What Is a Quitclaim Deed?
Published on:July 28, 2016
What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

There may come a time when you need the services of an experienced real estate attorney to help you clarify an aspect of your property ownership, or make changes to existing arrangements. In real estate law, there are several tools an attorney can use to get the results their clients are looking for. One of the more common legal tools available is the quitclaim deed. Whether you may or may not have heard of a quitclaim deed, every property owner should know what a quitclaim deed is and when it can be used.

What Is A Quitclaim Deed?

A quitclaim deed either transfers ownership of a property, or removes one part from property ownership. The quitclaim deed is an important tool used in estate planning, divorce proceedings, and child care arrangements. Whenever you are talking about the possibility of changing the name of a property owner in any way, you are talking about a quitclaim deed.

To Remove A Party From The Deed

Quitclaim deeds are commonly used in divorces to remove one or both parties from the property ownership papers. If you are keeping the house and your spouse is giving up ownership, then you would get your spouse to sign a quitclaim deed. If both spouses agree to transfer the marriage property to a third-party, then a quitclaim deed would be used.

It is important to note that a quitclaim deed does not change the financing arrangements in any way. If your spouse signs a quitclaim deed to be removed as a property owner but they are a co-signer on the mortgage, the quitclaim deed does not remove your spouse from the mortgage. However, the executed quitclaim deed allows you to refinance the house to remove your spouse from the mortgage.

Add A Party To The Deed

If you remarry after your divorce and want your new spouse to be on the ownership papers for your home, then you would both sign the same quitclaim deed. The property would be transferred to just your ownership, to the joint ownership of the two of you. Once again, this does not add your spouse to the mortgage. The mortgage is a separate agreement that must be dealt with on its own.

Transferring Property To An Heir

A quitclaim deed is used by the courts to transfer property from person to another in the event that the property owner has passed away. Addressing the problem of an existing mortgage on a home that was transferred to an heir is different from state to state.

It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side to work through the details with the finance company to determine what can be done to make sure the heir has full access to the property.

A quitclaim deed is a standard agreement that an experienced real estate attorney can have processed in a short period of time. Before you allow your attorney to file your quitclaim deed, you should proofread it for accuracy. Some of the most common problems occurring with quitclaim deeds come from misspelled names and incorrect property addresses.

If you are discussing a divorce with your spouse, then be sure to bring up the subject of a quitclaim deed. In some cases, a spouse may require a financial settlement before signing off on a property. This is the type of arrangement that should only be negotiated through an experienced attorney.