G executes a deed conveying a parcel of real property to A in fee simple. The deed describes the property as follows: “A tract of approximately 30 acres situated in County X, and bounded on the north by the river.” County X has a single river. The river runs from east to west through the middle of the county, dividing the county into a northern half and a southern half.
On day one, G hands the deed to B, whom G knows to be A’s attorney. G gives no written or verbal instructions to either A or B regarding the deed.
On day eight, G executes another deed conveying a parcel of real property to C in fee simple. The deed describes the property as follows: “A tract of approximately 30 acres situated in County X, upon the river.” That same day, G hands the deed to C, and tells C, “I’d like to give you this property – why don’t you think about whether you want it and let me know.” There are no conditions listed in the deed itself.
G dies on day 11, before C can tell G whether C wants the property. All of G’s real and personal property passes to G’s heirs.
Before G executed the deeds to A and to C, G owned two, and only two, parcels of land in County X. The first parcel, known as Blackacre, consists of 28.6 acres of land. The river establishes Blackacre’s northernmost line, which means that the entire parcel lies south of the river.
The second parcel, known as Whiteacre, consists of 29.1 acres of land. Whiteacre straddles the river, with one acre lying south of the river and the remaining 28.1 acres lying north of the river.
G’s heirs claim that they own both Blackacre and Whiteacre. They assert that the deeds to A and to C were defective because (1) the deeds inadequately described the property to be conveyed, and (2) G did not deliver either deed in a manner that would create a valid conveyance of the property.
At the same time, both A and C claim ownership of Blackacre, which they consider to be more valuable than Whiteacre because it is not divided by the river.
QuestionAs among A, C, and the heirs of G, who now holds title to Blackacre and Whiteacre, respectively? Explain, ignoring any issues of reformation.
As among A, C, and the heirs of G, who now holds title to Blackacre and Whiteacre, respectively? Explain, ignoring any issues of reformation.