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Massachusetts Agencies

Deeds between Spouses


Prior to Chapter 304 of the Acts of 1912 (effective March 21, 1912) a wife could not be a grantee in a deed from her husband. See Atkins v. Atkins, 195 Mass. 124, 80 N.E. 806 (1907); see also Livingstone v. Murphy, 187 Mass. 315, 72 N.E. 1012 (1905). Thereafter the relevant statute (G.L.c. 209, §3) was amended to permit conveyances between spouses, but the conveyance was not effective until the deed was acknowledged and recorded.[1] As amended, the statute was interpreted in such a way that if the grantor died before the deed was recorded it was of no effect. See Erickson v. White, 288 Mass. 451, 193 N.E. 25 (1934). The statute was amended in 1975 to remove even this impediment as to interspousal transfers.

1 A deed between non-spouses is effective to pass title as between them upon delivery.