How to Execute a Quit Claim

By George Lawrence

Ownership in real property is a valuable asset. To prevent fraud and to maintain evidence of who owns what, state laws require people to execute a valid written deed to transfer title to real property. A quitclaim deed is a simple way to transfer title. The deed only transfers whatever interest the original owner had in the land; it contains no other guarantees (such as the land being free from liens or even that the original "owner" actually has title to the property). The should only be used when both parties know and trust each other and know the land at issue.

Gather the following information: the name of the original owner (the grantor) the name(s) of the new owner(s) (the grantee(s)), the price paid for the transfer (if known) and the legal description of the land.

To find the legal description of the land, you may need to visit the property records office in the county where the land is located.

Obtain a blank quitclaim deed form. Forms are available at the county property records office, your local law library or the Internet.

Fill in the body of the deed. Forms generally have lines for the date, the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee and space for the legal description of the land.

Provide information about who prepared the deed in the space available at the upper left-hand corner of the document.

Fill in the grantee's name and address in the "After Recording, Please Return to:" box. This allows the property records office to send the deed back to the new owner after it updates the title records for that particular parcel of land.

Arrange to have the grantor sign the deed in the presence of two witnesses and a public notary. State law may vary with regard to witness requirements. If witnesses are required, arrange for each witness to sign the deed after the grantor.

Notarize the deed. After the grantor and any required witnesses sign the deed, have a public notary acknowledge the signatures and truthful nature of the deed by notarizing it.

Give the executed deed to the grantee. The grantee should take the deed to the property records office to file it. Recording a deed costs money; the price varies by state. Check local rates before proceeding.

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