Crowther v. Mower

876 P.2d 876 (Utah Ct. App. 1994)



A quit claim deed, when executed as required by law shall have the effect of a conveyance of all right, title, interest and estate of the grantor in and to the premises therein described and all rights, privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, at the date of such conveyance. Utah Code Ann. § 57-1-13 (1994).The fact that such a deed is not recorded or that recording is delayed does not affect the validity of a document with respect to the parties to the document and all other persons who have notice of the document. Utah Code Ann. § 57-3-2(3). In fact, Utah's recording laws do not make recordation a prerequisite to the validity of a deed.


The wife executed a quit claim deed conveying her interest in the property to her appellant son. The wife died while still married to the appellee husband. Six days after her death, the appellant recorded the quit claim deed. The husband instituted an action to quiet title in the property. The trial court found in the husband's favor and the son appealed. The court reversed the summary judgment in favor of the husband and remanded with instructions to enter judgment in favor of son and to enforce the terms of the quit claim deed.


Did decedent mother convey her interest even if defendant failed to record the deed prior to her death?




The court held that the wife had no interest in the property at the time of her death, having transferred her interest to her son, and the husband's ownership interest had already changed from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common. The court found that the fact that the son delayed recording the quit claim deed did not affect its validity as between him and the wife, and the delay was irrelevant to the husband's claim. The court held that as a matter of law, the evidence was uncontroverted that at the time the wife had the deed delivered, she had the present intent to convey the property. The court remanded for entry of judgment dismissing the husband's complaint with prejudice and granting the son such relief necessary to effectuate the validity of the quit claim deed.

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