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A quitclaim deed, also written as “quit claim deed,” is related to real estate. It is used to transfer interest, ownership, or rights to property from one party to another in an extremely expeditious manner. The person giving away their claim on the real estate is known as the grantor. The person receiving the property is called the grantee. This form is most often used to transfer property between family members.
This legal form prevents the grantor from coming back and claiming an interest in the property after the quit claim deed is finalized. This protects the grantee. This can be important in certain cases of transfer, such as during a divorce.
A quitclaim deed requires specific information about both the grantor and the grantee; sometimes, depending on the state, the marital status of the parties must be listed, as well as the name of a spouse (even if the property is not held jointly). Information about the real estate property must be included. For the best protection, a quit claim deed should be notarized and filed with the county clerk's office. However, every state has its own requirements for a quitclaim deed. Make sure that the required elements are included for the state in which the property is located.
Note: Quit Claims are sometimes referred to a “Quick Claims” or “Quickclaims.” Although this is a misnomer, it is nonetheless not uncommon.
Transferring property can be tricky. There are various documents involved and they can be a source of confusion and frustration. A quitclaim deed can be very helpful because it simplifies the process. Let’s begin with a straightforward explanation of exactly what a quitclaim deed is and its various purposes.
If you're interested in preparing a quit claim deed or just want a better comprehension of what one looks like, you can search for a quit claim deed relevant to your state online. However, if you choose to use a free quit claim deed, make sure that it's of the highest quality; you may need to consult with an attorney to confirm this. After downloading the best free quit claim deed you can find, read its terms carefully and have it signed in the presence of a notary by the grantor and the grantee.
Remember the following:
The process may sound daunting, but don't let any of this information overwhelm you. Quit claim deeds are relatively simple and straightforward compared to many other types of legal documents. It may be the easiest way for family members to transfer a home and/or land as a gift, or for individuals to transfer property when trust is not a concern. If there is no exchange of money involved in the property transfer or if there are no questions about free and clear ownership, this type of deed may be exactly what you're looking for. The important thing is to be aware of the risks involved, read the document from beginning to end, and only sign your name on the line if you understand everything you need to know about the quit claim deed and the property you are receiving.
This guide is designed to provide all requisite information for both grantors and grantees regarding quit claims, or quitclaim deeds. What follows is a detailed overview that explains what quit claims are, the purposes they serve, what distinguishes them from other warranty deeds, when you need one, the consequences of not using one, the most common uses of quit claims, and what to include in one. Our goal is that any person involved in a quit claim, as either grantor or grantee, can refer to this guide to help them navigate through the process.
To transfer ownership of real property between parties, a deed of some sort is required. However, there isn’t one standard form of deed in use in the U.S. Multiple versions of the document have grown over time in order to best fit particular circumstances. This is partially because every state has their own requirements for the information that must be included. There are two main types of deeds: warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds (which are sometimes referred to as a quick claim deeds or deeds of release). The former implies certain guarantees by the grantor to the grantee that their title to the property is good; the latter is simply a transference of the grantor’s interest in the property to the grantee.
Warranty deeds, also known as general warranty deeds, are the most the commonly used form of deed because they provide a level of legal protection that the quitclaim deed does not provide. In situations where a piece of property is being bought and sold by parties who are unrelated, a warranty deed is necessary to prove that the title is clear. This means that the seller holds the entire bundle of rights required to own the property. The new titleholder is assured that their purchase is legal and that they will receive compensation for their losses should a third party make a lawful claim of superior title. In the case that a seller only warrants partial title of the property, a limited or special warranty deed may be used.
The quit claim deed has no warranty. It simply states a transference of the grantor’s interest in the property at the time. The grantor does not guarantee a good title, or any title at all. This makes the quit claim deed a somewhat precarious document. It does, however, offer the advantage of efficiency. Quit claim deeds are useful when multiple parties hold an interest in a property. For example, during a divorce, one spouse may want to “quit their claim” on a jointly owned marital property. By using a quitclaim deed, the spouse can quickly and inexpensively transfer their interest in the property without the hassle of costly litigation, which involves the additional fees of an attorney. In this case, the grantee doesn’t need a warranty that the title is clear because the grantor is essentially using the quitclaim deed form in order to clear it.
While there are elements that must be included that vary from state to state, the quit claim deed template consists of the same general components and must specify the method of transfer. This is done by stating at the top of the document that it is a quitclaim deed and that the property is being transferred via quitclaim. The deed must identify the names and addresses of the parties involved, which, in this case, would be the grantor and the grantee. It must include statements that the grantor is giving up rights to the grantee, such as a statement of consideration, which is a granting clause that includes definite operative words, words of inheritance, and may list an amount of money or other “consideration” given to the grantor for their interest in the property. A description of the land or property being conveyed must be included, along with its physical address and the land parcel number--a number assigned by the county tax assessor. There will also be a habendum, a “have and to hold” clause, meaning the grant of land is final, and the transaction is complete. The quit claim deed must also include a deed execution date. This is the date that the deed is signed by the parties and witnesses which is also the date it becomes effective. You must also include information about the person who prepared the quit claim deed. The quit claim deed template, of course, omits any statement of the grantor’s warranties. When the deed is signed and dated, witnessed, notarized, and (in some states) sealed, it becomes a legal document.
In short, a Quit Claim typically includes the following information:
Other information to consider:
Types of ownership
A quit claim deed details the terms of ownership the grantor has regarding the property in question. Those types of ownership include:
Here are some common scenarios and relationships where quit claims are common:
As mentioned earlier (although it certainly bears repeating because it’s vitally important that you understand the difference), a quitclaim deed transfers ownership of property from the grantor to the grantee. It does not include any warranty that the title is clear of any liens, debts, or other obstructions to ownership. Other deeds, like those listed above, do include warranties of various term lengths which provides enhanced legal protections for the grantee.
A quitclaim deed does not guarantee a perfect title. It does, however, provide a written public record of the change in ownership in property from the grantor to the grantee. Once a quit claim is filed with the County Clerk, any title search of the property will include your quit claim.
If you do not file a quit claim with the County, it may be difficult or impossible for a grantee to prove property ownership or for a grantor to prove they no longer own said property.
Grantees should ensure that all property taxes are paid and that there are no back taxes before signing a quit claim. Once the property is transferred to the grantee, they assume all property tax responsibilities. Tax bills will be mailed to the grantee's corresponding address listed on the deed after the quit claim is filed.
While some states offer exemptions regarding real estate transfers that involve quit claims, others impose real estate transfer taxes. Other taxes, including gift taxes and inheritance taxes, may also apply depending on your state. You should seek legal advice, specifically a tax lawyer or CPA to learn more about the tax obligations associated with your claim.
That covers the pertinent information regarding Quit Claims--their purpose, when and why you need them, what to include, etc. We hope this guide provides all of the information you need to confidently navigate Quick Claims in a highly-informed manner.
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