“Gift inter vivos” is a Latin term that translates to “gift between the living” in English. In legal and estate planning contexts, it refers to a gift made by a living person (the donor or grantor) to another individual or entity (the donee or recipient). This type of gift is distinguished from gifts made in a will (testamentary gifts), which take effect upon the donor’s death.

Here are key points related to a gift inter vivos:

1. **Voluntary Transfer:**
– A gift inter vivos is a voluntary transfer of property, assets, or funds from one person to another during the donor’s lifetime. The donor must have the intent to make a gift, and the recipient must accept the gift.

2. **Legal Requirements:**
– For a gift to be valid, certain legal requirements must be met. These include:
– **Intent:** The donor must intend to make a gift.
– **Delivery:** There must be a transfer or delivery of the property or assets.
– **Acceptance:** The donee must accept the gift.
– **Consideration:** Unlike a contract, a gift does not require consideration (something of value in return).

3. **Irrevocability:**
– In many cases, a gift inter vivos is irrevocable, meaning that once the donor transfers the property to the donee, they cannot take it back without the donee’s consent. However, some exceptions or conditions may allow for the revocation of certain gifts.

4. **Types of Gifts:**
– Gifts inter vivos can take various forms, including the transfer of real estate, personal property, cash, securities, or other assets. The nature of the gift depends on the donor’s intentions and the type of property involved.

5. **Estate Planning:**
– Making gifts inter vivos is a common strategy in estate planning. By gifting assets during their lifetime, individuals can reduce the size of their taxable estate, potentially minimizing estate taxes and ensuring a smoother transfer of wealth to heirs.

6. **Tax Implications:**
– While gifts themselves are generally not taxable to the recipient, there may be gift tax implications for the donor. Gift tax laws vary by jurisdiction, and certain exemptions and exclusions may apply.

7. **Documentation:**
– While not always legally required, documenting gifts inter vivos can be advisable. A written record of the gift, such as a gift deed for real estate or a written statement for cash gifts, can help clarify the donor’s intent and avoid potential disputes.

8. **Medicaid Planning:**
– Gifts inter vivos may also be considered in the context of Medicaid planning. However, it’s important to be aware of Medicaid’s look-back period, during which certain asset transfers could affect eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

It’s crucial for individuals considering gifts inter vivos, especially those with complex financial situations, to consult with legal and financial professionals. These professionals can provide guidance on the legal requirements, tax implications, and potential benefits associated with inter vivos gifts.