• Robert Hobkirk

Estate Planning: Lifetime Gifts

Lifetime Gifts are gifts of personal or real property that are made during a person's lifetime.

Personal property is all property that isn’t considered real property; it is property that is “moveable.” It must be made in writing, being duly acknowledged and recorded, or the actual possession must pass to (and stay with) the gift recipient in order to be considered a valid lifetime gift. For example, if your mother gifts your grandfather’s WWII Medals (personal property) to you and you keep them in your own house (possession has passed and remains), this would be considered a valid lifetime gift of personal property.

Real property is real estate or interests in real estate; it is fixed property, principally land and buildings. If a person wants to gift real property, there must be a properly executed deed or instrument of conveyance that is delivered by the person making the gift. This must be signed, notarized, and be recorded at the county recorder’s office. For example, if your mother wants to gift you 8 acres of land, she must make sure to execute and deliver a deed to you; she would need to make sure the deed is signed, notarized, and recorded in order to make sure the 8 acres is properly gifted to you.

Contact the experienced attorneys at Brown & Hobkirk for any questions about personal or real property that you have been gifted or that you would like to gift as part of your estate plan.