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Can I record an executed quit claim deed after death of Grantor?


My father is single, elderly and quite ill. Most of my father's estate will be equally divided among the siblings upon his death. However, his will leaves a small, vacant lot to me and one brother. The lot is currently encumbered by an oil lease and oil pumping equipment. The royalties are next to nothing and we are currently trying to get the oil company to vacate or purchase the land.

The land is very difficult to valuate. Therefore, to avoid a potentially complicated probate, I thought my father could quit claim the property to me and my brother, while maintaining a life estate (to continue his interest in any royalty battles we are in with oil company). I would also want him to get the proceeds if the oil company purchases the land.

However, if the oil company agrees to buy the property, would a life estate quit claim put us in some kind of limbo with regard to selling the property? Would my dad be able to sell it? Would it fall to me and my brother to sell it? Or would none of us have the right to sell?

I thought perhaps we could avoid these issues by executing the quit claim (i.e. having my father sign the deed and getting it notarized), but not filing/recording it until after he passes. Would it still be valid?

adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Welcome lbrew,

Though your father would have the life estate rights to the property, he will not be considered as the owner of the property. You and your brother will be considered as the owner. If you plan to sell off the property, then you would require the signatures of the three of you. You should file the deed as soon as it is signed by your father.

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Sun, 06/13/2010 - 21:57

jheard's picture
jheard | Joined: December 12, 2007 08:20 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

You could do either. To sell the property with a life estate to the oil company, the "remainderman", that is the people who would get the property after the life estate, must also sign a deed.

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Mon, 06/21/2010 - 08:04

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