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Gift Inter Vivos


Gift Inter Vivos is a Latin term that literally translates to “between the living.” In financial and legal contexts, it refers to a gift or transfer of property made voluntarily and without any expectation of compensation by one living individual to another. It’s often used in estate planning to reduce estate tax liability.


Gift Inter Vivos phonetically is pronounced as: “gift in-ter vi-vohs”

Key Takeaways

1. Definition: ‘Gift Inter Vivos’ is a legal term in Latin, which means “gift between the living”. It refers to the voluntary and immediate transfer of property or assets from one living individual to another, without any expectation of compensation or remuneration.

2. Irrevocability: Unlike a ‘gift causa mortis’ (gift given in contemplation of impending death), a gift inter vivos is usually irrevocable, that is, it cannot be taken back by the donor once it has been given, except with the express consent of the recipient.

3. Legal Requirements: For such gifts to be legally effective, three conditions must generally be fulfilled – the donor must intend to give the gift in the present, the gift must be accepted by the recipient, and the gift must be delivered to the recipient. Thus, a gift inter vivos represents a significant and lasting commitment from the donor.


Gift Inter Vivos is an important term in business and finance particularly in matters involving wealth transfer and estate planning. It denotes a gift given during the lifetime of the person giving the gift (the donor), as opposed to a gift given after their deaths, typically detailed in a will. The significance lies in the potential tax implications. In many jurisdictions, such gifts may be subject to gift tax laws but also potentially help to reduce the size of the estate to reduce the eventual estate tax upon death. Additionally, strategic use of Gift Inter Vivos can serve to manage succession planning in businesses, ensuring smooth transition of ownership and control. Therefore, understanding the concept of Gift Inter Vivos is essential for any financial planning or wealth management process.


Gift Inter Vivos is a significant tool used in estate planning and asset transfer throughout life. It’s a Latin term that translates to “gifts between the living” , and is used to describe a transfer or gift that is given during the lifetime of the donor and recipient, instead of a transfer occurring from the donor’s will or via inheritance upon the donor’s death. Typically, these gifts are directed towards family members or close friends, and act as an effective method to instantly transfer wealth or reduce the donor’s taxable estate.The purpose of such a gift can vary widely based on the donor’s individual circumstances and financial objectives. In many instances, a Gift Inter Vivos can serve as a strategic means for wealth redistribution without the possibilities of the property being subject to estate taxes upon the donor’s demise. This legal device is also commonly used to support loved ones in need of immediate financial aid or to contribute aid to charitable organizations during the donor’s lifetime. Therefore, the Gift Inter Vivos can offer the donor a considerable degree of control, flexibility and tax efficiency in managing their wealth distribution while they are still alive. Additionally, the donor also enjoys the sentimental satisfaction of seeing their gifts being used or appreciated in real-time.


1. Real Estate Property Transfer: In a common scenario, parents may decide to transfer ownership of their real estate property to their child as a Gift Inter Vivos. Using this method, the parents, as the donors, willingly transfer their property ownership to their child, the recipient, without any expectation of receiving monetary compensation in return.2. Stock Transfer: In another instance, an individual owning shares in a company might decide to transfer a considerable amount of their portfolio to their spouse, child, or friend as a gift. This is usually done with the intention of sharing their wealth or helping the recipient financially. 3. Artwork or Jewelry Gifts: An art collector who owns a substantial collection of artwork or valuable jewelry might decide to give this to a dear friend or a family member while he’s still alive. Even though the items have huge monetary value, if there’s no payment expected or involved, it falls under the premise of a Gift Inter Vivos.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Gift Inter Vivos?

Gift Inter Vivos is a legal term that refers to a gift given during the lifetime of the person giving the gift. This is opposed to a gift given through a will or after the giver’s death.

How does a Gift Inter Vivos work?

A Gift Inter Vivos is a transfer of ownership from one person (the donor) to another (the donee) that takes effect while the donor is still alive. The donor gives up all rights to the property gifted, and it becomes the property of the donee.

Do I need a lawyer to make a Gift Inter Vivos?

While it is not mandatory to have a lawyer to make an Inter Vivos gift, it can be beneficial due to the possible legal and financial complications that may arise, especially in case of a high-value property.

How does a Gift Inter Vivos differ from a will?

The difference between a Gift Inter Vivos and a will is when the gift takes effect. A Gift Inter Vivos is effective immediately, during the donor’s lifetime. A will, on the other hand, only takes effect after the person’s death.

Are there tax implications with Gift Inter Vivos?

Yes, there can be tax implications with Gift Inter Vivos, as it may be subject to gift tax. The specifics of the tax implications often depend on the value of the gift and the jurisdiction in which the gift is made.

Can a Gift Inter Vivos be revoked?

Generally, a Gift Inter Vivos, once completed, cannot be revoked by the donor. One exception might be if the gift was made under duress or if the donor was deceived or misled when making the gift.

Can a Gift Inter Vivos be used as an estate planning tool?

Yes, giving a Gift Inter Vivos could potentially be an effective estate planning tool. By gifting assets during one’s lifetime, an individual can reduce the size of their taxable estate.

How do I document a Gift Inter Vivos?

To document a Gift Inter Vivos, you typically need a Gift Deed or a letter detailing the gift, the intention to make a gift, and that the gift is being accepted. Some items require more formal documentation, such as title deeds for properties or cars, so a lawyer’s advice would be recommended.

Related Finance Terms

  • Donor: The person who gives the property or assets as a gift.
  • Donee: The person who receives the assets or property as a gift.
  • Gift Deed: Legal document used to document the volitional transfer of a gift from the donor to the donee.
  • Irrevocable Gift: A gift that cannot be taken back once it’s given.
  • Gift Tax: Tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value in return.

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