What is a Gift Deed?
A gift is the transfer of property by one person to another made voluntarily and without consideration. The person transferring the property is called the donor. The person to whom the property is transferred is called the Donee. The Donee must accept the property. Such acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor and while he is still capable of giving it. In case the donee dies before acceptance, the gift is void. According to Section 122 of the Transfer of Property Act, the essential elements of a gift are:
1. Transfer of property
2. Absence of consideration
3. Acceptance by Donee
There cannot be a gift without a giving and taking. The giving and taking are two simultaneous and reciprocal acts that constitute a gift. In order to constitute a valid gift, a basic requirement is acceptance. There is no specified mode for acceptance. A transaction of gift in order to be complete must be accepted by the Donee during the lifetime of the Donor.
Who can gift property?
Any person who is the legal owner can make a gift of his property. A minor, being incompetent to contract, is incompetent to transfer property as a gift. A gift by a minor will be void. On behalf of a minor, a natural guardian can accept a gift containing a condition that the person nominated in the gift deed will act as a manager of the gifted property. Such acceptance amounts to recognition of the natural guardian of the nominated person as a manager for the purpose of the gift of property. While a minor may be a Donee, if the gift is onerous, the obligation cannot be enforced against him while he is a minor. But later, he must either accept the burden or return the gift. A gift may be accepted on behalf of a Donee. The Donee may be a person unable to express acceptance. The Donee must be an ascertainable person. The gift must be an existing property. It cannot be a future property.
Is it necessary to register a gift deed?
Under Section 123 of the Transfer of Property Act, a gift of property, which is not registered, is bad in law and cannot pass any title to the Donee. Documents should be stamped and registered as required. Mere delivery of possession without a written instrument cannot confer title.
A deed cannot be dispensed with even for a property of small value. Attestation by two witnesses is required. This provision excludes every other mode of transfer and even if the intended Donee is put in possession, a gift of property is invalid without a registered instrument.
Tagged: Gift Deed