What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

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“What Is a Quitclaim Deed? Several methods exist for transferring property and changing ownership. The quitclaim deed is an example of allowing homeowners to transfer property titles quickly. Several reasons can arise from this information, including helping to plan for your future or that of a loved one’s estate.”

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What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

Legal tools such as quitclaim deeds often go unnoticed but are useful in various situations. Known for their speed, quitclaim deeds are among the quickest ways of transferring property ownership.

The following points are important to remember. Find out what quitclaim deeds are and when to use them by reading about them.


Quitclaim Deed: What is it?

Without specifying the nature of the person’s interest or rights, a deed releases their right to a property without warranty of that interest or right.

Quitclaim deeds neither state nor guarantee that the people who relinquish their rights to property hold valid titles, but they prevent them (the grantor) from later claiming to hold a title to the property.


Bit More about Quitclaim Deeds

It is most common for quitclaim deeds to occur when transferring property between family members or spouses. A divorce will often result in one spouse signing the deed during the divorce process.

A deed is used in estate planning to transfer real property. Before transferring real estate into a Living Trust, it is important to get Trustee approval since quitclaim deeds do not affect existing mortgages.

A quitclaim deed can also quickly rectify errors made during an initial real estate transaction. Such as spelling mistakes or missing signatures.


How Does Quitclaim Deed Works?

It transfers ownership interest in the transferred property from the grantor (the person transferring it) to the grantee (the person who receives it). A deed does not guarantee the property’s title.

As the name indicates, the grantor is the current property owner and wishes to transfer it to another. Also, to the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee, the quitclaim deed includes the following:

  • A legal description of the property.
  • The date of transfer.
  • Information about the property itself.

An authenticated notary public, who witnesses the notary’s signature, signs the quitclaim deed in the grantor’s presence. The grantee receives the quitclaim deed. The quitclaim deed is filed with the county recorder’s office. This helps to protect the grantee’s interest in the land.

Despite its name, a deed does not guarantee the grantor’s ownership of the transferred property. Thus, it applies when there is certainty about the property’s title and good relations between the grantor and the grantee.


Using A Deed to Transfer the Title

Real estate deed transfers vary depending on the type of transaction. The warranty deed transfer is the most common type when selling real estate to a third party. With a warranty deed, the buyer receives protection, including compensation if anyone else holds superior title to the property.

It promises that the person transferring the property has a good title and the right to sell it. There are no liens in this type of deed, such as a mortgage, tax lien, or creditor’s lien on the property.

To verify the seller’s title a title search (a search of all previous deeds and liens on the property) takes place to verify the seller’s title before the warranty deed takes effect. A warranty deed is always filed with the county when it expires. They cover the new owner in the event of a problem. Title insurance usually comes as part of the sale.


Online Forms for Quit Claim Deed

After providing basic information, most non-attorney websites will offer you a quitclaim deed form online. Online services are often more affordable than hiring a lawyer. Online form generators are useful if you know the legality and the transfer of property.

However, some people find peace of mind in knowing that an attorney drafted a deed at an additional cost.


Under A Marital Settlement Agreement, Transfer the Property.

We can transfer the property after a divorce in California under a marital settlement agreement or divorce judgment using a quitclaim deed. If a divorce order or agreement requires the transferring spouse to follow the terms of the divorce order. The quitclaim deed transfers all interests in the property to the other spouse.


Deeds must be signed by the transferring spouse, regardless of which spouse prepares them. Receiving spouses do not need to sign deeds.


The Types of Quitclaim Deeds

A warranty deed differs from a deed in that it states or guarantees what happens when ownership passes from the grantor to the grantee (buyer). Unlike a quitclaim deed, a warranty deed grants certain assurances about ownership when it passes.

A warranty deed is commonly used in property sales and comes in two types: general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds.

The grantor guarantees that the grantee owns the property free and clear (and no other entity can claim it) with a general warranty deed. Which provides the grantee with the highest level of protection.

A grantor is liable if there is any breach of this contract throughout the property’s history. Even during periods when the grantor did not own the property.

In a special warranty deed, the grantor is the owner of the property, and no one else can get permission to claim it for the duration of the grant. Most commonly, special warranty deeds serve for commercial real estate sales.


Quitclaim Deed Creation

To create a quitclaim document, you must take several steps, including signing, recording, and filing the document with the county or state agency. Here are the basic steps:

  1. List the parties involved. First, it is necessary to identify grantors (the persons transferring property) and grantees (the individuals receiving the property).
  2. Find out what the property information is. Get legal descriptions, addresses, and county information about the property.
  3. Prepare a Quitclaim Deed. Describe the property, include the parties’ names, and indicate that the grantor transfers all rights and interests to the grantee in the quitclaim deed. Online templates and examples are available. You can also hire an attorney to draft a quitclaim deed.
  4. Please fill out the Quitclaim Deed and sign it. Notary publics or other authorized officials must witness the grantor’s signature.
  5. You should record the Quitclaim Deed. Signed documents must go into the record with the county recorder’s office or another local authority after signing them. By doing this, the transfer of ownership becomes official, and a public record exists.


What Are the Conditions Under Which a Quitclaim Deed Should Apply?

When a quitclaim deed is convenient, it is useful in the following situations:

  • Marriage: enables you to include your spouse in your title easily.
  • Divorce: you or your spouse need the title transferred when you get divorced.
  • Wills: A person’s title may pass to a family member or friend after passing.
  • Gifts: for gifting someone your property and transferring the title easily and less expensively.
  • Fixing errors in titles: when your house’s title needs updating due to an error.

Generally, you have two innocent parties in these situations, and the risk of a bad title agreement is low. There are other instances where a quitclaim may apply, but these are the most common ones.


Comparison of Deeds and Warranty Deeds

However, it is important to note that quitclaim deeds and warranty deeds differ in the protection they offer a buyer in a real estate transaction. Unlike a warranty deed, a quitclaim deed offers no assurances or promises regarding the title to the property. It simply transfers interest from the grantor to the grantee.

In transferring the property, the grantor does so without making any representations or warranties about the title. The grantee is, thus, responsible for any liens, encumbrances, or defects found on the title.

So, warranty deeds transfer property ownership and contain warranties from the grantor that their title is clear and marketable.

A grantor guarantees they own the property free from liens and encumbrances and have the right to transfer ownership to the grantee. Upon transfer, if there is any problem with the title, the grantor may be obligated to compensate the grantee.


Choosing Deeds: Advantages and Disadvantages


The advantages


  1. Simplicity:

A quitclaim deed is a simple method of transferring ownership of property without the need for extensive legal representation.


  1. Cost-Effective:

Quitclaim deeds are generally less expensive, and we can complete them more quickly than other types of property transfers.


  1. Speed:

The transfer occurs quickly and without delay since no title searches or insurance requirements exist.


  1. Flexibility:

With a quitclaim deed, you don’t need intensive paperwork or formalities to transfer property to family members or business partners.


The Disadvantages


  1. Limited Protection:

Compared with other types of deeds that provide stronger legal protections, a quitclaim deed offers limited protection to the grantee.


  1. Not Suitable for All Situations:

Buying or selling a property or having any interest in third parties may not be an appropriate situation to use quitclaim deeds.


  1. Potential for Disputes:

A quitclaim deed may need to provide more legal protection to the grantee in case of an ownership dispute or claims against the property. Resolving the dispute, it could lead to expensive legal battles.


Obtaining a Deed or Mortgage

The quitclaim deed removes a person’s name from the property title and the individual’s rights to that property. Still, it does not remove the individual’s mortgage obligations. Despite removing a name, a quitclaim deed does not absolve the property owner of any debts.

A mortgage is a separate document from a quitclaim deed. In a divorce, this can be problematic. A spouse may quitclaim their property to another spouse. But the names of both spouses remain on the mortgage, and both spouses remain responsible for paying it.

To relieve a borrower of their mortgage obligations, apply the following methods:

  • Paying off the mortgage
  • Taking out a mortgage refinance

The transfer of a deed, including a quitclaim deed, affects only the ownership of the property and does not impact any existing mortgages.

However, a quitclaim deed does not release the individual from mortgage obligations. Even though their name disappears from the property title, their rights disappear. If the individual has incurred debts as a property owner after a quitclaim deed, they must continue to pay them off.

Generally speaking, a mortgage is separate from a quitclaim deed, which becomes important during a divorce. One spouse’s name does not disappear from the mortgage, and neither spouse’s obligation to pay it if they use a quitclaim deed to transfer their property to the other spouse.

Depending on the borrower’s circumstances, they may pay off their mortgage, refinance, or sell the property to pay off their mortgage.


Questions Frequently Asked About Deeds

You can find answers to the questions about deeds, a common instrument within Estate Planning.


Is a Quitclaim Deed an alternative to probate?

In a quitclaim deed, the grantee transfers property ownership while still alive. Therefore, the grantee’s Estate Plan has run before the deed takes effect.


What is the end date of a deed?

Because it transfers ownership permanently, a quitclaim deed does not expire. However, the county clerk’s office must record the new deed to ensure the official transfer. Non-recording of the new deed can cause financial and legal problems.

There is no set deadline to file the new deed, but it makes sense to do so immediately after the transfer. With an official public record, transferring the mortgage may be easy. A claim to the property can also be problematic if another family member has a claim — which can only end by reviewing the official deed.


What is the importance of notarizing a quitclaim deed?

Notarization is necessary before filing a deed with the county clerk; witnesses may also need it.


Are Deeds considered inheritances?

Quitclaim deeds are not considered inheritances by the law. Instead, they are viewed as gifts because the owner signs them; a last will transfers ownership to the beneficiary after the owner’s death.

Some people who own property through quitclaim deeds die transferring ownership to their heirs when they pass away. This property will technically be an inheritance. If another claim for ownership arises, the initial quitclaim deed is not legally significant.


Is a deed appropriate in certain situations?

The use of quitclaim deeds should be restricted to circumstances when they can provide certain protections and guarantees. These include gifting real estate between close family members, like parents to children.


If I want to cancel a quitclaim deed, how do I do it?

If somebody believes using a deed to transfer real estate is illegal, we can scrutinize it in court. Overturning or canceling a quitclaim deed is easiest if both parties expressly agree.


A Quitclaim’s Key Terms


Quitclaim Deed:

Transfers title to real estate from one party to another without making any warranty or guarantee about the property’s condition or title.



Grantors are the individuals who currently own property and will transfer ownership through the Quitclaim Deed.



The person who receives ownership of a property by a quitclaim deed.



In the Deed transaction, the grantor and grantee exchange money or other valuables.


Cloud on Title:

Any claim, lien, or other encumbrance may adversely affect a grantee’s ownership rights. Even if the grantor makes no warranties or guarantees about the property’s title.


Start Now With a Deed and Estate Planning.

A quitclaim deed can be an invaluable asset in Estate Planning for various reasons. These documents prevent the property from going through probate. And we can also use them as a supplement to a trust asset. If the requirements exist, quitclaim deeds can save families time and money when transferring property.

The speed and efficiency of deeds make them popular. But they are still legal documents and are subject to various regulations. For more information on quitclaim deeds, contact our team today to learn more.

An asset can pass to a loved one in many ways, and a quitclaim deed is just one of them. Using this legal tool, you can fund a trust, transfer property to a loved one, or settle a divorce. Just follow the requirements in your state.


The Bottom Line

Using a deed, a person releases their interest in a property without stating the person’s interest and rights. Using deeds only under certain circumstances is important because they lack certain protections and promises in other real estate deeds. Feel free to contact Attorney Real Estate Group with any questions.

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