Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

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Latest post 05-29-2007 11:20 AM by Fxston. 5 replies.
  • 05-27-2007 1:40 PM

    Question [=?] Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

    My mother and I signed a deed two days ago in her attorney's office which transfered land owned by my deceased grandfather to my sister and I as co-owners of the property. My sister was not present to sign the deed, and so only my Mother and I signed the deed in the presence of her attorney and his assistant. The deed was not notarized, and the attorney told us he would hold the deed for my sister to come to his office and sign it. In the meantime, my Mother and I had an argument, and she has indicated that she has decided not to deed the property to us. Can she legally void the deed after she, the grantor, and I, one of the two grantees, have signed the document? She also signed an affadavit in addition to the deed. Please advise....
  • 05-27-2007 2:30 PM In reply to

    re: Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

    Common sense tells me that until the deed change is officially recorded at the town clerk's office, it's not legally binding. So yes, until that's done, your mother can change her mind. However, I'm not a lawyer.
  • 05-27-2007 2:51 PM In reply to

    re: Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

    I think points of law will say that a deed IS LEGAL without being recorded, if it is prepared properly. This point of having in recorded is to get it in line so that other persons don’t file liens or claims ahead of it.
    My understanding of deeds, is that only the Grantor(s) are required to sign and notarize the deed. And, in fact, the receiving party(s), the grantees, do NOT have to have signatures on the deeds.

    So I don’t understand the point of you and your sister being “present to sign the deed”.
    I don’t know if an attorney can himself authenticate a signature like a notary would, someone else will have to answer that. If this attorney is hired by your mother, I suppose it is possible they may tear up the deed if it hasn’t been recorded. It certainly is advisable, any time you’re receiving a deed, to have it in your little hot hands and personally take it to the Recorder’s office to have it recorded.
  • 05-29-2007 8:27 AM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,585

    re: Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

    The notary is NOT the issue as I see it and besides the notary cannot properly attest to the two prior signatures--the technical issue as this layman sees it is that there has NOT been delivery of the deed to you! It doesn't count until its delivered!

    There may be other issues--but you picked the wrong time to have a disagreement with Mom!

  • 05-29-2007 11:19 AM In reply to

    re: Is a signed but not notarized deed legally binding?

    You don't say what the affidavit said, but I'd discuss the mechanics of KY deeds with a local real estate attorney. It may be that it needs to be notarized, but it is true that grantees don't have to sign deeds.

  • 05-29-2007 11:20 AM In reply to

    By the way ...

    You don't say whether your mother was signing on behalf of your grandfather's estate as executor or whether she was signing over her interest in the property.

    Again, discuss all with a local real estate attorney.
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