In Oklahoma law, when you complete a quitclaim deed it conveys "all the right, title and interest" you have in the property described in the deed. That doesn't mean you own the land; quitclaim deeds can be used to settle a title dispute when one party's claim to the property isn't clear. Unlike a warranty deed, quitclaim deeds don't offer any guarantees the title is valid.
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
Used in property law, the term "quitclaim deed" is a legal document that disclaims any interest of a "grantor" in real property by passing the claim onto the "grantee." So a grantor essentially "quits" his or her claim to the property, even if the grantor doesn't have a valid claim.
Using Quitclaim Deeds in Oklahoma
The State of Oklahoma notes that quitclaim deeds are most often used to convey property in the event of a divorce, even if one of the spouses is not on the title to the property. The reason for filing a quitclaim deed is to prevent the non-titled spouse from filing a future claim against the title-holding spouse.
Quitclaim deeds are not just used in a divorce. They can also be used to transfer a person's interest in any real property to the grantee.
Who Can Be a Grantor?
Any individual 18 or older -- or younger as long as she's attained her majority -- can be a grantor, the person who conveys title with a quitclaim or warranty deed. Corporations, governments and other entities can also act as a grantor, even if the entity has been dissolved. Spouses can convey title to their primary residence only as joint grantors unless one spouse is incapacitated, one spouse abandons the other or one spouse moves out of state for a year or more.
Understanding the Document
In Oklahoma, a title has to be conveyed in writing. A quitclaim deed should state that the grantor does "hereby quitclaim, grant, bargain, sell and convey" title to the "grantee" in return for a stated consideration, which can be nothing. The deed must include a legal description of the property and identify the county in which it's located. The grantor must sign and date the deed; the grantee doesn't need to sign to make it legal.
Acknowledgments From a Notary
An Oklahoma deed doesn't need a witness's signature, but it must be signed and sealed by a notary, justice of the peace or other official authorized to validate documents. The official must acknowledge that the grantor appeared before her personally and is indeed the person who signed the deed. Quitclaim deeds to Oklahoma property legally executed in other states or territories are as binding as deeds executed by Oklahoma officials.
Recording the Deed
Once the grantor signs the quitclaim deed and delivers it to the grantee, it becomes legally binding on them both. It has no legal effect on third parties until it's been acknowledged and then recorded.
Recording it with the county register of deeds gives notice to all third parties that the grantor no longer has title. If the quitclaim deed has legal defects, those defects can invalidate the deed. If there's no challenge in the five years after the deed is filed, however, the defects no longer affect the deed's validity.
- State of Oklahoma: Conveyance Instruments
- eForms: Oklahoma Quit Claim Deed Form
- 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.
A Durham, NC resident, Fraser has written about law, starting a business, balancing your budget and fighting evictions, among other legal and financial topics.