Spoiler: REAL PROPERTY
The owner of undeveloped land had his attorney prepare a deed transferring the land to his niece as a surprise. The uncle signed the deed and had his attorney record it. However, before the uncle delivered the deed to his niece, the two had a falling out. After the man’s death, the niece learned about the deed when it was found among her uncle’s papers. She transferred her interest in the land by quitclaim deed to a good faith buyer for valuable consideration. The buyer promptly recorded this deed. By will, the owner left his real property to a nephew.
The recording statute in the applicable jurisdiction states: “Any conveyance of an interest in land shall not be valid against any subsequent purchaser for value, without notice thereof, whose conveyance is recorded.”
Who owns the land?
A. The nephew, because he was the devisee of the owner’s real property.
B. The nephew, because the buyer’s interest in the land was obtained through a quitclaim deed.
C. The buyer, because the uncle’s deed to his niece was recorded.
D. The buyer, because the buyer gave valuable consideration for the niece’s interest.
Incorrect: Answer choice A is correct. The uncle retained ownership of the land at his death because he never delivered the deed to his niece, and thus did not complete the gift. Accordingly, the land passed by will to his nephew. Answer choice B is incorrect because the property could have been transferred by quitclaim deed if the niece had owned it. The transfer of a real property interest through a quitclaim deed does not by itself place the transferee on notice as to a problem with the transferor’s ownership of the transferred property. Instead, a quitclaim deed merely limits the liability of the transferor. Answer choice C is incorrect because, although the recording of a deed generally protects a person who buys the property from the record owner, the recording of a deed does not validate an otherwise invalid transfer. Here, since the uncle did not complete the gift to his niece by delivering the deed to her, she did not obtain ownership of the land and therefore could not sell it to a third party. Answer choice D is incorrect because, although a good faith purchaser of real property from the record owner is generally protected from other claimants to the property, in this case the record owner never obtained ownership of the land.
Doesn't recording it serve as a means of delivery and therefore the conveyance of the property to the niece was proper. I am pretty sure in the outline it says having someone record it has the same effect of delivery.