Freehold, NJ asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New Jersey

Q: Question regarding a one dollar property deed transfer and a life estate right on the same document

I have a deed where the grantor transferred property to grantee for 1$. In the same deed the second sentence is that the grantor conveys a Life Estate to the grantee for his natural life. The grantor later made a will and left the same property to the different person, and no taxes of any type where ever paid for $1 property transfer by any party.

Question: Who will be the property owner after grantee's death? beneficiaries of the grantor , or beneficiaries of the grantee's?

2 Lawyer Answers
Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: The owner of the property is the party named as the grantee in the recorded deed subject to the life estate.

Peter J. Weinman
Peter J. Weinman pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You said the grantor conveyed a life estate to the grantee but you probably meant "grantor**." Anyway, provided the earlier deed was recorded (you did not specify - you only said you had it) the grantor's Will matters not because AT MOST he retained a life estate that dies with him, leaving nothing for his will to dispose of. As for the deed reflecting “one dollar and other good and valuable consideration” or something similar, this language is there to recite consideration - it's usually not the actual price paid. And, this also has no bearing on ownership. Assuming the grantor retained a life estate, the grantee becomes the "full" owner on the day grantor dies.

** If you did not mean grantor, please rephrase the question because I don't follow.

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