An obligation to grant an apartment as a gift may be cancelled if not yet recorded at the Land Registry

April 23, 2019
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A 90-year-old man gave his apartment as a present to a young woman who helped him with household chores but contended that it was agreed that if his financial situation worsened he would get the apartment back. The parties also signed a prenuptial agreement that did not address the possibility of returning the apartment. The woman agreed to give up the gift in return for ILS 250,000, but later withdrew her consent.
The Court held that the gift transaction is cancelled. A prenuptial agreement between spouses is invalid if it is not attested by a notary public or by the Family Court and therefore there is no meaning to that agreement between the parties. A gift transaction may be conditional on a condition that allows cancellation of the gift if the condition is not fulfilled and may be an obligation to grant a gift in the future, in which case it may be cancelled if the recipient did not change his situation for the worse or the grantor waived this right. Additionally, and subject to the prior sentence, the grantor may withdraw from the obligation to grant the gift if the withdrawal is justified due to disgraceful conduct by the recipient of the gift toward the grantor or his relative or due to a significant deterioration in the financial condition of the grantor. A gift in real estate becomes irrevocable once recorded with the Land Authority. However, as far as the gift concerns a right to be recorded in the future as owner of land, the gift is finalized as soon as it is given and there is no need for recording. Here there was no change for the worse in the condition of the woman and there was an agreement by her to cancel the gift and therefore the gift was canceled.