In their simplest form, quitclaim deeds are legal instruments or documents used to convey a person’s interest in a property. In real estate, there are three types of deeds that are used to transfer interest in a property from the seller to the buyer – general, special warranty and quitclaim deeds. They can serve similar purposes, but the quitclaim deed in particular has no specific built-in protections for the buyer, or the person to whom legal interest in the property is being transferred. However, you can save a little money and prepare the document yourself, or have an attorney draw one up for you.
The Purpose of a Quit Claim Deed in NJ
Quitclaim deeds are used in a variety of situations. According to legal website, NOLO, some of the more common uses for the quitclaim are to:
- transfer property to or from a revocable living trust
- transfer property to one spouse as part of a divorce
- transfer one co-owner’s interests to another co-owner
- transfer property you own by yourself into co-ownership with someone else
- change the way owners hold title to the property.
For example, you can use a quitclaim to give up your rights to a property you inherited, to give up your rights to an easement on the property, to transfer a portion of interest in a property that you own solely to co-ownership with someone else such as a spouse or to change how the title of the property is held. Quitclaim deeds can also be used to clarify title, which includes removing any defects in the title without the necessity of potentially costly litigation.
Something To Consider
It is important to note, however, that a quitclaim deed offers no guarantee the person transferring this legal interest has any right to the property, and, nor is the document any assurance of clear title. The only purpose of the quitclaim is to convey interest from the seller to the buyer. In all actuality, a person could give a quitclaim deed for a property they don't own, and because there are no covenants laid out in the document, there is no breach so the person could not be liable for any damages by law.
Filing a Quitclaim Deed in NJ
There is no special type of quitclaim deed used specifically in New Jersey and drawing up a New Jersey quitclaim deed is not terribly difficult – you can find quitclaim deeds online or at your local library. Once you have a quitclaim deed form or template, you need the legal description of the property. You can locate the property's legal description from several places including the existing deed, a tax bill or by contacting the records department of the local county clerk's office where the property is located.
Next, complete the template, but do not sign the New Jersey quitclaim deed until you are in the presence of a notary public. Once you have filled out the template and executed, or signed, the document in front of a notary public, you must now file the deed with the county clerk's office in the county where the property is located. You will be charged a nominal filing fee that varies by country, as well as a small fee by the notary for utilizing his or her services.
You can also have an attorney prepare a quitclaim deed for you. This will cost more money, as most attorneys charge by the hour, but you will ensure that the form is completed properly, in compliance and filed correctly with the appropriate office.