A quit claim deed (also “quitclaim deed”) is a legal document used for an individual (the “Grantor”) to terminate, or “quit,” any interest or claim to a specified real property, allowing that interest to be transferred to a recipient (the “Grantee”). Such real property may be a house, a piece of land, a vacant lot, or any other property considered “real property.” A quit claim deed differs from other types of deeds, as the Grantor makes no promises or warranties about the property, or his interest in the property whatsoever. To explore this concept, consider the following quit claim deed definition.
Definition of Quit Claim Deed
(Also “quitclaim deed”)
- A deed transferring all of an individual’s right, title, and interest in a parcel of real estate without warranty of title.
1275-1325 Middle English quitclayme
What is a Quit Claim Deed
A quit claim deed transfers any interests a person (the Grantor) has in a specified real property to another person (the Grantee). Upon the transfer, all of the Grantor’s rights to, and interest in, the property are terminated. While most property deeds come with some type of warranty, such as the right of the Grantor to transfer ownership of the property, quit claim deeds do not. The Grantee is only entitled to whatever interest the Grantor actually owns at the time the quit claim deed is made.
In basic terms, the Grantor does not make any promises regarding his actual ownership of, or interest in, the property, or that the title is free and clear. It is possible that a Grantor of a quit claim deed has no actual interest in the property whatsoever and, because the deed inherently has no warranty, the Grantee receives nothing, and likely has no legal recourse.
Common Uses of a Quit Claim Deed
Due to the lack of warranty that comes with a quit claim deed, this type of deed is often used to transfer real property between family members or other individuals that have a close relationship, or into a trust. A quit claim deed may be used in a divorce, when one spouse transfers all ownership interest in certain marital property, such as the family home. For example, during the settlement of John and Candy’s divorce, John is given ownership of the family home. Cindy would sign a quit claim deed terminating her interest in the property. The deed is filed with the county recorder, giving John full claim to the home.
Some states use quit claim deeds when real property is seized and sold at auction to satisfy unpaid taxes. The state files a quit claim deed transferring whatever interest in the property it owned to the buyer, and no more. In this case, the proceeds of the auction are used to pay off the tax debt; whatever proceeds of the sale are left over belonging to the property owner. For example, Susan owns her home, but falls behind on her property taxes, owing $27,500. The home is seized by the state and sold at auction for $124,000. The state keeps $27,500 of the sale price to satisfy Susan’s tax debt, returning the remaining $96,500 to Susan.
Other Common Quit Claim Deed Uses
Quit claim deeds can be used in a number of other situations. As life circumstances change, people often change their interests or ownership in property, making a quit claim deed useful in such situations as:
- Gifting real property to another person (such as a wedding gift)
- Transferring real property into a trust
- Correcting information on an existing deed (such as a misspelled name)
- Changing interest in real property between current owners
- Clarifying whether real property is joint or separate in a marriage
Quit Claim Deed Form
All states have specific laws regarding required elements of a quit claim deed form. While these vary slightly by jurisdiction, it is common for quit claim deed forms to include the following information:
- Names of both the Grantor and the Grantee
- Name of the county in which the property is located
- Address and physical or legal description of the property
- The date the transfer will take place (as it can occur immediately or sometime in the future)
- The name and address of the individual or entity who will receive tax bills and information
- The signatures of both the Grantor and Grantee
- Signature, date, and official seal of a notary public in the county where the property is located
Once a quit claim deed form is properly executed, all of the legal requirements having been met, the deed must be filed with the court clerk or county recorder in the county in which the property is located.
Quit Claim Deed Sample
Quit claim deed forms are available from the county clerk or recorder, and anyone may find a quit claim deed sample online. Some online resources provide interactive quit claim deed samples. The following quit claim deed sample is generic. It is important to be sure any form used adheres to the laws of the state and county in which the property exists.
QUIT CLAIM DEED
THIS QUIT CLAIM DEED, executed on this _____ day of __________________, 20____, by the Grantor [insert Grantor’s name], whose mailing address is [insert Grantor’s address], to the Grantee [insert Grantee’s name], whose mailing address is [insert Grantor’s address].
WITNESSETH that the Grantor, for good consideration in the sum of $[insert amount], paid by the Grantee, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, does hereby relinquish, release, and quit claim unto Grantee forever, all right, title, interest, and claim to the following described parcel of land, including improvements and appurtenances thereto, in the county of [insert county], state of [insert state]:
[Insert physical postal address, AND full legal description of the property]
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Grantor has signed and sealed these presents on the date written above.
[Signature of Grantor]
[Insert or attach acknowledgement of notary public]
Related Legal Terms and Issues
- Grantor – A person who creates a will, trust, or who transfers interest in real property to another person.
- Grantee – A person who receives an interest in real property according to a deed.
- Jurisdiction – The legal authority to hear legal cases and make judgments; the geographical region of authority to enforce justice.
- Real Property – Land and property attached or fixed directly to the land, including buildings and structures.