Grantee the Person Who Receives the Deed

The person who receives from the grantor a conveyance of real property. The grantee must be a person, either natural or otherwise, who exists at the time of the conveyance and is capable of taking title. As a general rule, grantors cannot convey title to themselves alone. They may, however, convey title to themselves and others; for example, John Flint conveys title to John Flint and George Spark as joint tenants.

Some general applications of these principles are:

  • If the grantee is dead at the time of delivery of the deed, the deed is void. (Delivery is deemed to have taken place when the executed deed is placed in escrow, not necessarily when it is actually delivered to the grantee.)
  • If the grantee is a corporation, an informal club, or a society that did not file its incorporation papers prior to delivery of the deed, the deed is void for lack of a competent grantee.
  • A deed conveying an estate to the heirs of a living person is void, in that no person can be an heir during the lifetime of his or her ancestor. (The correct wording would be “to Joe Thompson and his heirs and assigns . . .”)
  • When the grantee’s name has been omitted, the deed generally is ineffective to convey full title until the name is filled in with the grantor’s permission.
When title is transferred to multiple grantees there are many possible variations of title ownership. For example, if a mother and father buy a home with their daughter and son-in-law, title may be held as follows: “To James Borders and Carol Borders, husband and wife, as joint tenants, an undivided one-third interest and Tom Jones and Sara Jones, husband and wife, as tenants by the entirety, an undivided two-thirds interest of Lot 123 . . .” Thus upon the death of James Borders, Carol will own a one-third undivided interest as tenant in common with Tom and Sara Jones, who continue to own their two-thirds undivided interest as tenants by the entirety.

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