Whatever property a person owns during his lifetime is considered his estate. When that person dies, the items in the estate are generally transferred to his heirs. Usually a home and property make up the largest portion of the estate's value. A deed is used to transfer property ownership from the deceased owner to his heirs. If a personal representative was appointed, the representative cannot sign a quitclaim deed for a deceased grantor. A personal representative deed is used instead.
When someone dies, the deceased's personal representative cannot sign a quitclaim deed for the deceased's property; instead, she must sign a personal representative deed to transfer property.
Personal Representative's Authority
Personal representatives are appointed by an individual or the court system to act on behalf of that individual to make certain decisions. Personal representatives are also called executors or administrators. A person can appoint an individual as his personal representative in his will. If there is no will or if it does not appoint a representative, the court system chooses someone to fill the position. The representative will be responsible for carrying out the decedent's will and managing the estate he left behind.
Personal Representative's Duties
Probate courts handle proceedings regarding deceased persons estates. Specific probate laws vary slightly by state. However, the personal representative generally has the same specific duties to fulfill. Once the personal representative is appointed, the proper documentation must be filed with the court system to show that person is the appointed representative from the date of death onward. Next, the representative audits the deceased's assets and debts and reports them to the court. Once all outstanding debts, if applicable, are paid, the representative distributes the remaining portion of the estate to those named in the will.
Personal Representative Transfer Deed
When a property is included in the will, a personal representative cannot sign a quitclaim deed for the deceased. Instead of a quitclaim deed or warranty deed, a personal representative deed is used. Like any other deed, the personal representative deed transfers the owner's (now deceased) interest in the property to the heir named, or appointed by the court.
Transfer Deed Limitations
Personal representative deeds generally do not carry a warranty. Although they are different from a quitclaim deed, they function in a similar fashion. A quitclaim deed acts to convey the current owner's interest in the property to another person. The deed provides no guarantee that the grantor actually owns the property. In the future, if there is an issue with the property title, the grantor would not be responsible. A personal representative deed also provides no such warranty to the grantee.
- Senior Options: Executor/Personal Representative
- LawDepot: Quitclaim Deed
- HG.org. "Contracts 101—Warranty vs Quitclaim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- Realtor.com. "When Do You Need to Get a Quitclaim Deed?' Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- DivorceNet. "Interspousal Transfers Versus Quit Claim Deeds." Accessed Aug. 12, 2020.
- California State Board of Equalization. "Property Ownership and Deed Recording," Page 7. Accessed Aug. 13, 2020.