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Quitclaim Deed: A Document that transfers property-interest

Posted on: 05th Jun, 2005 10:42 pm
A quitclaim deed is a legal document that transfers your interest to another individual in the property such as
  • House - A building for human habitation
  • Land - A place which can be used for habitation, investment or any other purpose
  • Mobile home - A movable house that is parked in a place
Two parties are there in a quitclaim deed process – grantor and grantee. Grantor is the party that transfers the property and the grantee is the party that gets the property. In a quitclaim deed, no promises are made by the grantor that the property is lien-free. Before opting for this deed, it is advised that the grantor should consult an attorney and know about the possible consequences of such property transfer.

To help you get a clear idea of what a quitclaim deed (often misspelled as quick claim deeds or quit claim deeds) is, the whole information is divided into different sections:

When to use quitclaim deed

A quitclaim deed is commonly used in the following situations:

  1. In a divorce, when an ex-spouse transfers ownership of the property to the other.
  2. A spouse may add other spouse's name to the property title after marriage only by issuing the spouse a deed.
  3. At the time of purchasing a property, ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. For such transfer, parties involved may use a quitclaim, general warranty, or special warranty deed.
  4. Sometimes, previous owner of the property may retain some ownership interest in the property. This interest can be transferred to the new owner with the help of a quitclaim deed.
  5. A person planning a will or a living trust can use the document to transfer ownership of the property into a trust or the person they want to inherit the property.
  6. Parents willing to transfer the ownership in a property to a child or a relative before the property gets stuck in a probate.

6 Steps to follow in a quit claim deed

Preparing a quitclaim deed is very easy. Here are some quick steps to do so.

  1. First of all, obtain a quit claim deed form. You can get the form online. You can also obtain it from the office of the local county recorder.
  2. Fill in the names of the grantor and the grantee. If possible address of both the parties has to be filled in.
  3. Signature of the grantor should be there in the form. In some states, signatures of both the grantor and the grantee are required.
  4. A public notary should verify the signature of the grantor. Generally, the grantor has to sign the deed in front of a public notary.
  5. A legal description of the property is a must. This is because of the fact that without the legal description, deed can’t be recorded in the recorder’s office.
  6. In order to make the deed valid, it should be recorded in the recorder’s office.

Life estates and quitclaim deeds

Even after transferring a property through quitclaim, you can have the right to stay there till your death. This is possible only if you retain a life estate for yourself. A life estate is a kind of estate where you retain interest in the property for your lifetime, and specifically name the person to whom the property is to go to immediately after your death.

Reverse/undo quitclaim

Once you have signed a quitclaim, the only way to get the property back is to have the grantee quitclaim it back to you or prove the transfer was invalid. If you can prove that you signed the deed under threat, external pressure, or the grantee made you sign by telling you false information, then you can have the quitclaim deed invalidated. For invalidating a deed, consult an attorney in your state. Learn more...

This legal document is a good way to transfer property if you are transferring it between family. The best way to transfer property to or from someone who is not family is to use a general or special warranty deed which gives the buyer warranties as well as transfers property.

Related Readings

Related Forum Discussions

Hi Kim,

Welcome to this forum.

As far as I know Idaho is a community property state. So you should have gained 50% ownership after your marriage. But I afraid as you have said you have quitclaimed, you may not have any rights on that property.

“even though we made every payment together”
Do you have any proof that shows you have paid the mortgage? Your name was not on the mortgage. So it will not be shown on your credit report. I think you should better talk to an attorney regarding this.

Posted on: 24th Nov, 2007 12:39 am

Thanks for the information. You're right I never have been on the mortgage, but every payment is made out of a joint checking account. I pay the bills every month and the mortgage is set up on a auto draft. Would I talk to a estate attorney or a divorce attorney? Had I known what this would do to my vested rights on this house I would have never signed that document. The mortgage lender told my husband you can't have your wife on the loan due to her bad credit. This was the avenue we had to take at that time. What a bad decision I made.

Posted on: 24th Nov, 2007 08:10 am
Hello Kim,

If you have signed the quit claim deed, you have transferred your share of interest to your husband and you do not have ownership rights to the property any more.
Posted on: 26th Nov, 2007 02:11 am
I am in an unfortunate situation involving my parent's. It looks as though they are in the final stages of forclosure on their home without my knowledge. A quitclaim transfer was suggested to me and I wanted to know if it is to late in the process to do. If not and we still have time ,am I fully responsible for all prior debts and leans and will all their bad credit be attatched to mine?

Thanks for your help.

Posted on: 01st Dec, 2007 07:07 am
Hi Kirt,

Welcome to this forum.

You have said that your parents are in the final stage of foreclosure. So I don't think they can be now able to quitclaim and transfer the property to you. In this stage the lender will not agree to let your father transfer the property to you with the help of quitclaim. And without the lender's consent, a mortgaged property cannot be quitclaimed.

Even if the lender gives the permission to transfer the property, your credit will be affected if the property goes through the foreclosure procedure.

Posted on: 03rd Dec, 2007 05:13 pm
Earlier this year you told me the Ladybird deed was recognized in Michgan. Please explain why lawyers and mortgage lenders have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention the Ladybird deed! Has something changed? When you respond, please give a quick explaination of how it works.
Thank you, Bill
Posted on: 13th Dec, 2007 10:18 am
Hello Bill,

A few days back while surfing the net, I got the information that Ladybird deed is valid in Michigan. It might appear unusual to lawyers and lenders because it is not widely used. Ladybird deed is also known as Enhanced Life Estate Deed, so you may try out with this term too.

You will find information on how Ladybird deed works at
Kindly have a look at it.
Posted on: 14th Dec, 2007 03:18 am
The divorce courts will split up the property as they see fit. Since you have made payments together on this property, I would definately take those to your attorney and have those shown to the courts. If they see that you both had a stake in the property, most likely you will be entiitled to something.
Posted on: 20th Jan, 2008 02:51 pm
My inlaws passed away some time ago. They both signed the quit claim to me but I have not recorded it yet. Can I record those those. I am also paying the mortgage of the house.
Posted on: 05th Feb, 2008 01:24 pm
Guest, how long has it been since you've been though the quitclaim. Every state has a time limit during which the deed should be recorded. Where do you stay?
Posted on: 07th Feb, 2008 02:35 am
My landlord can no longer afford the mortage on the building and wants to do a quitclaim deed with me. I have bad credit due to a bankruptcy, so I dont think a bank will loan me the money to actually purchase the building, so my landlord suggested a quitclaim deed. I dont know if this is a good idea or not and I am unclear as to who will actually own the property. Can someone advise me?
Posted on: 12th Mar, 2008 01:22 pm

after your landlord quitclaims the property to you, you will own the property but the landlord will still be on the mortgage. if you cannot refinance the loan to release the land lord from the mortgage obligations you can try to assume the loan if the lender agrees. so talk to the lender asap.

best of luck,
Posted on: 12th Mar, 2008 01:34 pm
My partner and I owned a house together and last year she died. I hired a lawyer to settle her estate as she died without a will and he filed some paperwork at the courthouse stating her parents were the heirs. Her sister who has power of attorney for the parents wants to transfer their half ownership in the house to me. Would a quit claim deed work for us?
Posted on: 20th Mar, 2008 12:36 pm
Hi Effie,

Welcome to the forum.

First of all her parents will have to get the ownership of her part of the property in their name. As she does not left any will, they will have to file "affidavit of heirship" with the court. So when they get the ownership, they can quitclaim her share of the property to you.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Best of luck,
Posted on: 20th Mar, 2008 12:50 pm
My parents executed a Quit Claim Deed on their house 5-1/2 years ago with myself and two sisters. We are now selling the property and have been told that we each get the proceeds of 1/5 of the home. What are the proceeds considered (income, capital gains), and how do we claim it on our taxes?

Sue in Wisconsin
Posted on: 22nd Mar, 2008 11:03 am
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