Chapter 39.

Conveyances.

Article 1.

Construction and Sufficiency.

§ 39-1.  Fee presumed, though word "heirs" omitted.

When real estate is conveyed to any person, the same shall be held and construed to be a conveyance in fee, whether the word "heir" is used or not, unless such conveyance in plain and express words shows, or it is plainly intended by the conveyance or some part  thereof, that the grantor meant to convey an estate of less dignity. (1879, c. 148; Code, s. 1280; Rev., s. 946; C.S., s. 991.)

 

§ 39-1.1.  In construing conveyances court shall give effect to intent of the parties.

(a)        In construing a conveyance executed after January 1, 1968, in which there are inconsistent clauses, the courts shall determine the effect of the instrument on the basis of the intent of the parties as it appears from all of the provisions of the instrument.

(b)        The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not prevent the application of the rule in Shelley's case. (1967, c. 1182.)

 

§ 39-2.  Vagueness of description not to invalidate.

No deed or other writing purporting to convey land or an interest in land shall be declared void for vagueness in the description of the thing intended to be granted by reason of the use of the word "adjoining" instead of the words "bounded by," or for the reason that the boundaries given do not go entirely around the land described: Provided, it can be made to appear to the satisfaction of the jury that the grantor owned at the time of the execution of such deed or paper-writing no other land which at all corresponded to the description contained in such deed or paper-writing. (1891, c. 465, s. 2; Rev., s. 948; C.S., s. 992.)

 

§ 39-3.  Repealed by Session Laws 1961, c. 52.

 

§ 39-4.  Conveyances by infant trustees.

When an infant is seized or possessed of any estate in trust, whether by way of mortgage or otherwise, for another person who may be entitled in law to have a conveyance of such estate, or may be declared to be seized or possessed, in the course of any proceeding in the superior court, the court may decree that the infant shall convey and assure such estate, in such manner as it may direct, to such other person; and every conveyance and assurance made in pursuance of such decree shall be as effectual in law as if made by a person of full age. (1821, c. 1116, ss. 1, 2; R.C., c. 37, s. 27; Code, s. 1265; Rev., s. 1036; C.S., s. 994.)

 

§ 39-5.  Official deed, when official selling or empowered to sell is not in office.

When a sheriff, coroner, or tax collector, in virtue of his office, sells any real or personal property and goes out of office before executing a proper deed therefor, he may execute the same after his term of office has expired; and when he dies or removes from the State before executing the deed, his successor in office shall execute it. When a sheriff or tax collector dies having a tax list in his hands for collection, and his personal representative or surety, in collecting the taxes, makes sale according to law, his successor in office shall execute the conveyance for the property to the person entitled. (R.C., c. 37, s. 30; Code, s. 1267; 1891, c. 242; Rev., ss. 950, 951; C.S., s. 995; 1971, c. 528, s. 36.)

 

§ 39-6.  Revocation of deeds of future interests made to persons not in esse.

The grantor in any voluntary conveyance in which some future interest in real estate is conveyed or limited to a person not in esse may, at any time before he comes into being, revoke by deed such interest so conveyed or limited. This deed of revocation shall be registered as other deeds; and the grantor of like interest for a valuable consideration may, with the joinder of the person from whom the consideration moved, revoke said interest in like manner. The grantor, maker or trustor who has heretofore created or may hereafter create a voluntary trust estate in real or personal property for the use and benefit of himself or of any other person or persons in esse with a future contingent interest to some person or persons not in esse or not determined until the happening of a future event may at any time, prior to the happening of the contingency vesting the future estates, revoke the grant of the interest to such person or persons not in esse or not determined by a proper instrument to that effect; and the grantor of like interest for a valuable consideration may, with the joinder of the person from whom the consideration moved, revoke said interest in like manner: Provided, that in the event the instrument creating such estate has been recorded, then the deed of revocation of such estate shall be likewise recorded before it becomes effective: Provided, further, that this section shall not apply to any instrument hereafter executed creating such a future contingent interest when said instrument shall expressly state in effect that the grantor, maker, or trustor may not revoke such interest: Provided, further, that this section shall not apply to any instrument heretofore executed whether or not such instrument contains express provisions that it is irrevocable unless the grantor, maker, or trustor shall within six months after the effective date of this proviso either revoke such future interest, or file with the trustee an instrument stating or declaring that it is his intention to retain the power to revoke under this section: Provided, further, that in the event the instrument creating such estate has been recorded, then the revocation or declaration shall likewise be recorded before it becomes effective. (1893, c. 498; Rev., s. 1045; C.S., s. 996; 1929, c. 305; 1941, c. 264; 1943, c. 437.)

 

§ 39-6.1.  Validation of deeds of revocation of conveyances of future interests to persons not in esse.

All deeds or instruments heretofore executed, revoking any  conveyance of future interest made to persons not in esse, are hereby  validated insofar as any such deed of revocation may be in conflict with the provisions of G.S. 39-6.

All such deeds of revocation heretofore executed are hereby validated and no such deed of revocation shall be held to be invalid by reason of not having been executed within the six-month period prescribed in the third proviso of G.S. 39-6. (1947, c. 62.)

 

§ 39-6.2.  Creation of interest or estate in personal property.

Any interest or estate in personal property which may be created by last will and testament may also be created by a written instrument of transfer. (1953, c. 198.)

 

§ 39-6.3.  Inter vivos and testamentary conveyances of future interests permitted.

(a)        The conveyance, by deed or will, of an existing future interest shall not be ineffective on the sole ground that the interest so conveyed is future or contingent. All future interests in real or personal property, including all reversions, executory interests, vested and contingent remainders, rights of entry both before and after breach of condition and possibilities of reverter may be conveyed by the owner thereof, by an otherwise legally effective conveyance, inter vivos or testamentary, subject, however, to all conditions and limitations to which such future interest is subject.

(b)        The power to convey as provided in subsection (a), can be exercised by any form of conveyance, inter vivos or testamentary, which is otherwise legally effective in this State at the date of such conveyance to transfer a present estate of the same duration in the property.

(c)        This section shall apply only to conveyances which become operative to transfer title on or after October 1, 1961. (1961, c. 435.)

 

§ 39-6.4.  Creation of easements, restrictions, and conditions.

(a)        The holder of legal or equitable title of an interest in real property may create, grant, reserve, or declare valid easements, restrictions, or conditions of record burdening or benefiting the same interest in real property.

(b)        Subsection (a) of this section shall not affect the application of the doctrine of merger after the severance and subsequent reunification of title to all of the benefited or burdened real property or interests therein. (1997-333, s. 1.)

 

§ 39-6.5.  Elimination of seal.

The seal of the signatory shall not be necessary to effect a valid conveyance of an interest in real property; provided, that this section shall not affect the requirement for affixing a seal of the officer taking an acknowledgment of the instrument. (1999-221, s. 2.)

 

§ 39-6.6.  Subordination agreements.

(a)        A subordination agreement shall be given effect in accordance with its terms and is not required to state any interest rate, principal amount secured, or other financial terms.

(b)        The trustee of a deed of trust shall not be a necessary party to a subordination agreement unless the deed of trust provides otherwise.

(c)        For purposes of G.S. 1-47, a subordination agreement is deemed a conveyance of an interest in real property.

(d)       This section is not exclusive. No subordination agreement that is otherwise valid shall be invalidated by this section.

(e)        This section applies to a subordination agreement regardless of when the agreement was signed by the party or parties thereto, except that this section does not apply to an agreement that (i) is the subject of litigation pending on the effective date of this subsection, and (ii) was filed or recorded before October 1, 2003.

(f)        In this section:

(1)        "Interest in real property" includes all rights, title, and interest in and to land, buildings, and other improvements of an owner, tenant, subtenant, secured lender, materialman, judgment creditor, lienholder, or other person, whether the interest in real property is evidenced by a deed, easement, lease, sublease, deed of trust, mortgage, assignment of leases and rents, judgment, claim of lien, or any other record, instrument, document, or entry of court.

(2)        "Subordination agreement" means a written commitment or agreement to subordinate or that subordinates an interest in real property signed by a person entitled to priority. (2003-219, s. 1; 2005-212, s. 1.)

 

§ 39-6.7.  Construction of conveyances to or by trusts.

(a)        A deed, will, beneficiary designation, or other instrument that purports to convey, devise, or otherwise transfer any ownership or security interest in real or personal property to a trust shall be deemed to be a transfer to the trustee or trustees of that trust.

(b)        A deed or other instrument which purports to convey or otherwise transfer any ownership or security interest in real or personal property by a trust shall be deemed to be a transfer by the trustee or trustees of that trust. This rule of construction shall apply:

(1)        Regardless of whether the instrument is signed by the trustee or trustees as such, or by the trustee or trustees purportedly for or on behalf of the trust; and

(2)        Regardless of whether the instrument by which the trustee or trustees acquired title transferred that title to the trustee or trustees as such, or purportedly to the trust.

(c)        A deed or other instrument by which the trustee or trustees of a trust convey or otherwise transfer any ownership or security interest in real or personal property shall be deemed sufficient:

(1)        Regardless of whether the instrument is signed by the trustee or trustees as such, or by the trustee or trustees purportedly for or on behalf of the trust; and

(2)        Regardless of whether the instrument by which the trustee or trustees acquired title transferred that title to the trustee or trustees as such, or purportedly to the trust.

(d)       The trustee or trustees of a trust may convey or otherwise transfer any ownership or security interest in real or personal property as trustee or trustees even though the deed or instrument by which the trustee or trustees acquired title purported to convey or transfer that title to the trust.

(e)        Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the manner in which title to real or personal property may be conveyed or transferred to or by trustees. (2007-106, s. 53.)