Arizona Warranty Deed Form – Summary

The Arizona warranty deed is a form of deed that provides an unlimited warranty of title. It makes an absolute guarantee that the current owner has good title to the property. The warranty is not limited to the time that the current owner owned the property. This means that the current owner could be legally responsible for title issues that arose before the current owner acquired the property. In Arizona, warranty deeds are often used:

  • When a buyer is purchasing residential property from a seller for full value;
  • When the buyer does not intend to purchase title insurance; or
  • In other circumstances where the current owner is comfortable with the legal risk associated with an unlimited warranty of title.

Special language is required to ensure that the deed qualifies as a warranty deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Arizona counties. Get Deed

How an Arizona Warranty Deed Form Works

What is an Arizona Warranty Deed?

An Arizona warranty deed (sometimes called a general warranty deed) allows the current owner (grantor) to transfer Arizona real estate to a new owner (grantee ) with a full warranty of title. By signing the deed, the grantor guarantees that he or she has free and clear title to the property, has the right to convey title, and will defend the title against all claims, including those that arose before the grantor owned the property. A warranty deed provides the most protection to the grantee of any deed form. Warranty deeds are recognized by various Arizona statutes, including A.R.S. § 33-402.

Other Names for an Arizona Warranty Deed Form

An Arizona warranty deed form is sometimes called a general warranty deed form. The word general is used to distinguish the warranty deed from a special warranty deed, which provides a more limited warranty of title.

Relationship of Warranty Deed Form to Warranty of Title

Key Term: Warranty of Title. Title issues can be caused by many things, including errors in the public record, unknown liens against the property, undisclosed prior conveyances, forged deeds, missing heirs or unprobated wills, or disputes about boundary lines or surveys. Title issues often require legal action to fix and can decrease the value of real estate. If the property has no title issues, it is said to have clear title. A warranty of title is a legal guarantee from the transferor to the transferee that there are no title issues. If a deed makes a warranty of title, the transferee can sue the transferor over any title issues.

A warranty deed form is named after the full warranty of title it provides. A grantor that signs a warranty deed form makes an absolute guarantee about title to the property that covers periods before the grantor owned the property. The grantor is responsible, not only for his or her own actions or inactions, but also for the actions or inaction of all prior owners. For example, the grantor could be responsible for an unpaid tax lien or boundary dispute caused by a prior owner, even if the grantor is unaware of the title issue.

The warranty provided by a warranty deed form is often supplemented by title insurance. Title insurance shifts the risk of title issues from the grantor to the title insurance company. If it turns out that there is a problem with title, the new owner can file a claim against the title insurance policy instead of looking solely to the prior owner to resolve the issue.

Comparison of Arizona Warranty Deed Form to Other Forms of Arizona Deeds

The full warranty of title provides by an Arizona warranty deed distinguishes it from the two other forms of deeds that are defined by their warranty of title:

  1. Arizona Special Warranty Deed Form – An Arizona special warranty deed provides a warranty of title that is similar to a warranty deed form, but differs in one important respect: The grantor that signs a special warranty deed is only responsible for title issues that arose while that grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for title issues relating to periods before the grantor owned the property.
  2. Arizona Quitclaim Deed Form – An Arizona quitclaim deed makes no warranty of title. Where the warranty deed form provides the most protection to the grantee, the quitclaim deed provides the least protection to the grantee.

Arizona warranty deeds may also differ from other types of deeds that are named after features other than the warranty of title. These deeds include:

  1. Arizona Life Estate Deed Form – An Arizona life estate deed divides ownership of the property into a life estate (held by a life tenant) and a remainder interest (owned by remainder beneficiaries). On the death of the life tenant, the property passes to the remainder beneficiaries without going through probate. If the life tenant wants to sell, mortgage, or otherwise deal with the property, the life tenant must get the consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
  2. Arizona Beneficiary Deed Form – An Arizona beneficiary deed is a statutorily created deed that avoids the loss of control associated with life estate deeds. It allows the owner to name beneficiaries to inherit the property at the owner’s death without going through probate. But, unlike a life estate deed, the current owner can freely deal with the property—and even revoke or change the beneficiary designation—without involving the beneficiaries.

A life estate deed form may also be named after the warrant of title it provides (or doesn’t provide). For example, a life estate deed may be both a life estate deed and either a quitclaim deed, special warranty deed, or warranty deed.

Common Uses of General Warranty Deeds

Because of the risk that the grantor assumes when using a warranty deed, they are rarely used outside of the sale context. Unless money is changing hands, a grantor is unlikely to want to assume the risk associated with a warranty deed. Because of this risk, warranty deeds are used almost exclusively in the sale context.

How to Create an Arizona Warranty Deed

An Arizona warranty deed form is only valid if it meets the requirements of Arizona law. These requirements include using the right vesting and warranty language to characterize the deed as a warranty deed. Seemingly minor differences in language can change the warranty and result in an entirely different type of deed.

The warranty deed form must also meet the requirements that apply to other types of Arizona deeds. These requirements include a valid legal description, statement of consideration, and a description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title, font size and page format requirements, and signature and notarization requirements.

Failure to meet these requirements could cause problems with recording, invalidate the deed, or create title issues that are costly to resolve. Each deed used by our deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Arizona law. Each deed is designed to be eligible for filing in all Arizona counties.