How to Do a Quitclaim Deed in Michigan

By Teo Spengler ; Updated June 19, 2017
Young couple filling out quitclaim deed form

Michigan doesn't make you jump through many hoops to do a quitclaim deed. You need to fill in a quitclaim deed form and sign it in front of a notary. Then you pay any transfer taxes due, and record the deed in the land recorder's office in the county in which the property is located.

Quitclaim Deed in Michigan

A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to convey an interest in real property. By using it, you transfer whatever interest you may have in the real property without any promises or warranties about what the interest is or whether the title is encumbered.

If it turns out that the grantor does not have any interest in the property, the grantee gets nothing. This means that there is a risk to accepting a quitclaim deed from a person you don't know well. However, quitclaim deeds are popular in Montana as a simple way to transfer property interests.

Quitclaims are often used for transfers between family members, for transfers from one spouse to the other in a divorce, and for moving property into or out of a revocable living trust.

Preparing a Michigan Quitclaim Deed

Michigan law doesn't impose many extra requirements for completing a quitclaim deed in the state. You must do the obvious things like identify yourself as the grantor, identify the grantee and write out the property description. Take the legal description from a previous deed. You won't need witnesses in Michigan, but you do need to sign before a notary.

Be a little careful in Michigan when you identifying multiple grantees and the way they are taking title. Granting title to single person is not a problem, and you could say "to John Garcia, an unmarried man," for example.

However, if two grantees will hold joint tenancy, specify "to Ann and John Garcia as joint tenants and not as tenants in common." If you are granting to joint tenants, do not use the term "with right of survivorship" since, in Michigan, legal issues arise if one joint tenant "with right or survivorship" transfers his share.

Tenants who wish to take ownership as tenants in common should be identified "as tenants in common."

Recording a Michigan Deed

Shortly after signing the quitclaim deed, take it into the county register of deeds office to record the deed. It is valid against third parties only after it is recorded. Before recording, you will have to pay all applicable transfer taxes, which are imposed on both a state and a county basis.

If you qualify for a transfer tax exemption, claim it. The most common exemption occurs if the amount the grantee paid for the property is $100 or less. But various other exemptions apply so check with an attorney if you aren't sure.

About the Author

Living in France and Northern California, Teo Spengler is an attorney, novelist and writer and has published thousands of articles about travel, gardening, business and law. Spengler holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.