Of what legal value is an agreement whereby someone undertakes to transfer real estate into someone else’s name as a gift ? Can the real estate owner change his/her mind ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 02 May, 2022
If transfer of title has not yet been made in the appropriate real estate register, then the principles of the Gift Law apply in such a situation. An agreement such as the one described above is, in essence, “ an undertaking to make a gift” .Under the act such an undertaking should be in writing. As long as the position of the intended recipient has not changed for the worse because he/she relied on the undertaking, the intended donor is free to withdraw his/her undertaking because of the former’s exceptionally bad behaviour towards him/her or his/her family, or because the financial situation of the donor has deteriorated markedly.
Relying on the above principles, the Tel Aviv District Court rejected an appeal by a son against the family court’s refusal to enforce an agreement he had made with his father whereby the latter undertook to transfer the family apartment into the son’s name as a gift. The respondent had gone back on his undertaking, but rights in the property had not been transferred into the son’s name . Accordingly, he had been entitled to change his mind . The son had not proved that he had suffered by relying on the undertaking.
Furthermore, it was shown that a remark existed in the Lands Registry preventing the father from transferring rights in the apartment, which he had inherited in a will, into one of his children’s names – with or without payment.