The Gift of Real Estate: What You Need to Know

Image of a gift box with a red bow. Captioned: The Gift of Real Estate, What You Need to Know.

Making a home into a gift involves a gift deed. The gift deed legally transfers the title of the property from you, the grantor or donor, to another person or entity. This type of conveyance may be used to convey property as a gift from one family member to another, or to donate property to a nonprofit.

A mere promise to convey the property at some point in the future does not constitute a legally sound gift. A properly drafted deed makes a gift outright—a conveyance for no consideration. In other words, the giver makes the gift unequivocally, with no compensation expected, and no strings attached.

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Refusing to Accept a Deed

image of an unsigned deed captioned refusing to accept the deed

For a valid real estate deed conveyance, two key actions must occur:

  • The giver (called the grantor) must deliver it the recipient (called the grantee).
  • The grantee must accept it.

A Recipient May Refuse to Accept a Deed.

Circumstances are not always right for taking on new ownership and new responsibilities. Moreover, not every piece of real property is desirable. Even with a significant estimated value, it might have hidden liabilities.

Thus, the gift of a deed can, and sometimes should, be turned down.   

This can get difficult if the grantor has the conveyance recorded with the county anyway, without the grantee’s knowledge. The grantee will then be obliged to file a court petition to void the conveyance.

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Gift Deeds and Gifts of Real Property

A gift deed, or deed of gift, is a legal document voluntarily transferring title to real property from one party (the grantor or donor) to another (the grantee or donee), typically between family members or close friends. Gift deeds are also used to donate to a non-profit organization or charity. The deed serves as proof that the transfer is indeed a gift and without consideration (any conditions or form of compensation).

Gift Deeds and Gifts of Real Property
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