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Quitclaim Deed – Can it do the job?

Quitclaim deedA quitclaim deed can be very useful for quickly accomplishing a variety of goals with respect to how title is held (owned) in real estate.

More commonly, a quitclaim deed can be used to remove or add a person to the title, often seen in the case of removing an ex- or deceased spouse or adding a new spouse. It can be used to clarify or completely modify the name of an existing person in title who wishes to remain in title, but under a modified or entirely new name. A quitclaim deed can be used to quickly transfer an interest between a person and a special purpose entity or vice versa. This can often occur as a requirement for securing financing where the real estate is held in trust or in a special purpose entity. A quitclaim deed can be used as an original source of title when transferring an interest in a property to a third-party for value where the seller may not be comfortable giving all the warranties typically given when an interest is transferred by a general warranty deed. And finally, a quitclaim deed can be used to remove a potential blemish from title, and really even more.  See an example here – courtesy of First American Title Insurance Company.

Quitclaim deeds of yore…

Historically, for a conveyance to be valid, consideration was necessary in return for the interest received in the property. However, states such as Indiana allow the recording of a “no consideration” quitclaim deed which is not an original source of title which allows for the validity of many of the above-referenced conveyances without the parties actually exchanging money or other items of value.

Quitclaim deeds for free?

A “no consideration” quitclaim deed in many cases may be recorded without the preparation and filing of the Indiana Sales Disclosure. In some counties, however, the form may be required, but the fee for filing the form is waived. Despite state statute, county governmental units have various degrees of discretion for when, where and how the forms are to be completed and processed.

To be sure, it is best to maintain the accuracy of title information to best protect the actual or intended owner. Old, unwanted or unwarranted interests in title always present greater risk for the property to be encumbered by unanticipated liens and other interests which are not equitably attributable to the rightful owner. Resolving these problems after the fact is often at considerable expense, especially when compared to the relatively minimal expense for the preparation and recording of a quitclaim deed.

For other FAQs, see here – courtesy of Indiana Legal Services.

Note: The views expressed are solely the opinion of the author.
Image source: None.

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