What is a gift?

What exactly is a gift and what does a gift agreement look like?

The answer in detail

Everything you need to know about gifts

Has your grandfather given you his car as a gift, because his eyesight has deteriorated and he has relinquished his driver's license? Have your parents transferred their house to you for a reduced family price? In legal terms, a gift is defined as the enrichment of another person through the transfer of something from a person's assets without the corresponding compensation being paid. With a gift, you transfer an item to another third party for free, in other words without compensation. Certain formal provisions do not have to be adhered to, because as soon as the item has been transferred to the third party(ies), a so-called manual gift (donatio manualis) has been made and is thus deemed a valid legal transaction. Written gift agreements are thus very rarely seen in practice. The majority of gifts are transferred from one person to another without a written agreement.

For gifts that can no longer be qualified as a normal occasional gift, cantonal gift tax may apply. Every canton decides on its own methods and exemptions. The amount of tax varies or is even waived entirely depending on the degree of relationship between the benefactor and the recipient of the gift. For example, gifts to spouses and children of the benefactor are tax-free in most cantons. 

Our template will provide answers to your questions and can help you draw up a written gift agreement.

Important documents
Vorlage Schenkungsvertrag