Real Lawyers for Real People
What is a Deed?
A deed is a document that is used to transfer ownership of real estate from one party to another. Deeds can transfer all or part of an interest in real estate. There are many different types of deeds and may different ways a person or entity can own real estate. With TrustAnswers.com you can easily create three of the most common types of deeds: Quit Claim Deed, Warranty Deed or Lady Bird Deed.
Quit Claim Deed:
This is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a "quick claim" deed, perhaps because people see it as the quickest and easiest way to transfer property. The term "Quit" is actually very accurate. When you transfer a property by Quit Claim deed, the giver is actually quitting any ownership that they may have. The giver is giving up any interest that they have to the receiver. This makes the quit claim deed a valuable tool to use when we are not sure what, if any, ownership the giver actually has. The deed simply transfers the ownership the giver has at the moment the deed is signed, nothing more, nothing less. It is often used to clarify ownership when we are not certain if the giver has ownership of a piece of property. Because the giver is only transferring the interest the giver has, and is not guaranteeing that they own the property, a quit claim deed should not be used in a traditional real estate sale. If the receiving party wants a guarantee from the giver that the giver owns the property, a Warranty Deed should be used instead.
This is the most common deed used in traditional real estate transactions. If you are purchasing property, you should be getting a Warranty Deed. A Warranty Deed comes with a guarantee from the giver that the giver is transferring 100% ownership interest in the property. If, for any reason, the giver doesn't have full ownership of the property at the time they sign the deed, they promise (or warranty) that they will get 100% ownership for the receiver. The giver is responsible for transferring 100% ownership to the receiver regardless of whether the giver knew they owned 100% at the time they signed the deed.
Lady Bird Deed:
Lady Bird Deeds are also called "enhanced life estate deeds." A Lady Bird Deed transfers 100% ownership interest in the property, but only upon the death of the giver. When a Lady Bird Deed is signed, the giver actually keeps certain rights to control and use the property. During the lifetime of the giver, the giver can sell, mortgage, transfer or encumber the property at any time during the giver's lifetime, but upon the death of the giver, full title to the property transfers to the receiver. Lady Bird Deeds are often used as part of comprehensive nursing home planning. When used properly they are an effective tool in Medicaid qualification.
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