The Quitclaim Deed Process

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Quitclaim deeds are often used in divorce or when one family member chooses to transfer property to another family member — for example, if a grandparent transfers property to a grandchild. It is important to complete the quitclaim deed properly to avoid problems in the future.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is a document that transfers ownership of property to another person. The person transferring ownership is called the grantor, and the person receiving the interest in the property is called the grantee. In the case of a divorce, one spouse may be awarded the home in a divorce agreement and the other spouse must complete the quitclaim deed to remove his name from the title of the home. This allows the spouse who was awarded the property to have complete ownership of the home.

The Quitclaim Form

The quitclaim form is a brief form that lists the name of the grantor, the name of the grantee and the legal description of the property to be transferred. Contact your local clerk of the court to ask if your state offers a blank quitclaim deed form. A local office supply store may also sell blank quitclaim deed forms. Once the quitclaim deed is filled out correctly, have the form notarized.

Where to File

Contact your local clerk of the court to find out what legal department handles the filing of a quitclaim deed. The office will vary depending on the state. It is best to have both parties present when filing the deed in case there is any issue or the court clerk has a question. Both parties should keep an original copy of the quitclaim deed.

Cautions

A quitclaim deed does not guarantee that the grantor had any interest in the property to transfer. For example, if the grantor owns a 20 percent interest in a property, he only has 20 percent to transfer. Even if he completes a quitclaim deed conveying 35 percent interest in the property, the quitclaim deed is only good for the 20 percent. Filing a quitclaim deed does not remove the grantor's name from any loan associated with the property. In the case of a divorce, the grantor would not have a legal interest in the property after he files a quitclaim deed, but he will still be listed and be responsible for the loan.