Is a quitclaim deed valid if it’s not recorded?

Shortly after my grandmother’s passing, we found a copy of a Life Estate Quit-Claim Deed in her home. The paperwork was signed and if I understand correctly, it seemed that she sold her home (which she owned completely) to my father for $1.00 without him knowing it. The paperwork was submitted to probate and they said the property ownership was transferred to my father the moment she passed. My father’s sister is contesting it, she claims because it was never recorded. Is this true, if so, what are the steps we need to take?

Asked on July 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a deed is valid when it is signed and notarized.  Some states may have different rules.  The issues is the chain of title and the recording of the deed.  A deed that is not recorded causes confusion as to what is called the "chain of title" but it can be recorded at any time. I think that you should record the deed and seek help of a lawyer.  Good luck.

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