Lagrange, GA asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia

Q: All the deacons who signed the deed to the Church that I attend has passed away. Can we add other members to the deed?

I am the clerk of Zion Hill Baptist Church, located in Georgia. Back in February 2021, the pastor, who lives in Alabama, called the Superior Court clerk's office, in Ga., and asked that a copy of the deed be mailed to him in Alabama. There are only (2) living deacons left in our church, but their names are not on the Church deed. The congregation has concerns that our pastor is trying to use the Church deed for his own gain. We just want to know if we can add other member's names to the deed since all the original signers of the deed are dead now?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery

A: A Church Deacon is not an entity that can own real property. Trustees of the Church usually own it. Even if the present Deed uses that term for the grantees, it is incorrect.

The Church's Deacons can also be Trustees with legal ownership but for the equitable benefit of the Church Members. And Trustees die over time and need to be replaced, but you cannot record a new Deed with their added names as you need an actual conveyance.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.