Colorado Quitclaim Deed Form

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What is a Colorado Quitclaim Deed Form?

A Colorado quitclaim deed form transfers whatever interest a property owner currently holds in real estate with no warranty of title.1 A warranty of title is a real estate owner’s enforceable promise that the owner holds clear title to the transferred real estate free of defects like liens, boundary disputes, and adverse claims.2

The current owner signing a quitclaim deed—the grantor—makes no promises as to the real estate’s title.3 The new owner—the grantee—therefore bears the risk of any known or unknown title problems. The total absence of warranty of title is what distinguishes quitclaim claim deeds from other Colorado deed forms. An owner of Colorado real estate can provide a warranty of title using other Colorado deed forms discussed below.

Colorado law assumes that a quitclaim deed transfers the current owner’s complete interest, but a property owner can transfer a lesser interest or reserve an interest in the real estate through clear language incorporated within the deed.4 A quitclaim deed does not transfer any interest the current owner acquires after signing the deed.5

Other Names for a Colorado Quitclaim Deed Form

Colorado’s statute uses the term “quitclaim deed,” and Colorado courts and legal professionals commonly use that term, as well.6 Quit claim deed is also acceptable, but quick claim deed—though often incorrectly used—is not an actual legal term.

The Colorado Legislature’s model quitclaim deed language uses quitclaims as a verb in place of conveys in other deed forms.7 A property owner quitclaims an interest in land when the owner transfers the interest to a new owner with no warranty of title. Other states use the word releases for the same purpose, and quitclaim deeds are sometimes called release deeds.8 The term release deed is not commonly used in Colorado.

The real estate laws in a few states make title insurers suspicious of quitclaim deeds. A no warranty deed or deed without warranty can be used in those states to transfer real estate as-is with no express or implied warranties.9

How do Colorado Quitclaim Deed Forms Relate to Other Forms of Deeds?

A Colorado quitclaim deed transfers—without warranty of title—whatever interest, if any, a property owner currently owns in real estate.10 The current owner makes no representations regarding title defects and does not promise that he or she owns the property at all.

Colorado law recognizes two other deed forms that do provide warranty of title—general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds.11 Another Colorado deed form—bargain and sale deeds—provides no warranty of title but subtly differs from Colorado quitclaim deeds.

  • General Warranty Deeds. A Colorado general warranty deed form—or just warranty deed in the Colorado statute—provides the most comprehensive warranty of title. The property owner promises (i) that the owner owns the property and has the right to transfer the property; (ii) that the property’s title is free of liens and other defects; and (iii) that the current owner will defend the new owner’s title if a future claimant alleges superior title.12
  • Special Warranty Deeds. A Colorado special warranty deed form—sometimes called limited warranty deed or grant deed—includes the same promises as a general warranty deed but with an important limitation. The current owner’s promise to defend the new owner’s title only applies to adverse claims that arose while the current owner held title.13 If a future claimant’s claim arose from an event that occurred before the current owner took title, the new owner has the responsibility to defend the property’s title.
  • Bargain and Sale Deeds. Like a quitclaim deed, a Colorado bargain and sale deed transfers real estate with no warranty of title.14 The difference between a Colorado bargain and sale deed and quitclaim deed is that a bargain and sale deed transfers any interests in the real estate that the current owner acquires after signing the deed. The subtle distinction can be important when interests like water or mineral rights have not yet vested at the time of signing.15

A few other deed forms recognized in Colorado are named for the context in which they are used and can be quitclaim deeds, bargain and sale deeds, or either form of warranty deed—depending on the wording of an individual deed. Beneficiary deeds, for instance, let a property owner name a beneficiary to acquire title to real estate effective upon the current owner’s death.16. A Colorado beneficiary deed form—also called transfer on death deed or TOD deed—is treated like a bargain and sale deed unless the beneficiary deed states otherwise.17

Common Uses of Colorado Quitclaim Deed Forms

The parties to a Colorado real estate transfer typically use a quitclaim deed when little or no money is exchanged for the real estate. A buyer paying fair market value will be apprehensive about accepting from the seller a quitclaim deed with no enforceable warranties. A Colorado quitclaim deed form might be suitable for the following purposes:

  • Transferring real estate from the current owner to the owner and the owner’s spouse jointly so the couple can own the property as joint tenants;
  • Transferring real estate to a living trust or business entity controlled by the owner of the property;
  • Gifting real estate to a close family member or charity;
  • Transferring real estate from a deceased owner’s estate to the owner’s beneficiary;
  • Releasing an heir’s part-interest to allow another heir to hold full title in connection with the administration of a deceased owner’s estate; or,
  • Releasing a former spouse’s interest to the other former spouse as part of a property settlement agreement.

When accepting a quitclaim deed, the new owner bears all the risk of title defects. For that reason, new owners may wish to purchase title insurance shifting the risk to an insurance carrier. In exchange for payment of the policy’s premium, an insurer issuing a title insurance policy agrees to indemnify the insured person against financial losses or damages resulting from unknown liens, title defects, or unmarketability of the real estate’s title.18

How to Create a Colorado Quitclaim Deed

The Colorado Legislature provides model language for quitclaim deeds—substituting the word “quitclaims” where the word “conveys” is used in Colorado’s other statutory deed forms.19 When the following quitclaim language is present in a Colorado deed, Colorado law assumes the deed is a quitclaim deed and not a warranty deed, special warranty deed, or bargain and sale deed.

……………….., whose street address is ……………………, City or Town of ……………………, County of …………………… and State of ……………………, for the consideration of ………….. dollars, in hand paid, hereby sell(s) and quitclaim(s) to ……………….. whose street address is ……………….., City or Town of ……………….., County of ……………….. and State of ……………….., the following real property in the County of …………………… and State of Colorado, to wit: …………………… with all its appurtenances ……………………. .

Signed this ……………….. day of ……………….., 20…..20

Verbatim replication of the statutory language is not necessary to create a Colorado quitclaim deed. A deed with “substantially similar” language that uses the verb quitclaims and states no warranty of title is considered a quitclaim deed.21

Colorado’s statutory quitclaim deed language alone is insufficient to create an effective, recordable Colorado deed. The statute suggests vesting language—the part of a deed describing the real estate transfer from the current owner to the new owner—but Colorado has numerous other requirements a deed must meet to be recordable and effectively transfer real estate.22

A deed must be carefully drafted to transfer property precisely as intended and comply with the correct state’s real estate laws. Because mistakes can be costly—leading to financial loss, unintended legal obligations, or an invalid transfer—it is wise to use a properly prepared, customized deed when transferring Colorado real estate.

Need a quitclaim deed that meets Colorado recording requirements?

Each deed produced by deed creation software is attorney-designed to comply with Colorado law. Just complete a user-friendly interview and get a customized deed in minutes.

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  1. Tuttle v. Burrows, 852 P.2d 1314 (Colo. App. 1992).
  2. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(4).
  3. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  4. C.R.S. § 38-30-107; C.R.S. § 38-30-113(3).
  5. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  6. See, e.g., Michaelson v. Michaelson, 939 P.2d 835 (Colo. 1997).
  7. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  8. See, e.g., Henningsen v. Stromberg, 221 P.2d 438 (Mont. 1950).
  9. See, e.g., Tex. Prop. Code §5.023 (implying certain warranties “unless the conveyance expressly provides otherwise”).
  10. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  11. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(a) and (b).
  12. R.S. § 38-30-113(4)(a)(I – III).
  13. R.S. § 38-30-113(4)(a)(III)(B).
  14. R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(c).
  15. See Tuttle v. Burrows, 852 P.2d 1314 (Colo. App. 1992).
  16. C.R.S. §15-15-404(1).
  17. C.R.S. §15-15-404(2).
  18. C.R.S. §10-11-102(8).
  19. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  20. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  21. C.R.S. § 38-30-113(1)(d).
  22. See, e.g., C.R.S. § 30-10-406(3); C.R.S. § 38-35-122; C.R.S. § 38-30-113(3).