In New Mexico, a quitclaim deed can be used to transfer ownership in real estate much like a warranty or other grant deed. The difference is that a quitclaim deed transfers the ownership rights in the property without making any warranties. A grantee who accepts a quitclaim deed is accepting it in a legally "as-is" condition, and has no recourse against defects in the title or marketability of the land based on the document itself.
Quitclaim Deeds Valid
Not all jurisdictions recognize quitclaim deeds as valid forms of real estate conveyance. Section 47-1-30 of New Mexico's Property Law chapter gives full legal effect to a document titled "quitclaim deed." Under the statute, a quitclaim deed will transfer any legal interests owned by the person signing the deed to the recipient -- or grantee -- of the deed.
Government To Use Quitclaim Deeds
To protect itself from property or title disputes, New Mexico's Property Control Division is required to use quitclaim deeds when selling or otherwise disposing of property. Section 15-3B-4(8) of the Administration of Government chapter mandates that when the division transfers real estate, as outlined in its statutory powers, it may only do so by quitclaim deed. Likewise, the Secretary of Parks and Recreation is authorized, under Section 16-2-15, to transfer park land to other state institutions or public bodies using a quitclaim deed.
Powers of Attorney
If a property owner is unavailable to sign documents transferring his real estate, he may appoint an attorney-in-fact by signing a document called a power of attorney. The attorney-in-fact can then execute documents on the owner's behalf and in the owner's absence. Section 45-5B-205(B) of the New Mexico Uniform Probate Code specifically authorizes an attorney-in-fact to quitclaim real property on behalf of an owner.
Quitclaim Deed Form
Section 47-1-44 of the Property Law chapter lays out the form of several conveyancing documents used in New Mexico, including a quitclaim deed. The document should contain the title "quitclaim deed," a date, and the names of the grantor and grantee. In addition, the property being transferred must be legally described so that it can't be mistaken for other real estate. A notary must witness the grantor's signature on the quitclaim deed and acknowledge the signature.
- Waddell v. Bow Corp., 408 F.2d 772 (10th Cir. 1969).
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-1-30; Quitclaim deeds
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 15-3B-4; Property control
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 45-5B-205; Tangible personal property
- N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-1-44; Conveyancing forms
- 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.
Trent Jonas accepted his first assignment in 1988 from "The Minnesota Daily" and has been writing professionally ever since, primarily as a copywriter. He is an experienced traveler with a background in advertising, entrepreneurship and as an attorney. Jonas has a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from Hamline University.