8 Scenarios in which Quitclaim Deeds Are Required

A quitclaim deed is one of several types of deed, the legal document used to transfer property from one party to another. The difference in the type of deed is the extent of title protection promised by the deed. The quitclaim deed  releases, or "quits," one person's (the grantor's) interest in a property and passes it to another person (the grantee). This type of deed makes no warranty that the title is clear and does not guarantee that the property is free of debt.

There are several scenarios in which the use of a quitclaim deed is sufficient.

1. Spouse Adds His/Her Spouse to Title of Home Owned Pre-Marriage

It is common for this type of deed to be used when one member of a couple already owns a house at the time that the couple marries. A quitclaim can be used to add the new spouse to the title.

2. Spouse Quits Claim at Sale of Home Owned by His/Her Spouse

Also in the case of a married couple, when one spouse owned a home before the marriage, upon the sale of the house, the spouse whose name is not on the title may be asked to sign a quitclaim deed to ensure that that spouse does not return at a later date to try to claim the property.

3. Spouse Quits Claim to Home as Divorce Settlement

Divorce is also a time in which a quitclaim deed may be used. If one spouse is remaining in a jointly owned home, the spouse who is leaving will sign a quitclaim deed relinquishing his or her rights to the house.

4. Quitclaim Deed Uses among Siblings

In a case where a family home is jointly owned by several siblings, a quitclaim deed may be used to transfer ownership among the siblings, or upon the sale of the home, all siblings may be required to sign a quitclaim deed. 

5. Quitclaim Deeds for Estate Planning

Quitclaim deeds are useful in estate planning. They may be used in order to transfer a property into a trust or to transfer property to children while the parents are living. Keep in mind that this transfer should take place before the death of the parents, as it may be difficult or even impossible to have the property transferred once the grantor is no longer living, even if the quitclaim was drawn up before the death.

6. Quitclaim Deeds to Transfer Property from Personal into Business

There are other uses for quitclaim deeds. They may be used in order to transfer personal property into a business entity, or to eliminate clouds, or defects, on a title.

7. Previous Owner Quits Claim to Home during Closing

Upon the sale of a property, a quitclaim deed is usually signed at closing in order to transfer the interests of the property involved from the seller to the buyer. 

8. Quitclaim Deeds Remove Clouds of Previous Ownership during Auctions

Quitclaim deeds are also used when a property is being auctioned by a local government in order to pay an outstanding tax debt.

Is the Use of a Quitclaim Deed Right for Your Situation?

The quitclaim deed is not appropriate for all situations. Before using this deed, consult an attorney for advice regarding your unique situation. He will be able to advise you as to the use of the deed and the requirements in your state for completing a quitclaim deed.