Quitclaim Deeds and Property Transfer: What You Should Know

By Henry F. Lewis on July 11, 2018

Signing a quitclaim deedWhen undergoing a divorce, property transfers can become complex and the source of many disputes. Yet when a divorce is completed amicably and quickly, sometimes these real estate property transfers can be completed with a simple quitclaim deed.

The Oakland, CA family law attorneys of Gardner & Lewis, LLP would like to cover the basics of quitclaim deeds and how they work. We’ll note the pros and cons, and discuss how they apply to real estate transfers in divorces.

What Is a Quitclaim Deed?

A quitclaim deed is a type of legal document used to transfer real estate property from one person to another.

Quitclaim deeds are sometimes mistakenly referred to as a “quick claim deeds,” which may make some sense since they are so fast and easy to complete.

The Pros and Cons of Quitclaim Deeds

The advantages of quitclaim deeds are as follows:

  • Quitclaim deeds are easy to complete
  • No need for an attorney or a realtor to be present when completing a quitclaim deed
  • Only needs to be notarized before being filed, which makes the process go by quick

The disadvantages of quitclaim deeds include:

  • Makes no guarantees about transferred interest of real estate property
  • There are no guarantees regarding liens and leases of real estate property

When Are Quitclaim Deeds Used?

Given the pros, quitclaim deeds tend to be most ideal when real estate property transactions occur between family members or former spouses. If a relative gifts a younger relative a house, all that is necessary is a quitclaim deed.

The same is true if spouses are getting divorced and an amicable agreement is made regarding the ownership of a given property, such as a home or an apartment. In these cases, the ex-spouse will know about any leases, liens and interest, so they will not come as a surprise.

Where Disputes May Arise

In some cases, a quitclaim deed may simply not be enough given the lack of guarantees regarding the real estate property in question. If there are certain aspects of real estate property that are for some not known to one of the spouses, a warranty deed may be requested instead. There are better guarantees and protections in place when real estate property is transferred through a warranty deed. Many times such disputes arise from feelings of distrust or anger during the divorce proceeding.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

A divorce may be extremely fraught, resulting in heightened emotions and anger, especially where property separation is involved. Thankfully a lawyer can offer guidance in such matters.

With more than 50 years of combined experience in complex property division and family law issues, our law firm can help guide you through all aspects of a divorce. If a simple quitclaim deed is not applicable to your situation, we can discuss other options that will be more ideal. We hope to offer peace of mind during these proceedings so that everyone can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to any disputes that arise.

Contact the Lawyers of Gardner & Lewis, LLP

For more information about quitclaim deeds and other issues related to property transfers during marriage and divorce, contact our team of attorneys. The lawyers of Gardner & Lewis, LLP can offer expert guidance regarding property matters and related issues.

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Oakland Office

1939 Harrison St
Ste 210
Oakland, CA 94612

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (510) 451-4822