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Like the current provision, former § 689.11, Fla. Stat. (1993), allows conveyances of real property, including homestead property, between spouses, and does not require the grantee spouse to join in such conveyances. But a spouse's attempt to convey the remainder interest to another party is ineffective without the other spouse's joinder. Florida's Constitution requires that both spouses join in alienating homestead property in favor of any third party. Art. X, § 4(c), Fla. Const. It is clear that both spouses must join in a conveyance of a homestead owned by one spouse to a third party. A purported transfer of the homestead, not in compliance with constitutional requirements, is void.
The decedent executed a warranty deed naming himself and his wife as grantees of their homestead property and stating that the survivor of them would convey the property to his daughter. Upon the death of the decedent, the wife purported to convey the property to herself and to her grandson. The daughter sued for declaratory and other relied. The trial court granted summary judgment to the daughter, ruling that the decedent, who died intestate, intended by his deed to convey a life estate to himself and appellant wife, as tenants by the entireties, with, upon the death of the survivor of them, the remainder over to the daughter. The wife and appellant, her grandson, sought review.
Did the decedent effectively convey the homestead interest to the daughter?
The appellate court agreed with the trial court that the decedent intended the deed to convey a life estate to himself and his wife, as tenants by the entireties, with, upon the death of the survivor of them, the remainder over to his daughter. However, under art. X, § 4(c), Fla. Const., the decedent's attempt to convey the remainder interest to his daughter was ineffective because his wife did not join in the conveyance. Therefore, the conveyance to the daughter failed and the remainder vested in his lineal descendants--including his daughter--per stirpes, pursuant to §§ 732.104 and 732.401(1), Fla. Stat. (2000).