What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

Gabriel Katzner - June 6, 2024 - Real Estate
What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to transfer interest in a property from the grantor to the grantee. It does not guarantee that the grantor has a legal interest or right to the property. A quitclaim deed is a way to transfer property ownership quickly and easily, but it has limitations.

Ian and Marissa are getting divorced after 20 years of marriage. Marissa plans to move across the country to be closer to her family. As part of the divorce settlement, Marissa will transfer her ownership of the family home to Ian. Since Ian and Marissa have a long-term relationship and a full understanding of their property ownership rights, a quitclaim deed may be ideal in their situation.

What is a quitclaim deed?

A quitclaim deed is a means to transfer a person’s interest in a property without verifying whether they actually have an interest in the property. So, quitclaim deeds are useful in situations where both parties know and trust each other. Quitclaim deeds are more commonly used to transfer property ownership between family members or to an LLC or a living trust.

Quitclaim deeds may be used to:

Quitclaim deeds do not guarantee that the person transferring their interest in a property actually has any rights to the property. Because a quitclaim deed comes with significant risks and does not ensure a clear title for the buyer, it is generally not used in standard real estate sales.

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

What is the difference between a quitclaim deed and a warranty deed?

Both a quitclaim deed and a warranty deed transfer ownership interest in a property from the grantor (owner) to the grantee (recipient). They are both legal documents that can be used to transfer property from one party to another. However, there are some key differences between their uses.

Guarantees

When using a quitclaim deed, the grantor makes no guarantees about their ownership of the property or knowledge of the property’s title. They are only transferring whatever interest they have in the property to the recipient.

If a grantor uses a warranty deed instead, they guarantee that they have clear, unencumbered ownership in the property that is transferred to the recipient. A warranty deed provides much stronger legal protections for the recipient and, therefore, is used for real estate sales.

Uses

A quitclaim deed is more commonly used to transfer property between family members. The interest in the property is transferred without a sale.

A warranty deed is used in a real estate transaction because it provides legal protections for the buyer. The buyer can be assured that the seller owns the property they are selling.

Risks

A quitclaim deed does not come with any guarantees. The grantee assumes that the grantor has an interest in the property and the legal right to transfer their ownership to them. The recipient is not protected against any liens or claims against the property. Since they inherit the grantor’s interest in the property, they would also become liable for outstanding mortgage and interest payments.

When using a warranty deed, a grantor is legally responsible if issues arise with the property title or there is a question on the legal ownership of the property. A warranty deed protects the property buyer from people who may try to sell property that they do not legally have an interest in. The grantee has the right to sue the grantor if issues arise in the title or ownership rights.

What information is found on a quitclaim deed?

A quitclaim deed typically contains the following information:

  • Grantor: the name and address of the person transferring the property
  • Grantee: the name and address of the recipient
  • A legal description of the property.
  • The date the document is completed
  • The grantor’s notarized signature

If any money is exchanged as part of the transaction or the property has an existing mortgage, these facts must be noted on the quitclaim deed.

In most states, the quitclaim deed is filed with the county clerk in the county in which the property lies.

If you are planning to transfer property as part of your estate or financial planning, contact an attorney at Katzner Law Group to discuss your options. Schedule a call with us at 855.631.3457 to learn more about how to protect those most important to you.

Gabriel Katzner

In 2002, Gabriel Katzner, the founding partner of Katzner Law Group received his Juris Doctorate with honors from the Fordham University School of Law. After spending the first 7 years of his legal career
practicing at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, an international law firm based in New York, he went on to found his own firm.

Gabriel Katzner has a track record, along with a vast number of
outstanding public reviews across platforms, of working hard on behalf of individuals who need assistance with comprehensive
estate planning services. Finding a lawyer who is knowledgeable about revocable and irrevocable trust planning, guardianship for minor children, asset protection, trust administration and probate,
as well as Medi-Cal / Medicaid planning is extremely important.

Years of experience: More than 17 years
Location: San Diego, CA



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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. Furthermore, it has received approval from attorney Gabriel Katzner, an experienced estate planning lawyer with over 17 years of legal expertise.

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