Sweeney v. Sweeney

126 Conn. 391, 11 A.2d 806 (1940)

 

RULE:

In determining whether a deed was actually delivered to a person, the execution of the attestation clause was prima facie proof that the deed was delivered. There is a rebuttable presumption that the grantee assented since the deed was beneficial to him. Where deeds are formally executed and delivered, these presumptions can be overcome only by evidence that no delivery was in fact intended.

FACTS:

The decedent and his defendant brother executed two deeds. One conveyed the property owned by the decedent to the brother, and the other conveyed it back to the decedent. This second deed was destroyed in a fire, and the decedent's wife brought this action against the brother. The brother claimed that the deed conveying the property back to the decedent was to have effect only if the brother predeceased the decedent. On appeal, the court reversed the trial court judgment in favor of the brother, and remanded the case for new trial because the second deed was delivered to the decedent. The alleged condition was inoperative because the delivery was not made to a third party to hold for the parties pending some future event. 

ISSUE:

Was the second deed delivered, and was the condition claimed to be attached to the delivery operative?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The execution of the attestation clause was prima facie proof that the deed was delivered. There is a rebuttable presumption that the grantee assented since the deed was beneficial to him. No fact is found which militates against this presumption. Where deeds are formally executed and delivered, these presumptions can be overcome only by evidence that no delivery was in fact intended. The only purpose in making the deed expressed by either party was the statement by Maurice that it was to protect him in case John predeceased him. Since this purpose would have been defeated had there been no delivery with intent to pass title, this conclusively establishes the fact that there was a legal delivery.

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