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Inter vivos: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is an Inter vivos ?

Inter vivos is a Latin phrase that literally means 'between the living.' In legal terms, it refers to something that happens while people are alive. It's most commonly used to describe a transfer or gift that someone gives to another person while they're still alive. This is different from something that is given after they pass away, which is usually done through a will.

An interesting fact about inter vivos transfers is that they are often used to avoid probate, the legal process that happens after someone dies to distribute their property. Probate can be a long and costly process, so some people choose to give away their property while they're still alive to avoid this.


  • Key Element Description
    Inter vivos gift A father gives his son a piece of land while he is still alive.
    Inter vivos trust A woman sets up a trust fund for her grandchildren that becomes effective during her lifetime.
    Inter vivos loan A friend lends another friend money, with the agreement that it will be paid back while they are both alive.