A deed is the document that transfers ownership of real property. It maintains the names of the person holding the legal title, and if any, persons before who held legal title and contains a description of the property included.
The requirements for deeds vary with the jurisdiction and the specific state and city stature must be followed to create a valid deed. Title is the right to hold an ownership interest in a property; the right is transferred through a deed.
What types of deeds are there?
Quit Claim Deed – A Quit Claim deed transfers to the grantee any and all of the legal rights the grantor has in the parcel of real property. The Quit Claim deed makes no warranty about the extent of the grantor’s interest in the parcel of real property. This deed has the least protection of all real estate deeds.
Grant Deed – A Grant Deed transfers to the grantee all or part of the legal rights the grantor has in the parcel of real property. The grantor deed implies certain warranties; that the property has not been transferred to someone else and that the property is free from any liens placed on the property by the grantor.
General Warranty Deed – A general warranty deed transfers to the grantee all of the legal rights the grantor has in the parcel of real property and explicitly warrants that the grantor has good title to the parcel. This deed provides the most protection of the real estate deeds.
Special Warranty Deed – A special warranty deed transfers to the grantee all of the legal rights the grantor has in the parcel of real property but warranties only what the deed specifically states is warranted. This deed type offers the buyer two guarantees from the seller. The first guarantee is that the seller received title and the second one guarantees that the seller did not encumber (anything that lowers the value, use or enjoyment) the property during the time the seller owned the property.
Fiduciary Deed – A fiduciary deed is a deed used to transfer property when the grantor is a fiduciary such as a trustee, guardian, conservator, or executor acting in his official capacity. A fiduciary deed usually only warranties that the fiduciary is acting in his appointed capacity and within his allotted authority.
Trust Deed – A trust deed is a written instrument that transfers property to a trustee to secure an obligation such as a promissory note or a mortgage. The trustee has the power to sell the real property in the case of a default on the obligation.
Do I need a deed to transfer property?
Property cannot be transferred without leaving something in writing. There are only a few examples where a deed may not be needed to transfer property. One may be in divorce where the court transfers the property out of both names into one of the spouse’s names.
Does it matter which deed I use?
From the standpoint of asset protection, yes, from the standpoint of the law, you have choices. Deeds imply promises and with promises come liability.
A deed must be signed and notarized and you should keep your deed in a safe dry place. You or your attorney should record the deed in the Land Records Office in the county where the property is registered. All you have to do is take the original signed deed to the Land Records Office and the clerk will take the deed and stamp it, assign some numbers and make a copy, giving you back your original copy.
How is a trust deed different?
A trust deed (also called a deed of trust) is not used to transfer property. It is a version of a mortgage and contains certain promissory obligations, commonly used in some states ( California , for example). A trust deed transfers title to land to a “trustee” usually a trust or title company that holds the land as security for a loan. When the loan is fulfilled, title is transferred to the borrower. The trustee has no powers unless the borrower defaults on the loan, then the trustee can sell the property and pay the lender without going to court.
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