Query: I own a plot of land purchased from my own income and i wish to give it to one of my two sons. Please advice: Which is better: A will or a gift deed?
Before suggesting any solution, it would be important to know what exactly gift deed or will is. Transfer of property made voluntarily without any consideration by one person on the name of the other is gift deed. A person who transfers the property is known as donor and the person on whose name the property is transferred is known as donee.
It is important that the donee should accept the property gifted to him. A gift deed is drawn during the lifetime of the donor. If the donor dies before the gift deed is accepted then, the gift deed becomes void. It is important that the property you are donating as gift deed is earned by you or is a part of your share in the ancestral property.
As far as will is concerned it is the legal declaration in which a person drawing the will can name one or any number of persons as beneficiary of his various assets including property and funds. Will comes into play only after the death of the testator.
Comparison between gift deed and Will
Both gift deed and Will are different as legal instruments. A ‘Will’ is always revocable, even though it is registered or not whereas, gift deed once given is irrevocable. The revocable term implies that if a person after drawing a Will changes his intentions; he can again execute a very new Will. However, law does not allow the donor to make a new gift deed or change his decision.
In this case, once you have made the decision to gift deed the plot to either of your son, you will lose all the ownership on it. On the other hand, if you nominate any of your sons as the beneficiary of the plot, he will be the owner of it only after you are no more. In between, if you want to change the decision, a Will provides you the scope for it.
Now, depending upon your relationship with either of your son, you can decide to opt for Will or gift deed. Along with the legal implications, the stamp duties and taxes that these procedures attract should also be considered while deciding which is better: A will or gift deed?