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Can lack of consideration make a deed void ab initio?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I have heard that lack of consideration can make a deed void ab initio. But I think that a real property can in some cases be legally gifted or sold at a discount. Does lack of consideration always make a deed void ab initio? If not, when does it NOT make the deed void ab initio?

Attorney Answers 3


No, it doesn't. There are a few things, among them forgery and violation of the RAP (Rule Against Perpetuities) that make a deed void from the start. As far as consideration goes, there is always the peppercorn rule (even a single peppercorn can be consideration). There are other things that can wreck havoc on determining ownership, though, where parties fail to record deeds (Florida is a notice state) and there is a subsequent bona-fide purchaser for value - who, in this scenario, would take precedence over a person whose title is gifted. But, that makes the deed merely voidable. Trying to determine what is fair value in terms of evaluating "sufficient consideration" is something that the courts are not interested in doing.

Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact an attorney for legal advice concerning your matter.

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As Attorney Johnson pointed out, it is unlikely that a deed would be set aside for lack of consideration alone. However, if the owner conveys the property to a friend or relative for little or no consideration in an attempt to defraud creditors, the deed can be set aside. If you are unsure about a particular deed, you should have it reviewed by an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Anne Johnson


Excellent point. UFTA (Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act) can make the deed either void or voidable, depending on the circumstances of the subsequent transfer of title.


You should meet with an attorney to review and discuss all of the facts, issues and goals and tl see what recommendations exist. Usually a deed mentions consideration of $10 and other valuable consideration.

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