What is a Quitclaim Deed?
The quitclaim deed is a legal document the grantor (seller) issues to transfer their interests in a certain real estate property to the grantee (buyer). A quitclaim deed meaning indicates that the grantor doesn’t provide any guarantees to the grantee if the property is free of liens or defects.
Therefore, this type of document is most often used between family members or parties that have a certain level of mutual trust and that want to transfer the property’s ownership without the additional formalities.
The quitclaim deed can also be used to correct errors in the property’s title. It can be used for simple errors like misspelled names or wrong dates, as well as the more complex issues in the title.
The Quitclaim Deed Example Template Should Include the Following Elements:
Full names, mailing addresses and marital status of the grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer)
Legal description of the transferred property
Property’s purchase price
Grantor’s and grantee’s signatures
Notary public acknowledgment (if required by state laws)
Quitclaim Deed Forms By State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
When to Use a Quitclaim Deed Form
Here, you can see the most common situations in which the grantor and grantee can use the quitclaim deed:
Usage of Quitclaim Deed
Transferring property to family: The grantor can use the quitclaim deed to transfer their property to their parents, spouse, children, or siblings. The form of the quitclaim deed enables them to make an easy transfer without additional formalities.
Removing or adding spouse: Used for removing the grantor’s spouse after the divorce or adding a spouse to the property’s title.
Correcting errors in the title: The grantor can use it to correct misspelled names and other technical errors in the title without having to reissue the title.
Transferring property to a trust: The quitclaim can also be used for transferring the property to a living trust for asset protection purposes.
Transferring the property as a gift: The grantor can also use the quitclaim deed if they wish to transfer the property to another person without any compensation.
Transferring the property to a business subsidiary: A parent company can use the quitclaim deed to transfer a certain property to their subsidiary company.
Settlement of disputes: After the ownership dispute, one party can make a quitclaim deed to transfer their interests in the property to the other party.
Transferring partial ownership: If there are multiple co-owners of the property, one of them can use the quitclaim deed if they want to adjust their ownership percentages.
How Does the Quitclaim Deed Work?
The grantor uses the quitclaim deed to transfer all of their interests in the property to the grantee. Depending on the type of ownership the grantor has, the interests they are transferring are different.
Type of Ownership
Sole Ownership: In sole ownership, a single individual or entity owns the property. This individual has full control over the property and can sell, lease, or transfer it without the consent of others.
Joint Tenancy: With joint tenancy, two or more individuals own the property equally. One key feature is the "right of survivorship," which means that if one joint tenant passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving joint tenants.
Tenancy in Common: Here, multiple parties own a certain property. However, their ownership shares might not be equal, and there is no right of survivorship.
Condominium Ownership: With this type of ownership, each owner holds an individual unit in the multi-unit building. However, all the owners have joint ownership over common areas of the building, like the hallways and amenities.
Quitclaim Deed vs. Warranty Deed
Quitclaim and warranty deeds are both used to transfer property ownership from one person to another. However, the terms of the transfer between these two differ considerably.
Firstly, the quitclaim deed offers no warranty in regards to the property’s title. By signing the quitclaim deed, the grantor simply transfers their interests in the property without making any promises about the title’s validity. On the other hand, the warranty deed provides a guarantee that the property title is free from any defects or encumbrances.
Secondly, the quitclaim deed doesn’t offer any protection to the buyer in regards to the property’s condition and title. With the warranty deed, if there is any problem after the property sale, the buyer can seek legal protection and compensation from the seller.
Finally, as a result of the first two differences between the quitclaim and warranty deeds, the quitclaim deed is more commonly used in situations where there is a high level of trust between the grantor and grantee. Contrary to that, the warranty deed is used in standard real estate transactions.
What Information Goes on a Quitclaim Deed
When creating a quitclaim deed, you should include the following elements in your document:
Information about the grantor and grantee: This includes their full names, mailing addresses, and marital status.
Consideration: Provides information on the compensation the grantee owes to the grantor for the property. It can be presented in money, as a trade for some other valuable item or property, or as a gift, where there is no compensation owed to the grantor.
Property location: Includes the state, city, ZIP code, and address of the transferred property.
Legal description of the property: This section should include all the information that can help the parties individualize the property. The easiest way to find the property’s legal description is to look at the property title or previous deed.
Signatures of the parties: This section should contain the signatures of the grantor and grantee and the date of signing. In some states, the grantee’s signature might not be required.
Signatures of the witnesses: Depending on the state law, the document should include the signatures of one or two witnesses that confirm that the grantor and grantee have signed the quitclaim deed. However, in some states, witness signatures might not be required at all.
Notary public acknowledgment: The document should also include the notary acknowledgment, which confirms the identity of the grantor and grantee and the fact that they have signed the quitclaim deed.
Additional Quitclaim Deed Terms
Besides the general elements that should be included in every quitclaim deed, depending on the particular situation, you can include the following elements:
Encumbrances: This provides information if there are any claims or liens established against the transferred property. Although it is not usual for the quitclaim deed, the parties can still include it in the document.
Life estate: In some situations, the parties can agree that the grantor keeps the life estate interest in the transferred property. This enables the grantor to keep using the property until their death.
How to File a Quitclaim Deed
This section provides a step-by-step guide on how to prepare, draft, and file the quitclaim deed for the property transfer.
Step #1. Negotiate the Terms of the Transfer
Before drafting the quitclaim deed, the grantor and grantee should determine all the details about the property transfer, such as the interests the grantor will transfer to the grantee, the property description, and other relevant details.
Only after this step will the parties have sufficient information to start drafting the quitclaim deed.
Step #2. Fill Out the Quitclaim Deed Form
Here, the parties will enter their full names, mailing addresses, and marital status. The form should also include the date of the transfer.
After entering their details, the parties should provide information about the transferred property. This includes a description of the property’s location (state, city, ZIP code, and address) and the legal description of the property.
The third important element is consideration. Here, the parties should describe the compensation the grantee owes to the grantor for transferring their interests in the property. This can be a certain amount of money, or the document can provide that the interests are transferred as a gift.
After filling out all the necessary details, you can print or download the quitclaim deed and proceed to sign and notarize it.
Step #3. Get the Quitclaim Deed Form Notarized
Depending on the state where the quitclaim deed will be filed as well as the location of the property, some state laws require the quitclaim deed to be notarized. If that is the case, the parties will sign the quitclaim deed form before the notary public. The form should also include a section for the notary's acknowledgment.
Step #4. File the Quitclaim Deed Form
Finally, the grantee should record the transfer of property ownership by filing the finalized quitclaim deed with the local county recorder’s office.
Where to Record a Quitclaim Deed Form
Where to Record
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (§ 35-4-20)
Notary Public (AS 34.15.150)
Notary Public (§ 33-401)
2 Disinterested Witnesses and a Notary Public (§ 18-12-104)
Notary Public (§ 27287)
Notary Public (§ 38-35-103)
2 Witnesses and a Notary Public (§ 47-5)
Notary Public (§ 122)
Kent County, , or
2 Witnesses and a Notary Public (§ 695.03)
1 Witness and a Notary Public (§ 48-4-44)
Notary Public (HI Rev Stat § 502-41)
Notary Public (Section 55-805)
Notary Public (§ 765 ILCS 5/20)
Notary Public (IC 32-21-2-3)
Notary Public (§ 558.31)
Notary Public (§ 58-2205)
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (KRS 382.130)
2 Witnesses and Notary Public (LACC 1839)
Notary Public (MRS, Title 33, § 203)
Notary Public (§ 3-104)
Notary Public (Chapter 183 §29)
Notary Public (Section 565.201)
Notary Public (§ 507.24)
Notary Public (MS Code § 89-3-7)
Notary Public (§ 442.150)
Notary Public (MCA 70-21-203)
Notary Public (§ 76-211)
Notary Public (NRS 111.105)
Notary Public (§ 477:3)
Notary Public (N.J. Stat. § 46:4-1)
Notary Public (NM Stat § 47-1-44)
Notary Public (Article 9 § 306)
Notary Public (§ 47-38)
Notary Public (§ 47-19-03)
Notary Public (Section 5301.01)
Notary Public (16 OK Stat § 26)
Notary Public (ORS § 93.410)
Notary Public (21 P.S. § 42)
Notary Public (§ 34-11-1.1)
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (§ 30-5-30)
1 Witness or a Notary Public (§ 43-25-26)
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (TN Code § 66-22-101)
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (§ 11.002(c))
Notary Public (§ 57-3-101)
Notary Public (27 V.S.A. § 301)
2 Witnesses and a Notary Public (§ 55-106)
Notary Public (RCW § 64.04.020)
2 Witnesses or a Notary Public (§ 39-1-2)
Notary Public (§ 706.06)
Notary Public (WY Stat § 32-3-114)
Quitclaim Deed FAQ
The purpose of the quitclaim deed is to outline all the details related to the transfer of the grantor’s interests in certain property to the grantee.
You should use the quitclaim deed in a low-risk property transaction. This includes transactions where there is a high level of trust between the grantor and grantee, which also includes transfers between family members.
The easiest way to get a legally approved quitclaim deed form is to download the free quitclaim deed form from our website. You can also make a ready-to-print quitclaim deed using our builder. All you have to do is fill out the relevant details in our builder, and you are ready to print and sign your document.
A quitclaim deed is good for an unlimited period of time since it permanently transfers ownership from the grantor to the grantee.
Yes, a quitclaim deed must be notarized in most states. After signing and notarizing your quitclaim deed, you should also record it with the relevant body in your state.
A quitclaim deed doesn’t necessarily give you ownership. By signing the quitclaim deed, the grantor simply transfers all of their interests in the property to the grantee without any guarantee that the grantor itself has any ownership in the property.
The quitclaim deed doesn’t expire. Once both parties sign, notarize, and record the document, it remains valid for an unlimited period of time. However, the interests transferred to the grantee can later be modified using other legal instruments.
To nullify a quitclaim deed, the grantor and grantee should mutually agree to do so. After they’ve decided to nullify the document, they should make another document and conclude that the quitclaim deed is nullified. If there is no agreement between the parties, one of them can always challenge the legality of the quitclaim deed before the court.