In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses the differences between warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds.
I’m going to talk about a subject today that’s really sort of real estate law, but since people who have estates and people who do long-term care planning tend very often to own real estate, most particularly the place where they live, it’s relevant in this situation too. And the question is, what’s the difference between a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed?
Well, to translate legalese into plain English, if you sign a warranty deed what you’re doing is you’re telling the person that you’re deeding that property to, “I guarantee that I own this, and I will stand behind that guarantee, and if I don’t actually own this you can sue me for it.” A quitclaim deed basically says, “Well, whatever I have, I’m not quite sure what that is or at least I won’t guarantee what it is, it’s yours now. You have it and not me.”
So, what’s the main difference between when they’re used. Well, warranty deeds are used universally pretty much when property is being sold. If you own a house and I’m buying it, and you expect me and my mortgage lender to write you a check for $100k, $200k, $300k, you better darn well sure own that property. I’m not going to pay out that amount of money if you don’t.
Quitclaim deed we use a lot in the planning we do in family situations. If Mom is deeding property over to her son and it’s a gift, son’s not saying, “Mom, I won’t take this property from you unless you can guarantee methat you can own it.” Mom’s not going to go to a title company, she’s not going to get title insurance, she’s not going to go to the expense of having a title search. She’ll just sign a quitclaim deed.
That’s the basic difference. Hope you know more than what you did a couple minutes ago.
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