Massachusetts Agencies


Deeds and Conveyances

The question of who is a grantor in a deed depends upon the context in which they participate in the conveyance. In Daly v. Donovan, 258 Mass. 226, 154 N.E. 579 (1927), for example, William Hamilton owned certain property. An instrument of conveyance ws prepared, but it named Christine Hamilton (William's wife) as grantor. William joined in the conveyance in a clause that stated he released to the grantee all rights of curtesy "and all other rights in" the premises. Both William and Christine signed the instrument. The question was whether the deed was good, or more precisely whether the William's participation in the instrument made it good. The court noted that the deed conveyed nothing on account of the wife's participation (because she had no title). The court also concluded that William's participation in the deed did not alter this result.

The husband is not named as a grantor, and the words "all other rights in the above-mentioned premises" are to be read with their context which relate only to the release of his right as tenant by the curtesy initiate (sic) and do not purport to convey any other interest in the land.

Daly held that since the husband's name appeared in the instrument only in the clause referencing his curtesy rights that his participation in the deed was limited to that capacity. The same result was reached in Anttila v. A. E. Lyon Co., 222 Mass. 126, 109 N.E. 950 (1915), where the court also held that where a wife was not named as a grantor in the deed, though she signed the instrument that included a clause that she released all dower and "all other rights" in the premises, the conveyance would pass no fee title.

See also the memo, Dower Release, in Deeds and Conveyances.