238. An infant's conveyances of his real property are voidable, not void. They may be ratified or disaffirmed by him after he reaches majority.
At common law all persons were infants who had not reached the age of 21 years, but this has been changed in many states, and females reach their majority at 18 or at marriage.3 An infant, of course, has power to take real estate either by descent or by conveyance to him.4 His transfers of his real property are not void, but only voidable,5 and the privilege of avoiding them is personal with him, and cannot be taken advantage of by a stranger,6 although it may be by his representatives after his death.7 An infant who has made a conveyance of his real property has no power to disaffirm the conveyance during his infancy; nor, of course, would a ratification by him during that time be of any validity.8 In the event of the infant's death before reaching majority, his heirs may affirm or disaffirm the conveyance without waiting until the time has elapsed which would have made him of age had he lived Ratification or disaffirmance by one who has reached majority, of a conveyance made during infancy, need not be by express acts, but may be by implication. Thus a conveyance of the property to another person is a disaffirmance of a deed made during minority.9 A ratification need not be by deed.10 The cases are conflicting as to whether acquiescence after reaching majority is an affirmance. The best rule
3 1 Stini. Am. St. Law, § 6G01.
4 1 Devi. Deeds, § 116.
5 Kendall v. Lawrence, 22 Pick. (Mass.) 540; Jenkins v. Jenkins, 12 Iowa, 195; Shipley v. Bunn, 125 Mo. 445, 28 S. W. 754; Tucker v. Moreland, 10 Pet. 58. As to the appointment of an attorney in fact by an infant, see 1 Jones, Real Prop. § 4.
6 Brown v. Caldwell, 10 Sen?. & R. (Pa.) 114.
7 Yeal v. Fortson, 57 Tex. 482; Bozeman v. Browning, 31 Ark. 364. 8 See Bool v. Mix, 17 Wend. (N. Y.) 119.
9 Jackson v. Carpenter, 11 Johns. (N. Y.) 539; Chapin v. Shafer, 49 N. Y. 407; Cresinger v. Welch, 15 Ohio, 156.
10 Barnaby v. Barnaby, 1 Pick. (Mass.) 221; Phillips v. Green, 5 T. B. Mon. (Ky.) 344; Bobbins v. Eaton, 10 N. H. 561
§§ 239-240) persons of unsound mind. 383 seems to be that an infant shall have a reasonable time after coming of age in which to affirm or disaffirm.11 A second deed executed during minority is no disaffirmance of a prior one.12 Bringing suit for the land conveyed during infancy is, of course, a disaffirmance of such conveyance. On disaffirming a conveyance, there must be a restoration of the consideration received for the land, if the money is still in the grantor's hands.13 The lands of an infant may be conveyed by his guardian by order of court.14