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When life changes, often your ownership in a property will change with it. You can use a Quit Claim Deed to transfer real property to a family member, former spouse or when you need to place property in a trust. With a Quit Claim Deed, you can make the change official. Once everything's settled, you can move in or move on for a new beginning.
Use a Quit Claim Deed if:
You are passing your rights in a piece of property to a spouse or ex-spouse
You are gifting your property to another person or family member
You are transferring ownership in a property to a trust
You are correcting the spelling of a name in a previous deed
You are changing tenancy (how the property is owned) between owners
You are clarifying if the property is community or separate property after marriage
You own a business and you want to buy or sell real property.
A quit claim deed is considered one of the easiest ways to legally transfer property. That’s because a quit claim deed is often used to transfer property between family members, ex-spouses, and in estate plans (though a transfer on death deed may also be used here, depending on where you live).
It’s important to note that quit claim deeds are rarely used when money exchanges hands---i.e. when the property has a buyer and a seller---as there are no warranties or guaranties that the property is free of liens. This is because liens often specifically prevent the sale of property.
In a quit claim deed, those liens are usually transferred along with the deed itself.
Quitclaim Deeds carry no guarantee that the seller possesses ownership of the property. They merely promise that any percentage of ownership the seller might have is to be transferred to the buyer named in the Deed. This lack of guarantee may cause issues with the title to the property. For a deed that does include guarantees of ownership, see Rocket Lawyer’s Warranty Deed. For help determining the appropriate document for your specific situation, ask a lawyer.
When you’re creating a quit claim deed with our simple, step-by-step interview, here are a few of the questions you’ll need to answer:
Address and property description:
It’s obviously important to note exactly the property’s address on the quit claim deed form. But a legal description should also be included in order to prevent any possible confusion. Deeds without a complete legal description, including the quit claim deed, run the risk of being challenged or rejected in court.
Date of transfer:
You can transfer property with a quit claim deed immediately, at some specific date in the future, or at the time of your death. It’s up to you. Please note that in some states, a transfer on death deed is a more appropriate document if in fact you’re including property in an estate plan.
A business, trust, or individual can use a quit claim deed to transfer property. Likewise, a business, trust, or individual can be the “grantee” of the deed, which simply means the person or entity who will receive the deed.
As noted, often times, quit claim deeds are used when property is transferred without an exchange of money. That doesn’t mean some money can’t change hands. It’s highly recommended that you have a lawyer look over your quit claim deed no matter what, but especially if money is changing hands.
Tax information and exemptions:
Just because the property is changing hands doesn’t mean that tax obligations are too. In some instances, a trust might transfer a property to a trustee, yet the money in the trust has been earmarked to pay property taxes. In other cases, the tax obligations are passed on to the new owner. Our interview allows you to tailor your quit claim deed to your specific tax needs, though again, make sure to have a lawyer and/or accountant look over the document to verify the details.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to keep the mineral rights to the property you’re deeding. That means if you’ve transferred a property with a quit claim deed and the new owner finds a shale deposit or an oil well, you’d still have a legal right to those minerals. Alternatively, if you’re feeling generous, you can transfer those rights to the new owner.
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