Estimated reading time (in minutes)

Dynamics of donations Before making a donation, it is important to determine whether a notarial deed is required. In the case of manual donation, the transfer of ownership to a beneficiary is made by physical delivery rather than by notarial deed. These donations do not need to be declared to the tax authorities and are exempt from gift tax. However, in the event of seizure, any property given or any property remaining with the donor on site is always considered as belonging to the donor. This recent decision was rendered by the Court of  Cassation  .

Types of donations and transfer of ownership: –

Before making a donation, you must make sure whether or not it requires a notarial deed. As for the manual donation, the donation is made by the actual handing over of a property to a rightful claimant and not by notarial deed. This donation does not have to be brought to the attention of the tax authorities and is exempt from donation duties. However, in the event of seizure, the goods donated or left behind by the donor are considered as still belonging to the latter. This is what the Court of Cassation has just decided.

Legal Implications and Jurisprudential Rulings: –

In this case, a debtor was the subject of a seizure and sale of furniture located in his home. To oppose their sale, he argued that they were no longer his property following the manual gift he had made to his daughters eight years earlier and therefore elusive. The Court of Cassation did not follow his reasoning and considered that he had remained the owner. For the Court, in the absence of delivery of the property by the donor to the beneficiary, the manual donation is not constituted. It does not matter that this donation has been declared to the  tax authorities  .

Remember that if a donation requires a notarial deed, the manual donation is exempt. In return, case law requires that the donated property be materially transferred into the hands of the beneficiary for the donation to be constituted.

DAMY Law Firm