Florida Quitclaim Deed Form – Summary
A Florida quitclaim deed form gives the new owner whatever interest the current owner has in the property when the deed is signed and delivered. It makes no promises about whether the current owner has clear title to the property. In Florida, quitclaim deeds are often used if the property is being transferred:
- To a spouse or other family member as a gift;
- To an ex-spouse following a divorce;
- To change the nature of marital property;
- To a living trust or business owned by the current owner;
- To someone who will own the property with the current owners (adding someone to the deed);
- From someone who no longer wishes to hold title (removing someone from the deed); or
- In other circumstances where the current owner does not want to be legally responsible for problems with title.
Special language is required to ensure that the deed qualifies as a Florida quitclaim deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Florida counties.
Detailed Explanation of Florida Quitclaim Deeds
This section provides a detailed explanation of Florida quitclaim deeds, including their unique features, comparison to other forms of deed, and common uses. It also discussed other names—like Florida quick claim deed form and Florida quit claim deed form—that are sometimes used to refer to quitclaim deeds.
Relationship of Quitclaim Deed Form to Warranty of Title
The defining feature of a quitclaim deed is its lack of any warranty of title. A person who acquires property by quitclaim deed cannot sue the transferor if it later turns out that there are liens against the property or other title issues. Even if the transferor didn’t own the property at all, the transferee has no legal claim against the transferor.
Comparison of Florida Quitclaim Deeds to General Warranty Deeds and Special Warranty Deeds
A Florida quitclaim deed differs from both a Florida general warranty deed and a Florida special warranty deed. General warranty deeds and special warranty deeds provide warranties of title that differ only in degree.
- A general warranty deed guarantees that no prior owner has done anything that would cause an issue with title.
- A special warranty deed doesn’t go quite that far, but instead guarantees only that the current owner has done nothing that would create title issues.
- A quitclaim deed simply makes no guarantees about title.
Using Florida Quitclaim Deeds to Avoid Probate
There are several ways to use quitclaim deeds to avoid probate. One common way is to create a right of survivorship. A right of survivorship can be created by titling the property as joint tenancy with right of survivorship or, for a married couple, as tenancy in common. When multiple owners hold title in one of these forms, the property will pass automatically to the surviving owner or owners upon the first owner’s death, without the need for probate. The last person to survive will own the entire property.
Rights of survivorship are used when the parties intend for all owners to have present ownership of the home. Both tenancy in common and joint tenants with right of survivorship give all joint owners immediate ownership rights. Each owner has an immediate ownership interest in the property. To mortgage, lease, or sell the property, all owners must consent.
In other cases, the current owners may not want the new owner to inherit an interest in the property until the current owners die. In this situation, a Florida lady bird deed (technically called an enhanced life estate deed) can provide a better option. A Florida lady bird deed allows a property owner to create a transfer that takes effect at death—without the need for probate—while reserving broad ownership rights during his or her life.
As stated above, the distinguishing feature of a quitclaim deed is the lack of a warranty of title. That is a separate issue from when the quitclaim deed takes effect. This means that a Florida lady bird deed can also be a Florida quitclaim deed. The terms Lady Bird and quitclaim deal with different features that are not mutually exclusive.
See Using Deeds to Avoid Probate of Real Estate in Florida for a more detailed explanation of probate avoidance using Florida deeds.
Common Uses of Quitclaim Deeds
Because quitclaim deeds provide no warranty of title, they are often used when the parties know each other. There are several common scenarios where this occurs.
- A person may use a quitclaim deed to transfer property to a spouse, child, or other family member as a gift.
- A person may use a quitclaim deed to transfer property to an ex-spouse following a divorce.
- A married couple may use a quitclaim deed to change the character of marital property. The couple may convert property held as joint tenancy with right of survivorship into tenancy by the entirety. If the couple lives in a community-property state, they may use a quitclaim deed to convert separate property to community property, or vice versa.
- Quitclaim deeds are often used to add someone—like a new spouse or child—to a title deed to real estate. Quitclaim deeds can also remove someone from title.
- A person may use a quitclaim deed to transfer property into a revocable living trust or business that is managed by the person (although special warranty deeds can also be used for this purpose).
There are other situations where the current owner does not want to be responsible for any title issues. This is almost always the case when the current owner is not being paid for the property. Quitclaim deeds are rarely used in the sale context unless accompanied by a title insurance policy to protect against any unknown title issues.
Other Names for Florida Quitclaim Deeds
Florida quitclaim deeds go by several names. In some states, it is customary to use two words for quit claim, so the deed is often referred to as a quit claim deed instead of a quitclaim deed. That is perfectly acceptable, but out of step with Florida custom.
Another commonly-used term is quick claim deed. Many laypeople come to the internet looking for a quick claim deed form to transfer their property. Unlike the quit claim deed variation, which is uncommon but not technically incorrect, quick claim deed is always wrong. There is no such thing.
In some states—including Texas and North Carolina—title companies do not like quitclaim deeds. They claim that quitclaim deeds do not actually transfer title. One could argue about whether this interpretation is correct. Thankfully, though, this is not an issue in Florida. Even in states where quitclaim deeds are disfavored, the same result can be achieved with a deed without warranty, also known as a no warranty deed. A deed without warranty is like a quitclaim deed in that it conveys no warranty of title. But it is an actual transfer of property that satisfies title companies in those states that object to quitclaim deeds.
How to Create a Florida Quitclaim Deed
Quitclaim deeds are created by specific language that appears in the granting clause in the body of the deed. This language—even more than the title of the document—is what identifies a deed as a quitclaim deed. Although the granting language may look similar to the language used in a general warranty deed or special warranty deed, slight differences can have important consequences.
- A Florida general warranty deed or Florida special warranty deed will usually include language that tracks the statutory format for general warranty deeds. This language will usually state that the transferor has “granted, bargained, and sold” the property to the transferee.
- A Florida quitclaim deed uses language that does not match the statutory format of a general warranty deed. The whole point, after all, is to avoid giving any warranty of title. Instead, the quitclaim deed will “remise, release, and quit claim” the property to the transferee.
If the deed contains a warranty—in other words, if it is a general warranty deed or special warranty deed—there is usually a warranty clause near the bottom of the deed that spells out this warranty. This language usually states that the transferor will defend title to the property. For quitclaim deeds, this language may be replaced with language that clearly identifies the transfer as a quitclaim deed. Either way, a properly-drafted quitclaim deed will include no language that would make the transferor responsible for any title defect.
Minor differences in language can have significant consequences for both the transferor and the transferee. Like legal descriptions, the warranty language included in the deed must be exact. And, as with all deeds, it is important to draft the deed to meet Florida recording requirements. Failure to meet recording requirements could cause the document to be rejected or result in additional recording fees as a non-compliant document.
The deeds created by our deed preparation service were designed by licensed Florida attorneys to use the state-specific language required to match the warranty. The quitclaim deed forms we create all include state-specific language to comply with Florida law. And all of our deeds are in a form that is ready for recording with the local county.
Florida Quitclaim Deed Form. Our Florida quitclaim deed form includes options to create the right deed for most common real estate transfers. It was designed by a licensed Florida attorney and can be used in all Florida counties. We also provide step-by-step instructions for signing and notarizing the deed and filing it with the local county clerk to complete the transfer.