Property Law Videos - What to do if family members cheat you in property matters?

A Will and a Gift Deed, both of them are used as instruments of transfer of intergenerational wealth. Both are very different instruments and hence offer different pros and cons each and both of them cater to different situations of transfer of wealth. A will it is relatively easy to write and it can be revoked with a new will or amended through a codicil as many times as one wants. Over the years, variants such as video wills and online wills have emerged and are acceptable in India. On the negative side, a will as an instrument is more likely to be challenged thus prolonging the process of transfer of wealth to the rightful owners than other instruments.

A gift deed is a much more efficient instrument for transferring immovable properties from one generation to another. A gift deed can be used for all asset classes. However, it derives its utility in the case of immovable properties due to the significant benefits it gives to the next generation. The positives of a gift deed are that the transfer of assets happens during the life-time of the testator (donor) and the transfer happens immediately compared with using a will which is a much longer process.

On the flip side, a gift deed is irrevocable once executed and thus does not allow for any changes even if one changes his mind. On the other hand, a will is a living document and any changes can be made till the testator is alive. There are also cost implications in the case of a gift deed for immovable properties in the form of stamp duty for registration. The stamp duty for registration of a gift deed varies from state to state but in most cases is significantly lower than the normal stamp duty and is payable usually at the circle rate or ready reckoner rates as published. Thus the effective cost of executing a gift deed is marginal given the significant benefits it offers.