Samuel Reynolds was the registered owner of a 200-hectare farm. In July 1991, he retired from…

Samuel Reynolds was the registered owner of a 200-hectare
farm. In July 1991, he retired from farming and gave his son Jacob a deed to
the farm property. Jacob did not register the deed, but instead placed it in a
safety deposit box that both he and his father rented at a local bank. Samuel
Reynolds died in 2011. His will, dated, May 3, 1988, devised the farm to his
daughter, Ruth, who was living on the farm at the time, and who maintained the
house for her father. The will also named Ruth as the sole executrix of his
estate. When the contents of the will were revealed, Jacob announced to
»

Samuel Reynolds was the registered owner of a 200-hectare
farm. In July 1991, he retired from farming and gave his son Jacob a deed to
the farm property. Jacob did not register the deed, but instead placed it in a
safety deposit box that both he and his father rented at a local bank. Samuel
Reynolds died in 2011. His will, dated, May 3, 1988, devised the farm to his
daughter, Ruth, who was living on the farm at the time, and who maintained the
house for her father. The will also named Ruth as the sole executrix of his
estate. When the contents of the will were revealed, Jacob announced to Ruth
that their father had given him a deed to the farm some years before, and that
he was the owner of the property. No further discussion of the farm took place
between the brother and sister. However, after the debts of the estate were
settled, Ruth had a deed to the farm prepared and executed in her capacity as
the executrix of her father’s estate. Then Ruth delivered the deed to the
registry office. The deed conveyed the farm property to her in her personal
capacity. Some months later, Jacob entered into an agreement of purchase and
sale for the farm with Smith. Smith made a search at the registry office and
discovered that the title to the property was not registered in the name of
Jacob, but in the name of his sister, Ruth. Smith refused to proceed with the
transaction. Discuss the rights of the parties in this case. Indicate, with
reasons, the identity of the lawful owner of the property. If Jacob should show
his deed to Smith and insist that he has title to the property, what argument
might Smith raise to counter Jacob’s claim?

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