What is a Quit Claim Deed and When Would You Use One?

What is a Quit Claim Deed and When Would You Use One?


If you’ve never heard of the term “quit claim deed,” you’re not alone although it is a rather common occurrence and one of the easiest ways to transfer ownership of an Illinois real estate property. However, it is only recommended in certain situations. 

Here we explain what a quit claim deed is and when you would use one.

What is a Quit Claim Deed?


A “quit claim deed”, and not a “quick claim deed”, as it is often referred to, is simply a deed where the person conveying title is not warranting they have good, or for that matter, any title to the property being transferred.

In other words, there is no legal protection or even a promise that the person transferring the title is in fact the legal owner. As a result, should the owner have transferred partial ownership to someone else prior to the quit claim deed, then the transfer only includes their share of the property. Because of the nature of the transfer, it can mean the new owner of the deed actually doesn’t own title to the property.

Depending upon the relationship of the person who is transferring the deed to you and the nature of the circumstances, a title policy may make sense to protect yourself from anyone claiming to have a superior interest in the property.

When are Quit Claim Deeds Used?


Quit claim deeds are typically used to transfer property when there is no sale. Common scenarios might include:

  • Between family members
  • From parent to child
  • Between spouses
  • In cases of divorce
  • Transfers of property into a living or land trust
  • From an individual to their corporation
  • Upon death or probate

One other slightly more complicated scenario is if a title property issue comes up where an unexpected person has ownership rights to the property and they might be asked to sign a quit claim deed to formalize ownership for the new owner.

These scenarios generally call for a speedy and simple transfer of ownership between parties who trust each other which is probably how these deeds became known as “quick claim deeds”! 

When are Quit Claims Deeds Not Advisable?


Quit claim deeds should never be used in an actual sale, as there is no guarantee the title or deed is valid. This can leave the new owner vulnerable to fraud, as well as to unknown title owners coming forth with title claims.

Quit Claim Deeds and Divorce


As mentioned above, quit claim deeds are often used in divorces where one spouse will maintain ownership of the marital home. However, it is important to understand that despite the deed transfer, if both names are on the mortgage, they both are still held responsible for payment.

How is a Quit Claim Deed Created?


Quit claim deeds are legal documents requiring a formal agreement in writing including the following information:

  • A legal description of the property
  • The county
  • The date of transfer
  • The names of the grantor and grantee
  • Any payments made in consideration of the transfer

A real estate attorney draws up the deed, has it signed, and then files it with the county clerk.

As long as you are dealing with a “quick” transfer between family members or putting property into a trust, a “quit” claim deed can be the easiest answer.

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