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Louisiana Gift Deed

Gifts of Real Property in Louisiana

Gift deeds convey title to real property from one party to another with no exchange of consideration, monetary or otherwise. Often used to transfer property between family members or to gift realty as a charitable act or donation, these conveyances occur during the grantor's lifetime. Gift deeds must contain language that explicitly states that no consideration is expected or required. Ambiguous language, or references to any type of consideration, can make the gift deed contestable in court.

A lawful gift deed includes the grantor's full name and marital status, as well as the grantee's full name, marital status, vesting information, and mailing address. Vesting describes how the grantee holds title to the property. Generally, real property is owned in either sole ownership or co-ownership. For Louisiana residential property, "ownership of the same thing by two or more persons is ownership in indivision. In the absence of other provisions of law or judicial act, the shares of all co-owners are presumed to be equal" (La. Civ. Code 797). Community property is defined as property obtained by one or both spouses during their marriage (La. Civ. Code 2338). With community property, "each spouse owns a present undivided one-half interest" (La. Civ. Code 2336). For conveyances of real property to co-owners, consult any extant co-ownership agreement. If conveying to multiple persons without an existing agreement, contact an attorney to discuss titling options.

As with any conveyance of realty, a gift deed requires a complete legal description of the subject parcel. If the conveyance includes any new plat or survey information, it must be signed and sealed by a licensed professional land surveyor (La. Rev. Stat. 44:41). Recite the prior deed reference to maintain a clear chain of title, and detail any restrictions associated with the property.

The deed must be signed by the grantor and acknowledged by an authorized individual. In Louisiana, two witness signatures, not including the notary, are also required for an authentic act (La. Civ. Code 1833). All signatures must be original. Some parishes require that additional documents be submitted with the instrument for recording. Check cover sheet requirements with the relevant clerk of court prior to submitting the deed for recording.

Record the completed gift deed with the clerk of court's office in the parish where the subject property is located. Contact the same office to confirm recording fees and accepted forms of payment.

With gifts of real property, the recipient of the gift (grantee or donee) is not required to declare the amount of the gift as income, but if the property accrues income after the transaction, the grantee is responsible for paying the requisite state and federal income taxes [1].

In Louisiana, there is no state gift tax, but gifts of real property are subject to the federal gift tax. The person or entity making the gift (grantor or donor) is responsible for paying the federal gift tax; however, if the donor does not pay the gift tax, the donee (grantee) will be held liable [1]. For questions regarding state and federal tax laws, consult a tax specialist.

In accordance with federal law, individuals are permitted an annual exclusion of $15,000 on gifts. This means that gifts valued below $15,000 do not require a federal gift tax return (Form 709). However, if the gift's value could possibly be disputed by the IRS, a donor may benefit from filing a Form 709 [2].

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Contact a Louisiana lawyer with any questions about gift deeds or other matters related to real property.

[1] http://msuextension.org/publications/FamilyFinancialManagement/MT199105HR.pdf
[2] https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes

Deeds.com Louisiana Gift Deed Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Friday September 18, 2020

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Louisiana Gift Deed Form