How a Florida Quitclaim Deed Form Works
A Florida quitclaim deed form is a type of deed that transfers title to a new owner with no warranty of title. A person who transfers property by quitclaim deed makes no guarantees. If that person did not own the property or if there are title issues, the person who receives the property has no legal recourse against the person who signed the deed.
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 called a quit claim deed instead of a quitclaim deed. That is 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 technically correct, quick claim deed is always wrong. There is no such thing as a quick claim deed.
In some states—including Texas and North Carolina—title companies do not like quitclaim deeds. In those states, another form of deed called a deed without warranty or no warranty deed is often used as an alternative to a quitclaim deed. Florida title insurance companies routinely accept quitclaim deeds, and there are no issues with using them to transfer title in Florida. Because quitclaim deeds are valid to transfer title in Florida, Florida has no equivalent to a deed without warranty or no warranty deed.
Relationship of Quitclaim 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.
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, the transferee has no legal claim against the transferor.
Comparison of Florida Quitclaim Deeds to Other Forms of Florida 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 that far, but instead guarantees only that the current owner has done nothing that would create title issues.
Unlike general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds, a quitclaim deed makes no guarantees about title.
Example: Ashley sells Florida real estate to Brett and uses a quitclaim deed to transfer title. After the sale, Brett learns that Ashley sold the property to Claire one year before he sold it to Ashley. Because Ashley conveyed the property by quitclaim deed, Brett cannot sue Ashley for breaching the warranty of title (although he may sue her on other grounds, such as fraud).
Had Ashley used either a warranty deed or a special warranty deed to transfer the property to Brett, Brett could have sued Ashley for breaching the warranty of title in the deed. But because Ashley used a quitclaim deed, Brett has no recourse against Ashley based on the warranty of title.
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. There are other forms of deeds—including life estate deeds and lady bird deeds—that are named after their probate avoidance features. The terms lady bird and quitclaim deal with different features that are not mutually exclusive. This means that a Florida lady bird deed can also be a Florida quitclaim deed.
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 another 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 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.
- A quitclaim deed can be used to transfer an interest in a Florida timeshare to a family member or other owner.
- 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 the title.
- A person may use a quitclaim deed to transfer property into a revocable living trust or LLC 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.
Quitclaim deeds are also used to avoid probate. One common way is to create a right of survivorship. A right of survivorship can be established by titling the property as joint tenancy with right of survivorship or, for a married couple, as a 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 tenancies in common and joint tenancies 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.
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 significant 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 the title to the property. For quitclaim deeds, this verbiage may be replaced with language that 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.
In addition to a valid vesting clause, a Florida quitclaim deed form must also meet the general requirements that apply to all Florida deeds. These requirements include a valid legal description, a recitation of consideration, and a description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title. The deed must also meet Florida’s font size, margin, and other page format requirements. The signature blocks must include the witness signatures required by Florida law and the notary acknowledgments should meet the statutory format.
Minor differences in language can have significant consequences for both the transferor and the transferee. The deeds created by our Deed Generator were designed by licensed Florida attorneys to use the state-specific language required to match the warranty. Our quitclaim deed form includes the right language for Florida law. And all of our deeds are in a form that is ready for recording with the local county.