A quitclaim deed is a legally enforceable document used to transfer property rights without having to provide any warranties to the grantee or any assurances that the grantor even owns the property. Essentially, the grantor of a quitclaim deed is saying, "I transfer my property rights, if I have any rights at all, to the grantee." With minimal assistance from an attorney, executing a quitclaim deed to transfer property rights can be simple and brief.
Have an attorney draft the deed. You can purchase form quitclaim deeds from legal document companies, but an attorney will have the expertise to review the exact legal description of the property and to draft the proper transferring language to transfer the property.
Review the deed for errors. Ensure that all names are spelled correctly and the property is described accurately. Check for transposed numbers and errors in the grantee's address. Anyone not listed as a grantee will not gain any of the rights transferred by the deed.
Execute the deed. Grantors, and especially grantees, must sign the quitclaim deed in the presence of a notary public. The quitclaim deed must bear the notary public seal of your jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions may also require the notarized signature of two witnesses. If an attorney prepared the quitclaim deed, her signature must also be included on the document.
Record the deed. Once the quitclaim deed has been executed, the grantee must take possession of the deed and take it to the local recording office for recording. Be sure to have the recording fee; the amount may very based on how many pages in the document.
Store the deed securely. Once you have properly recorded the deed, ask your attorney to store the deed at the law office or keep the deed in another safe, secure location.
- Because a quitclaim deed lacks warranties, most title insurance companies will not insure the property it purports to transfer. Check to see that the courts in your state recognize quitclaim deeds before deciding to execute one.
- Quitclaim deeds are often used to transfer property between spouses and family members and to transfer property into a trust. Consult an attorney to discuss the financial implications of transferring property by quitclaim deed.
- Photo courtesy: Alvimann