An instrument will not operate as a conveyance of the legal title to an interest in land unless it designates an individual or entity authorized by statute as grantee who is (a) in existence and (b) has the capacity to take and hold the legal title to land at the time of the conveyance. A deed will not pass the legal title if the grantee is: (1) designated in the alternate, (2) unborn, (3) a deceased person or (4) any other entity not in existence.
Comment 1. A deed to an incompetent or minor is good, since the same restrictions which apply to incompetent or minor grantors do not apply to grantees.
Comment 2. If a deed does not pass legal title to the purported grantee or grantees, the legal title remains in the grantor.
Comment 3. A corporation is not in existence for purposes of taking legal title unless a current certificate of good standing is recorded or is otherwise available or obtainable. See 11A V.S.A. §§ 2.03, 3.02(4).
Comment 4. Where a de facto partnership exists as evidenced by a Tradename Registration with the Vermont Secretary of State (11 V.S.A. §1621), a deed to the tradename shall be a conveyance to the partnership.
Comment 5. Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. §118, a grantor “may include every person by or from whom an estate or interest in land is passed in or by a deed” and a grantee “may include every person to whom such estate or interest passes.” A “person” is defined as “any natural person, corporation, municipality, the State of Vermont or any department, agency or subdivision of the State and any partnership, unincorporated association or other legal entity.” 1 V.S.A. §128.
Comment 6. A conveyance that names an estate, guardian, or trust as the grantee of an interest is a valid and effective conveyance to the personal representative, the ward, or the trustee of the trust. See, 27 V.S.A. §351.
March 29, 2000 Comment 5 revised by incorporating the statutory definition of grantee and grantor.
September 26, 2008 Standard was revised to omit the prohibition against conveyances to “an estate” or to “a trust” considering the enactment of 27 V.S.A. 351 validating such conveyances. See 2003, Act 150 (Adj. Sess.) §3.
September, 2016 New Comment 6 – Added.