What is a quit claim deed?


A quit claim deed is a legal instrument that conveys ownership and financial interests of a property. This means that the previous owner can quit claim his interest to a property to another party and the recipient would own the property if there are no other claimants to the property.

The quit claim deed will cover not just a house, but also other kinds of properties such as a piece of land or a mobile home.

The participants of a quit claim deed are:

  • Grantor: the one giving away the interest
  • Grantee: the one receiving the interest

A quit claim deed is generally used in situations such as:

  • The transfer of the interest from the seller to the buyer during the processing of the purchase of the property. This includes whatever rights and interests the owner has to the property - such as access rights, etc.
  • In situations where the owner changes his marital or civil status. When the person is about to be divorced, the couple can decide to transfer the ownership to just the one spouse in a divorce settlement. It may also be used to add the name of the spouse to the property title after marriage or to remove the name of the spouse from the title during the divorce.
  • The transfer of property to a trust, like in cases where on is planning for a living trust or an estate trust.

With the quit claim, the act of the grantor transferring his interest to the grantee does not mean that there will be no other persons claiming the property. It does not even mean that he owns the property.

The attorney will prepare the quit claim deed and then, in most cases, only the grantor is expected to sign the deed. Then, the attorney or the appropriate state official will notarize the deed. Witnesses may also not be need. These rules may vary from state to state so you should ask your attorney about which rule applies in the state you are in.

The quit claim deed and its details should then be recorded at the land record office. This should be in the county where the property is located. Then, copies of the quitclaim deed will be given to interested parties - such as the grantor, the grantee and the title insurance company.

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