A Gift Deed is also known as:
- Deed of Gift
- Registered Gift Deed
What is a Gift Deed?
A Gift Deed is a legal document used to formally give a sum of money
or transfer ownership of property to another person or organization.
Using a Gift Deed means that the transfer is gratuitous: the donor—the person
giving the gift—does so without any conditions, and with no expectation of future
What types of Gift Deed are there?
A Gift Deed can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable Gift Deed
lets the donor cancel the gift at any time before the gift is delivered
to the recipient. Even if you give a revocable Gift Deed to your intended
recipient, you are under no legal obligation to hand over the gift.
An irrevocable Gift Deed is legally binding as soon as the donor gives
the Gift Deed to the recipient. In this instance, you cannot revoke the
gift; you have a legal obligation to give the money or item to the recipient.
Money or items listed in an irrevocable Gift Deed are no longer considered
to be part of your personal estate. An irrevocable Gift Deed could be used to
keep certain items from being contested in your
Last Will and Testament.
A donor using a Gift Deed must specify someone to act as their agent.
The agent ensures that the money or item listed in the deed of gift is
delivered to the recipient of the gift.
When should I use a Gift Deed?
Here are some situations where you could use a Gift Deed:
Charitable Gift: You may decide you want to give a significant cash
donation to a charitable cause, or give them an item of value which they can
sell or auction for money. Or, you may want to transfer ownership of a
relevant antique object to a non-profit museum or preservation society.
A Gift Deed enables you to officially document your contribution.
Family Heirlooms: It can be more satisfying to transfer ownership
of a treasured family heirloom while both the giver and recipient are still
alive, rather than having the item bequeathed in a Last Will and Testament.
You could use a Gift Deed in this instance to make your gift of a family
heirloom more memorable for you and your loved one.
Pre-Estate Bequest: With an irrevocable Gift Deed, the money or
items listed in the document are no longer considered to be part of your
estate. An irrevocable Gift Deed can potentially keep a specific item
from being contested in your Last Will and Testament.