Transfer of land can be achieved through various means, one of which is the transfer not-for-value method, commonly known as “love and affection transfer”. This type of transfer involves transferring ownership to any individual the registered owner chooses without any monetary exchange; transfer of land becomes a gift to that individual. There exist also the options to add an individual/individuals on title as either a joint tenant or tenants-in-common or to remove one or more individuals on title by transferring their respective interest to another, or finally, to transfer the property in its entirety to one or more persons.
When considering land transfers, individuals may choose the transfer not for value option for the following reasons:
1. Natural Love and Affection for another
A registered owner may choose to add a close family member, friend, or an associate on Title because of the natural love and affection he/she has for that individual. This is often with the intention of bestowing the gift or benefits of land ownership to that loved one.
This option of transfer is available for registered owners who wish to provide their loved ones with the benefit of land ownership while they are still alive or to ensure their loved ones’ entitlement to a share, or the whole, of their property on death. This can offer a sense of security that upon the registered owner’s death there is a ‘gift’ to be gained with minimal costs and fees to pay.
2. Cost Saving Incentives via LAMD
By utilizing the services of the Land Administration and Management Division (LAMD) or an Attorney certified by LAMD, individuals can benefit from cost-saving incentives for transfer not for value applications. The incentive is a waiver of Transfer Tax (2% of the market value of the interest in land being transferred) and stamp duty, which would be mandatory fees applicable if this route was not being utilized. The registration fee to endorse the transfer on Title, a flat rate, payable at the Title’s Office, remains the same regardless of the route taken.
LAMD is a division of the National Land Agency, responsible for non-systematic (ad hoc) land registration matters under the Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification Special Provisions Act (SPA) including Certification, Applications for Section 5 Waivers and Applications to the Adjudication Committee. With the assistance of LAMD, close family members are now able to benefit from minimal cost and to transfer land to loved ones with whom they have a familial relationship. Therefore, Paul is now able to add his daughter Kim to his $45M property as joint tenants, with the benefit of having the Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty waived. This is true also for an aunt wanting to transfer to a niece, and a brother wanting to transfer to his sister. When providing the relevant documents in support of one’s application to LAMD, it is mandatory to provide a Proof of Relationship Form. This Form is a declaration outlining the context of the surrounding relationship.
3. Simplicity in Procedure (Avoid Probate Cost)
The love and affection transfer offers a simplified and straightforward process, making it an attractive option for property owners. In contrast to distributing property through a Will, which may necessitate an application for grant of probate and involve a lengthy process, a love and affection transfer can be implemented while the property owner is alive. This expedites the transfer and allows the receiver/transferee to assume ownership without delays associated with probate.
4. Immediate Transfer
Once the Transfer Instrument is stamped evidencing payment of the relevant transfer tax and stamp duty or waiver of same via LAMD and by virtue of the SPA, this enables the immediate transfer of property ownership to a loved one. This promptness can be advantageous when securing the property’s future or when the recipient requires timely access to the property for personal or financial reasons. The endorsement of the transfer on Title is final and best.
A love and affection transfer offers a practical and cost-effective way to transfer land to another where there is no monetary exchange. This method of transfer ensures a straightforward and timely transfer of property ownership thus avoiding the complexities and expenses associated with probate proceedings once a loved one passes away. Lastly, by utilizing the services of LAMD or an Attorney certified by LAMD, there are cost-saving incentives and benefits for transferring properties to a loved one.
As with any legal transaction, individuals considering transfer not for value should seek professional advice and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
The information provided in this Article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information and content, are for general informational purposes only.
By: Sade Hall