Texans can find quitclaim deed forms at a variety of places from county clerk’s offices to online providers of legal forms. However, before using a quitclaim deed in the state of Texas, residents should be aware that real estate attorneys and insurance companies do not favor them.
While quitclaim deeds are valid, they are not as useful in Texas as in some other states. Texas property owners can instead use a deed without warranty, which is exclusive to the Lone Star State.
What Is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is a type of deed that conveys whatever interest the seller (grantor) has at the time of a property’s transfer. However, a quitclaim deed in its own typically cannot be used to establish title. A quitclaim deed makes no promises or warranties about a title’s quality or validity. This means the buyer (grantee) cannot be assured of getting a valid title.
In Texas, quitclaim deeds are most commonly used to release an interest in real property to an individual already on the title, such as an ex-spouse. Because most grantees need more protection than a quitclaim deed offers, they are rarely used in the context of a property sale. Instead, a Texas quitclaim deed is primarily used when real estate is transferred as a gift.
Where Can Texans Find a Free Quitclaim Deed?
Free Texas quitclaim deed forms can be found at various places. Texas county clerk's offices have the forms, and some counties offer them online. Individuals can also easily access one of a number of third-party websites, which guide the user through the process of making a template.
Types of Deeds Used for Property Transfer in Texas
The types of deeds most often used in Texas are:
- General warranty deeds: Contain both express and implied warranties, and are most inclusive of all deeds. Grantees prefer general warranty deeds because they expressly warrant the full chain of title and require that the grantor defend against title defects, even if they existed before the seller’s ownership.
- Special warranty deeds: For grantors that feel uncomfortable granting a general warranty deed. This deed is more limited than a general warranty deed and warrants only that the title is free and clear from encumbrances during the time the grantor owned the property. It does not offer any protection for claims before this period.
- Deed without warranty: Transfers real property to the grantor, but with no warranties that a property title is valid and free of defects.
Why Quitclaim Deeds Are Rarely Used in Texas
In Texas, a quitclaim deed conveys only the grantor's rights in real property; it contains no warranties and does not guaranty valid title. In most jurisdictions outside of Texas, a recorded quitclaim deed prevails over a previous unrecorded deed when taken in an honest and proper way for valuable consideration without notice.
While quitclaim deeds are legal documents in all 50 states, in Texas they are not used nearly as much as they are in other states. According to Texas property law, unrecorded past title transfers are binding on subsequent purchasers. As a result, most Texas title insurance companies won’t insure property titles with quitclaim deeds in the chain of title.
- Collins County: Quitclaim Deed
- Legal Templates: Free Texas Quitclaim Deed
- Vela Wood Law: Four Major Deeds In Texas
- Westlaw: Texas Law Gives Guidance on the Effect of Quitclaim Deeds
- Findlaw: Texas Property Code Section 13.001 Validity of Unrecorded Instrument
- Legal Beagle: How to Get a Deed on Property in Texas
- Legal Beagle: How to Transfer a Deed in Texas
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.