Qualifications of a capable grantor and identification in the deed

A grantor of property needs to be capable of conveying an interest in real estate at the time the deed is signed for the deed to be an enforceable conveyance. [Calif. Civil Code §38; Calif. Family Code §6701]

To be capable, the grantor at the time the deed is signed needs to:

  • be of sound mind;
  • possess their civil rights; and
  • be an adult at least 18 years of age. [CC §1556]

However, an exception exists to the “18 or over” age qualification. An emancipated minor is considered an adult capable of transferring an interest in real estate. [Fam C §7050(e)(3)]

The grant provision in a deed needs to identify each person who is conveying an interest in the property. If a conveyance such as a deed is signed by a person who is not named as the grantor, the deed does not convey that person’s interest in the property.

The identity of the grantor in the provision containing words of conveyance needs to be certain, determined by an examination of the entire deed, not just the signatures. [Childs v. Newfield (1934) 136 CA 217]

For example, a deed identifies several individuals as grantors in the grant provision and the document contains their signatures. However, the list of grantors named in the deed’s grant provision is incomplete to convey full title. Several unnamed individuals also have an ownership interest in the property.

Further, the signatures on the grant deed include all the individuals who are co-owners of the property — even though some are not named as grantors in the grant provision.

In this instance, the deed transfers only the ownership and title held by those owners named as grantors in the grant provision in the deed. The deed by its wording does not show the necessary intent to convey title by the unnamed owners who were not listed as grantors and also signed the deed. [Roberts v. Abbott (1920) 48 CA 779]

On recording, the county recorder will only index as grantors those persons listed in the grant provisions since only they conveyed their interests in the real estate.