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Quitclaim Deed

What is a Deed?

A deed is a legal document that is used to transfer ownership of real estate from one person or entity to another. Although the law governing deeds differs from state to state, a deed generally must satisfy the following seven requirements to be effective and valid:

  • 1. Written document - the deed must be in writing.
  • 2. Grantor - the deed must identify the person(s) who own(s) the real estate and is/are transferring it.
  • 3. Grantee - the deed must identify the person(s) receiving title to the real estate.
  • 4. Granting clause - the deed must contain a clause that transfers title from the grantor(s) to the grantee(s).
  • 5. Legal description - the deed must contain a legal description of the property being transferred.
  • 6. Execution, delivery and acceptance - the deed must be signed by the grantor(s), delivered to the grantee and accepted by the grantee.
  • 7. Recordation - the deed is filed or recorded at the County Recorder's Office in the county where the property is located.

Common Types of Deeds

There are many types of deeds, and this section lists some of the most common types.

Quitclaim Deed

A Quitclaim Deed is a type of deed where a grantor, a person who owns an interest in a property, transfers all or a portion of his/her interest to someone else. The grantor offers no guarantees about the title to the recipient, who is called the grantee. A Quitclaim Deed is often used to clear up problems with a title or when someone wants to use a simple method to give up all interest in a property.

Here are some examples of when a quitclaim deed is typically used:

  • Mary inherited a property and shares ownership with her brothers and sisters. Mary sells her share to her brother and uses a quitclaim deed to transfer all of her rights in the property to him.
  • A couple divorces. The former husband uses a quitclaim deed to transfer all of his ownership rights in a property to his former wife.
  • During a title search the researcher finds out that, because of an error, a previous owner never relinquished his rights to a property. That puts a "cloud" or "defect" on the title, two terms that indicate the current owner isn't the only person with ownership rights in the property. The mistake is corrected by obtaining the previous owner's signature on a quitclaim deed that transfers all rights in the property to the current owner.

A quitclaim deed transfers only the rights of the person signing the deed. It does not guarantee that other people don't have an interest in the property. If there are other owners, their ownership is not affected by the quitclaim deed.

Warranty Deed

A Warranty Deed gets its name because the grantor makes significant and important warranties and covenants by using this form of deed. The warranties and covenants can either be noted on the deed itself or are implied by law.

Some of the typical covenants and warranties (e.g. promises and assurances) made by the grantor of a Warranty Deed are as follows:

  • the grantor lawfully owns the real estate and has the right to immediate possession of the real estate;
  • the grantor has good right to transfer the real estate;
  • the grantor guarantees the quiet possession of the real estate (the right to use the property without interference);
  • the real estate is free from all encumbrances (mortgages, liens, taxes, etc.); and
  • the grantor will forever warrant and defend the title of the real estate against all lawful claims whatsoever.

You need to make sure that all of the above warranties and covenants are true before you use a Warranty Deed. Otherwise you may find yourself in the middle of an expensive lawsuit.

Correcting Deed

On occasion, a minor typographical mistake may be made on a deed, and that deed may be filed with the recorder's office before the mistake is caught. The For The People Correcting Deed form is a document that allows a person to correct certain minor typographical mistakes in a deed prepared by For The People that were not discovered until after the deed was recorded.

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