Texas Court docket’s Reward Deed Ruling in Leland Home v. Webb

Texas Court's Gift Deed Ruling in Leland House v. Webb

In Leland Home v. Webb, a husband sued his deceased spouse’s executor to quiet title in actual property that she obtained from her aunt. No. 06-19-00054-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 10012 (Tex. App.—Texarkana November 19, 2019, no pet. historical past). The executor argued that the switch was not a promote of property, however was a present. The trial court docket dominated for the executor, and the husband appealed. The court docket of appeals first reviewed the legislation relating to neighborhood property and presumptions regarding identical:

Usually, characterization of property is decided by the point and circumstances of its acquisition, also known as the ‘inception of title’ doctrine.” It’s presumed that property possessed by spouses throughout marriage is neighborhood property, however this presumption will be overcome by clear and convincing proof that it’s the separate property of a partner. Property a partner acquires “throughout marriage by present, devise, or descent” is separate property.

Id. The court docket then acknowledged that it was undisputed that the aunt conveyed tracts of land to the spouse whereas she was married to the husband. The court docket held that the property was presumed to be neighborhood property until clear and convincing proof demonstrated that it was a present.

The court docket then reviewed the deed conveying the property, which acknowledged:

I, ELIZABETH SPRADLEY BAUMAN, . . . for and in consideration of the love and affection which I’ve for my niece, the Grantee, have GRANTED, SOLD AND CONVEYED, and by these presents do GRANT, SELL AND CONVEY unto DIAN[N]E HOUSE . . . all the floor (with out the current merchantable timber) and mineral property within the following described actual property in Nacogdoches County, Texas, to-wit: . . . “Huge Loco Farm” . . . and “Little Farm.”

Id. The husband argued that the deed doesn’t include the phrase “present” or point out that it’s to be the spouse’s sole and separate property. The court docket disagreed:

Leland’s argument requires us to disregard the supply that the property was granted, offered, and conveyed “for and in consideration of” love and affection. In different phrases, the worth of the sale, as plainly acknowledged by the phrases of the deed, was love and affection. No additional consideration was talked about or implied. We discover Leland’s interpretation of the deed unreasonable as a result of the deed plainly states that the one consideration for the switch was love and affection for a member of the family. Bauman’s intent to present the Property to Dianne will be ascertained from the language of the deed. Subsequently, we conclude that the deed was itself adequate to rebut the presumption favoring neighborhood property. In mild of this discovering, we want not deal with Leland’s remaining arguments.

Id. The court docket of appeals affirmed the trial court docket’s judgment for the spouse’s executor.

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