Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

once a parent has signed the Deed to include their sons name with a notary,and it submitted to the city to issue a new deed, can the parent change their mind and take the sons name off ,without the sons consent, because they are not getting along.

Asked on 7/20/13, 2:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Joel Selik

No, though there may be ways Other ways to contest or reverse the transfer.

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Answered on 7/20/13, 2:54 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

A properly-executed deed, once signed and delivered to the grantee, has done its work to transfer title to the extent shown in the deed. Even if both the grantor and the grantee want to un-do the work of the deed, and mutually tear up and burn the deed, that doesn't reverse the grant made by the now-destroyed deed. The only way to un-do a deed, once signed and delivered, is for the grantee to write up a new deed, granting the property back to the original owner, and then deliver it.

Note, however, there are some requirements for all of this to happen. First, the deed must be properly executed. It must identify the parties and the property, be free from fraud, and perhaps meet some other criteria. If not, the paper isn't a "properly-executed deed" and might not convey title.

Next, note that "delivery" is required. "Delivery" of a deed from the grantor to the grantee is a highly technical concept, and would require many paragraphs of explanation, but in brief summary, it means that the grantor places the executed deed in the hands of the grantee, either directly or by giving it to the grantee's agent (perhaps a real estate salesperson) with the present intent to transfer title. Recording a deed with the county recorder raises a presumption of legal delivery to the grantee, but the presumption is rebuttable. On the other hand, if you truly submitted the deed to the city -- cities don't record deeds -- and not to the county recorder of deeds, that presumption probably doesn't even arise.

In short, you have probably irrevocably conveyed whatever interest is described in the deed, but there are several possibilities that could be explored to establish that the transfer did not ever occur.

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Answered on 7/21/13, 1:30 pm

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