to someone else, donors can guarantee that their assets are being used as planned. For recipients, gift deeds can offer a sense of safety and stability, knowing they have access to the assets and property they require.

Key Terms for Gift Deeds

  • Gift Deed: A legal paper used to share ownership of an asset or property from one individual to another as a gift.
  • Donee: The person who accepts the gift in a gift deed.
  • Donor: The person who is providing the gift in a gift deed.
  • Property: The asset or object gifted in a gift deed.
  • Consideration: Something of worth that is given in exchange for property transfer. In the case of a gift deed, there is no consideration concerned.
  • Stamp Duty: A tax imposed on the worth of the gift deed.
  • Registration: The process of officially recording the gift deed with the appropriate government authority.
  • Immoveable Property: A property that cannot be transferred from one location to another, such as buildings, land, or other structures.
  • Notary: A public official entrusted to confirm and authenticate legal papers.
  • Title: The legal right of the property or asset being moved.
  • Succession: The process of transferring the right of property or assets after the owner's demise.

Final Thoughts on Gift Deeds

A gift deed is a prevalent way of transferring property ownership among friends, family members, or acquaintances. It is a voluntary transfer of ownership from one individual to another without exchanging money or consideration.

The transfer of ownership is immediate and irrevocable, and once the gift deed is executed, the donor cannot revoke or cancel the gift. A gift deed must be stamped and registered as per the state's prevailing laws where the property is situated, and the stamp duty and registration charges vary from state to state.

In conclusion, utilizing a gift deed can be a beneficial estate planning strategy for individuals who wish to transfer their property to loved ones during their lifetime. It can help avoid probate, streamline the transfer process, and provide peace of mind knowing that their property is being transferred according to their wishes. However, it's important to seek legal advice and carefully consider the implications of gifting property before proceeding.

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