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Livery of seisin is no longer necessary for the conveyance of real property and a writing is sufficient to effectuate such a conveyance. Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 30, para. 1 (1977).
By means of a conveyance, the real estate involved in the instant case was conveyed to Gustav, Agnes, Ida and Frieda Grassman as joint tenants. Gustav and Frieda died, leaving decedent, Agnes Grassman, and defendant, Frieda Grassman, surviving. Defendant executed and recorded a deed which conveyed the land from herself as grantor to herself as grantee. Minonk State Bank, as administrator with will annexed of the estate of the decedent, filed an action, seeking a declaratory judgment that plaintiff's decedent was the owner of an undivided one-half interest in certain real estate and that defendant was a tenant in common with decedent in the ownership of the property, and not a joint tenant with right of survivorship. The administrator sought partition of, and authority to sell, the real estate. The circuit court entered judgment declaring that the joint owner was the sole surviving joint tenant. The appellate court reversed and remanded, holding that a joint tenant may unilaterally sever a joint tenancy, that the conveyance effectuated the termination of the joint tenancy, and that the decedent was a tenant in common with an undivided one-half interest in the real estate. Defendant sought review of the decision.
By conveying the property to herself, did the defendant sever the joint tenancy, thereby making the defendant a tenant in common with the decedent in the ownership of the property?
On further appeal, the court affirmed the decision of the appellate court. The court noted that under the circumstances, the decedent and the defendant originally held the property as joint tenants. The defendant then recorded a deed that conveyed the land from herself as grantor to herself as grantee. The court held that livery of seisin was no longer necessary for the conveyance of real property and that a writing was sufficient. Whatever problem a conveyance to oneself presented to the common law feoffment ceremony, it presented no problem to the present system. The court held that the defendant severed the joint tenancy by conveying the property to herself. The record did not show that either party gave consideration for the creation of the joint tenancy or relied, to her detriment, on its continued existence.