Get a Quit Claim Deed
If you have a piece of property and seek to transfer ownership to someone else, you might need to draw up a quit claim deed. This document states that you are relinquishing your claim on a piece of land, a house, or another type of property and handing it over to another party. To get one, you need to fill out a quit claim form, have it signed by both parties, and get it notarized and recorded in the county recorder's office.
Quit claim deeds involve giving up important rights, and can have serious legal implications. It is always advisable to check with a lawyer before signing away your rights.
Sample Quit Claim Deed
Preparing the Document
- Make sure a quit claim deed is the right type of deed for your transfer. A quit claim deed is most commonly used to transfer a property title from one family member to another. It differs from the more common warranty deed in that it offers no guarantees with regard to the property - in other words, it transfers the property to the new owner ‘as is’.
This is not always the best way to protect both parties when transferring a property title, so it's important to do some research before using this method.
- You might use a quit claim deed if you and your sibling or parent jointly own a piece of property and you want to "quit" your claim on the property by transferring the title to someone else.
- The laws regarding quit claim deeds vary from state to state, so do some research to find out whether a quit claim deed is right for your situation.
- Consider hiring an attorney to help you draw up the deed and complete the transfer. This way you can be sure the deed is correctly done and drawn up according to state law.
- Locate the current Deed to the property. If you do not have it in your records, you can get a copy at the county recorder’s office or registry of deeds. The recorder or registry may charge a small fee to cover copy expenses.
- Find the property’s parcel number. A parcel or lot number may be located on your most recent property tax bill, your county’s geographic information system (“GIS”) website, or by calling the county assessor’s office.
- Prepare the deed. You can download a template online or use word processing software to type up a quit claim deed. It should include the following information:
- A description of the parties. The current owner of the property should be named and designated as the “Grantor” and the party who is receiving the property should be named and designated as the “Grantee”. A quit claim deed commonly states that each party is an adult and a resident of a specific county or parish. For example, “John Doe (“Grantor”), an adult resident of Grant County”.
- A statement that the Grantor is quitting his or her claim to the property and transferring title to the Grantee. Common language for stating this is, “hereby releases and quits his claim to." For example, “John Doe (“Grantor”), an adult resident of Grant County, hereby releases and quits his claims to Mary Drake (“Grantee”), and adult resident of Madison County.”
- A description of the property. Your description should include both the common street address and the full legal description of the property. You can find the legal description of the property on the current Deed or on the County’s GIS system website. Make sure that you use the full legal description and not your local recorder or assessor’s shortened one. Check with the assessor’s office in the county where the property is located if you are unsure.
- A statement of the amount of consideration. Oftentimes, when transferring property by Quit Claim Deed, no consideration, or payment, was or will be given to the Grantor. However, contract law requires consideration for a contract to be valid, so a Quit Claim Deed generally states that the sum of $1 or $10 was given.
- A space for the date and the guarantor's signature. A line with the Grantors typed or printed name below and the word “date” with a blank space after it, for the Grantor to fill in the date is ideal.
- A notary signature block. A Deed must be signed by the Grantor, under oath, in front of a notary public (“notary”). Standard language for a notary block is “before me, the undersigned notary public, in and for COUNTY (replace with the name of the county), STATE (replace with the name of the state) personally appeared GRANTOR (replace with Grantor’s name), and signed the above Quit Claim Deed as his/her free and voluntarily act and deed.” A line below this language, with the notary’s typed or printed name, or “notary public”, and a space for the date and the notary’s stamp or seal, should also be provided.
- Determine if any signatures besides the Grantor’s is required. The laws vary from state to state, and some require that a witness or even the Grantee sign a quit claim deed. Check with your attorney or the county recorder or register’s office to determine if additional signature blocks are needed.
Completing the Deed
- Decide how to format your deed. Many counties and/or states have very specific requirements for the formatting of a deed. Generally, you should provide a 2-inch margin at the top of the deed and at least a 1-inch margin at the bottom. Check your county recorder’s website for formatting instructions or give them a call and ask.
- Determine if any additional information is required. Some states require certain statements on a quit claim deed. For example, Indiana requires that the statement, “I affirm, under the penalties of perjury, that I have taken reasonable care to redact each social security number contained in this document, unless required by law” appear on the deed and that it be signed by the person who prepared the deed. Check your state’s statues, with your attorney, or with your county recorder or register to determine what additional statements or information are required by your state.
- Print the deed and get the required signatures. Both the grantor and the grantee should sign the document.
- Get the document notarized. The Grantor’s signature should be notarized. You can usually find a notary public at any banks or law office. Notaries generally charge a nominal fee for their services.
- Record the deed at the county recorder’s office or registry of deeds. Each county, or parish, will have a different procedure and fee for recording a quit claim deed, so you may want to call ahead and ask for instructions.
- Wait for your recorded quit claim deed to arrive in the mail. Many recorder and registry offices can have your recorded quit claim deed in the mail to you within a few days. Your recorded copy of the Deed is the official record of who owns the property, so put it up in a safe place.
- You may wish to visit Legacy Writer or Law Depot for a Quit Claim Deed template to get you started.
- Some states require that you submit other forms along with your Quit Claim Deed when recording the Deed. You may want to call the recorder or registers office ahead of time, in order to determine if you will need additional forms and discover where you can locate them.
- You can find the free Quit Claim Deed generator on Legacy Writer’s website at http://www.legacywriter.com/deeds/quitclaimdeed.aspx and on Law Depot’s site at http://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/quit-claim-deed-form/.
- A Quit Claim deed is extremely difficult to undo, unless the other party is willing.
- You cannot transfer a mortgage using a Quit Claim deed. The borrower is still responsible for repaying a mortgage.
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