Laws Covering Quitclaim Deed in Illinois

Quitclaim deeds are generally used to convey property ownership between two related parties. Quitclaim deeds do not offer any guarantee that the grantor holds a title free and clear of any defects. Most states honor quitclaim deeds as valid forms of property transfers, but they regulate the recording of these deeds. Illinois mandates the recording requirements for deeds and allows its counties to impose separate transfer taxes.

Function of a Quitclaim Deed

Quitclaim deeds act as the document that conveys property ownership from one party to another. Generally, this type of deed is used to add or remove someone from the property title. Often times, this occurs after a marriage or divorce. Quitclaim deeds convey the interest the grantor holds in the property to the grantee; the grantor can also remain on title to establish a joint ownership situation.

Document Preparation

It is advised to contact an attorney to prepare quitclaim deeds. However, online document preparation services are available for a small fee. Sometimes, a quitclaim deed may be required if a home mortgage is being refinanced with an additional cosigner. In this case, the title insurance company may provide the quitclaim deed. Using a reputable attorney or service will ensure that the deed is formatted to meet Illinois state guidelines for quitclaim deeds.

Recording Requirements

Quitclaim deeds submitted for recording in Illinois must be typed in black ink on 8.5-by-11-inch paper. The deed needs to contain a 3-inch-by-5-inch area of blank white space in the upper right corner of the first page. This is the area where recording information will be stamped upon completion.

Quitclaim deeds must also contain the full names of all grantors and grantees. The mailing addresses of the grantees must be listed for property tax billing purposes. The grantors must sign the quitclaim deed. In most cases, the grantees do not need to sign. The grantors should sign in the presence of a certified notary public. The notary needs to acknowledge all signatures and sign the deed with his seal.

Quitclaim deeds should be submitted to the county clerk for recording. Each clerk will charge a recording fee based on the number of pages the deed contains.

Transfer Taxes and Forms

Quitclaim deeds do not often list a valuable consideration as a sales price. Most quitclaim deeds in Illinois can be exempt from transfer taxes if the consideration is under $500.00. If the quitclaim deed does not meet an exemption, it will be subject to transfer taxes at the state, county and possibly municipal level.

The Illinois state P-Tax 203 form must accompany all deeds submitted for recording. This form discloses information about the property, including parcel ID number and lot size, and about the grantors and grantees. Some counties, such as Cook, have their own specific county declaration forms.

Additionally, some municipalities, especially those in Cook County, have their own forms as well. Check with your county clerk's office about the necessary forms before submitting a deed for recording.