Q: Is a real estate deed still valid if it was never recorded?
My father recently passed away. About 5 years ago my father told me that he recorded a new deed for his house. The new deed transferred ownership from him, to him and me, with joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. We found the original deed in his house, it was completed and notarized. We went to the Suffolk County Clerk's Office and found that the new deed had never been recorded. His sole ownership deed was the last deed recorded. There is no mention of the house in his will.
I wanted to know if the joint tenancy deed was still valid and that it could it be recorded?
A: Yes it can be recorded and must be recorded to pass title. However recording a deed post death could open up a challenge from other heirs if sny.
A: An unrecorded deed is still valid and should be recorded asap, as NYS is a "race" state meaning of two valid deeds, the first filed has priority even if the other was more recent. Upon the death of one joint tenant, the survivor automatically obtains full ownership. Also, although there is no mention of the house in a will, if the unrecorded deed were to be successfully challenged, the old deed which was filed and valid and solely in the name of the deceased should control, and the residuary clause in the will should determine the recipient(s) of that asset or share of the asset. Of course, all this is without knowing all the facts, and for that reason you should consult with a local attorney for detailed review.
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