Deeds come in many forms. Here is an introduction to the quitclaim deed. (And, by the way, it is a quitclaim deed — not a “quick claim” deed!)
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is a document that ends one person’s interest in a property (whatever that interest may be, if any at all), by transferring that interest to someone else. Unlike a warranty deed, the quitclaim deed doesn’t promise to pass a clear title — only an interest in ownership, as-is. It is called a “Quitclaim” deed because you are “quitting your claim” to the property; said another way, you are “quitting”, “giving up”, or “relinquishing” your rights in the property.
When Is It Best to Use a Quitclaim Deed in Missouri?
Quitclaim deeds can work for many types of conveyance, including transactions among friends, business partners, families, or divorcing couples. They are also useful for owner financing. Here are some common scenarios:
- When multiple family members are on an inherited title, one or more of them might use a quitclaim to leave their share to someone else.
- In divorce, one spouse can quitclaim — give up — the couple’s house, to comply with the terms of the divorce. This leaves the other one of the two spouses as sole owner of the home.
- Sometimes, people use quitclaim deeds to move the property into a new name after a name change.
- A quitclaim deed can be used in a contract for deed sale. This is an owner-financed sale – perhaps for a rent-to-own buyer, or to sell a property when traditional means haven’t worked. In this type of sale, the buyer can inhabit the home while paying off the contracted price in monthly installments. To avoid risk, the seller might ask the buyer for a quitclaim deed with the contract; or a seller may even provide sign a quit claim deed to be held in escrow until the Buyer makes the last payment. If the buyer defaults, the quitclaim deed can transfer the home back to the seller without breaking the contract, or upon the last payment being made by the Buyer, the deed can be filed.
- A quitclaim deed is NOT typically used to convey property out of a trust or out of a business entity such as an LLC or Corporation.
Missouri Quitclaim Deeds Should be Properly Filed
Both Missouri law and your county have strict requirements controlling the content, style, and form of the quitclaim deed. Our real estate lawyers can assist you. The county recorder’s office does not typically provide deed reviewing services, and just because it is filed does not mean it is correctly filed. Any error may often get discovered later.
If there are any mistakes on the deed or filing errors, they will constitute clouds on title, making the property difficult to sell later.
Your property is valuable. Legal assistance protects your interests.
How Can an Attorney Help with Quitclaim Deeds?
Quitclaim deeds can have unexpected impacts, because of their finality, and because a quitclaim deed does not necessarily pass along a free and clear title. It makes sense to consult with an affordable real estate attorney, whether you are transferring away or receiving property by quitclaim deed.
- If you receive property through a quitclaim deed, seek advice from an affordable real estate lawyer to be sure you have every right to sell the property later, should you choose to do so.
- If you transfer property to another person using a quitclaim deed, make sure the conveyance can hold up in court if it ever faces a challenge.
- If you are facing financial difficulties and someone offers to prevent foreclosure or help you refinance your home, and you are asked to sign a quitclaim deed, seeking expert advice is highly recommended — no matter how foolproof the agreement appears to be.
- If you are entering into an agreement for owner financing, an experienced real estate lawyer can help you avoid errors that can impact your own interests, and those of your family, other loved ones, or your business.
The quitclaim deed may often be the simplest and best solution. In other situations, a warranty deed or another form of transfer is a better method to protect your long term interests. An attorney can help by explaining the options available to you, and the resulting legal consequences.
Need Affordable Advice and Support With a Missouri Quitclaim Deed?
If you would like to set up an initial consultation with an experienced Missouri Real Estate Attorney or Deed Lawyer, please contact Affordable Legal Services LLC. We look forward to learning about your particular needs and questions, and how we can answer them.