Does A Quitclaim Deed Give You Ownership?

Does A Quitclaim Deed Give You Ownership - What Is The Purpose Of A Quit Claim Deed - Can A Quit Claim Deed Be Contested

Does a quitclaim deed give you ownership?

In this article you’ll learn about:

  • what the purpose of a quitclaim deed is 
  • quitclaim deed loopholes
  • whether your spouse has a right to the property after signing a quitclaim deed
  • when does a quitclaim deed take effect
  • how long is a quitclaim deed good for

Let’s dig in.

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Does A Quitclaim Deed Give You Ownership?

Yes, a quitclaim deed gives you ownership of a property. 

A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to transfer an individual’s interest in a property to another party.

However, it does not necessarily guarantee ownership or clear title to the property. 

Instead, it transfers whatever interest or claim (ownership) the grantor has in the property to the grantee.

  • Grantor: the person or entity giving the quitclaim deed.
  • Trustee: the person receiving the quitclaim deed.

Here are some key points to understand about quitclaim deeds giving you ownership:

  • No Guarantee of Ownership: A quitclaim deed makes no warranties or guarantees about the grantor’s ownership interest or the property’s title. It merely transfers whatever rights or interests the grantor has at the time of the transfer.
  • Common Uses: Quitclaim deeds are often used in situations where the parties involved have a level of trust or familiarity with each other. Common uses include transferring property between family members, clarifying property interests, or resolving disputes.
  • Limited Legal Protection: Because quitclaim deeds do not provide any warranties or guarantees, they offer less legal protection compared to warranty deeds or special warranty deeds. If there are issues with the property’s title or ownership, the grantee may have limited legal recourse.
  • Title Search Advised: Before accepting a property through a quitclaim deed, it is advisable for the grantee to conduct a thorough title search or obtain title insurance to verify the property’s ownership and legal status.
  • Not Suitable for Purchases: Quitclaim deeds are generally not recommended for real estate purchases where clear and marketable title is essential, such as when buying property on the open market. In such cases, warranty deeds or special warranty deeds are typically used to provide greater protection to the buyer.

Can A Quit Claim Deed Be Contested?

Yes, a quitclaim deed can be contested under certain circumstances.

However, contesting such a deed can be challenging. 

Contesting a quitclaim deed typically involves:

  • legal proceedings 
  • the presentation of evidence

You have to demonstrate why the deed should be considered invalid or void. 

Here are some common reasons why a quitclaim deed may be contested:

  • Lack of Capacity: If the grantor lacked the legal capacity to understand the consequences of the deed at the time of signing due to factors like mental incapacity, undue influence, or intoxication, the deed may be contested.
  • Forgery: If the quitclaim deed was forged or signed without the grantor’s knowledge or consent, it can be contested on grounds of fraud.
  • Duress or Undue Influence: If the grantor was coerced or subjected to undue influence that forced them to sign the quitclaim deed against their will, it may be contested.
  • Fraudulent Inducement: If the grantee (the person receiving the property) used fraudulent means to induce the grantor into signing the deed, it may be contested.
  • Mistake: If there was a genuine mistake or misunderstanding regarding the property or the terms of the quitclaim deed, it might be contested.
  • Improper Notarization or Execution: If the quitclaim deed was not properly executed, notarized, or recorded according to the legal requirements of the jurisdiction, it may be subject to contestation.
  • Unrecorded Deed: In some cases, if the quitclaim deed was not properly recorded with the county or city clerk’s office, its validity or priority may be challenged.

What Is The Purpose Of A Quit Claim Deed?

A quitclaim deed serves the purpose of transferring a person’s interest or claim in a property to another person or entity. 

However, unlike a warranty deed or a special warranty deed, a quitclaim deed does not provide any guarantees or warranties about the property’s title or ownership. 

Instead, it conveys whatever interest the grantor has in the property at the time of the transfer. 

The most common use of a quitclaim deed is to transfer ownership of a property from one party to another. 

This transfer can occur for various reasons, including:

  • Family Transfers: Transferring property between family members, such as parents to children, as a gift or inheritance.
  • Removing a Name: Removing a person’s name from the property’s title, such as in divorce proceedings.
  • Clarifying Ownership: Clarifying or confirming property ownership when there is uncertainty about the title.

Repercussions Of A Quit Claim Deed

The primary repercussion of a quitclaim deed is that it offers no warranty or guarantee regarding the property’s title. 

The grantor (the person transferring the property) does not warrant that they have clear or marketable title to the property.

This means they do not assure the grantee (the recipient) that there are no liens, encumbrances, or claims against the property. 

This means the grantee accepts the property “as is.”

Because a quitclaim deed lacks warranties, it provides less legal protection to the grantee compared to warranty deeds or special warranty deeds. 

If there are issues with the property’s title or undisclosed problems, the grantee may have limited legal recourse against the grantor.

In summary, the repercussions of a quitclaim deed primarily revolve around the lack of warranties and potential risks associated with property ownership. 

Parties involved in quitclaim deed transactions should exercise caution, conduct due diligence, and consider seeking legal advice.

This is especially recommended when the transaction involves valuable real estate or unfamiliar parties. 

When clear title and legal protection are critical, other types of deeds, such as warranty deeds, may be more appropriate.

Quit Claim Deed Loopholes

Quitclaim deeds, like other legal instruments, are subject to the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which they are used. 

Quitclaim deeds themselves do not contain inherent “loopholes.”

However, the primary characteristic of a quitclaim deed is that it provides no warranties or guarantees about the property’s title or condition. 

While this is not a loophole, it means that the grantee accepts the property “as is.”

This can lead to disputes or issues if undisclosed problems arise.

Additionally, quitclaim deeds can be used in fraudulent schemes.

For example, an unscrupulous individual attempts to transfer property without the grantee’s full understanding or consent. 

Such cases may involve forgeries, identity theft, or coercion.

It’s important to approach quitclaim deeds with caution and seek legal advice when necessary.. 

Quitclaim deeds are valuable tools in specific circumstances.

However, they should be used thoughtfully and with a full understanding of their implications. 

FAQs About Quitclaim Deed Ownership

Here are other questions that clients ask us about quitclaim deed ownership. 

What Happens When You Have Quit Claim Deed, But Still On Mortgage?

When you have a quitclaim deed but are still listed on the mortgage for a property.

It means that you are still legally responsible for the mortgage on that property.

This is true even though you transferred your ownership interest.

The quitclaim deed only transfers your ownership interest or claim in the property.

It does not release you from the financial obligation of the mortgage. 

You remain legally obligated to make mortgage payments.

And the lender can hold you accountable for any default on the loan.

Does A Spouse Have The Right To Property After Signing A Quit Claim Deed?

The signing of a quitclaim deed by one spouse does not necessarily eliminate the other spouse’s rights to the property.

This is especially true if both spouses have an interest in the property, such as in a marital home. 

Here are key considerations:

  • Community Property States: In community property states (e.g., California, Texas), property acquired during the marriage is generally considered community property, and both spouses typically have an equal ownership interest. Signing a quitclaim deed by one spouse alone does not automatically transfer full ownership to the other spouse. The non-signing spouse may still have a legal interest in the property.
  • Marital Agreements: If the spouses have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlines property rights, including the right to transfer or relinquish property through a quitclaim deed, the terms of the agreement will govern.
  • Homestead Laws: In some states, homestead laws protect a spouse’s interest in the family home, even if they did not sign the quitclaim deed. These laws may provide certain rights or restrictions regarding the sale or transfer of the marital home.

When Does A Quit Claim Deed Take Effect?

A quitclaim deed takes effect upon:

  • proper execution of the quitclaim deed, 
  • delivery of the property, and 
  • proper recording of the quitclaim deed.

The quitclaim deed must be properly executed by the grantor. 

This typically involves signing the deed in the presence of a notary public to acknowledge the signature’s authenticity.

Delivery of the property is as simple as giving the new owner the keys or ability to access the property. 

And finally, the quitclaim deeds must be recorded with the appropriate county or city clerk’s office.

This provides notice to the public and establishes a legal record of the property transfer. 

Recording also helps protect the grantee’s interests by creating a clear chain of title.

How Long Is A Quitclaim Deed Good For?

A quitclaim deed itself does not have an expiration date.

It is not inherently “good” or “bad” based on a timeframe. 

A quitclaim deed remains a valid legal document once executed and delivered  until it is either:

  • Revoked or Canceled: The grantor (the person who transferred the property) has the ability to revoke or cancel a quitclaim deed under certain circumstances. This typically involves executing a new deed that explicitly revokes the previous quitclaim deed and recording the revocation deed with the appropriate county or city clerk’s office.
  • Challenged in Court: A quitclaim deed can be challenged or invalidated in court if there are legal grounds to do so. This may occur if the quitclaim deed was executed under duress, fraud, or other improper circumstances. The court can declare the deed void if it finds that it was not validly executed.
  • Affected by Legal or Property Changes: Changes in property ownership, property encumbrances, or legal regulations can affect the rights and interests associated with a quitclaim deed. For example, if the property undergoes foreclosure or if there are disputes over property boundaries, the quitclaim deed’s impact may be subject to change.

Get A Quit Claim Deed

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