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No person with a financial interest in the transfer of Florida real estate should act as a witness to a deed. A person who is related to a grantor or grantee by blood or by marriage is not necessarily a person with a financial interest in the transfer. However, a witness with the same last name as the grantor, or a witness known to be related to the grantor or grantee may create a concern that the witness might have a financial interest in the transaction. Thus, the best practice is to require the deed to be witnessed by people who clearly have no financial interest in the deed:

The deed is signed by both parties with their initials and one of the signatures of the two is “ H. D. Stone.” It was objected to on the ground that the witness and grantee appeared to be the same person. The judge decided that it ought to go to the jury, and if they should find upon inspection that the witness and grantee were the same person then it should not be considered in evidence, but that otherwise it should be. Subsequently in charging the jury the judge instructed them as follows: “ This deed has been admitted in evidence with defendant’s consent subject to your determination as to whether the H. D: Stone who signs it as a witness is the same H. D. Stone who signs it as grantee. If it should appear to you from inspection of the deed that the grantee, H. D. Stone, and the witness, H. D. Stone, are one and the same person, then you are not to consider this at all; but upon consideration, as it is not claimed by the plaintiff’s that there is any other deed in *453their chain of title connecting plaintiffs with the grantee in this deed, I withdraw it entirely from your consideration and you will ignore it in making up your verdict.”
See: Liddon v. Hodnett, 22 Fla. 442 (1886)

And, according to Stewart v. Matthews, 19 Fla. 752, (1883):

This deed was objected to by defendant, because it was not properly executed, the deputy clerk being one of the witnesses to the deed executed by himself. The referee properly rejected this deed for the reason stated. Another reason might have been added, and that is that the land in controversy is not included in it. It conveys the W. half of the S. W. quarter of section 28, and not the W. half of the S. E. quarter. This tax deed therefore does not convey the land sued for.
See: Stewart v. Matthews, 19 Fla. 752, (1883).



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