Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Form
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What Is a Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Form?
A Georgia limited warranty deed is a legal document used in real estate transactions in the state of Georgia. This type of deed is used to transfer ownership of a property from a seller (grantor) to a buyer (grantee) with a limited warranty of title. The grantor guarantees in a limited warranty deed that he or she has done nothing to impair the property’s title during the time he or she owned it.1 This means that the grantor guarantees only that there are no problems with the property’s title that arise while he or she owned the property. The grantor does not guarantee that the title is free and clear of issues that arose before he or she acquired the real estate.
What Is Warranty of Title?
In Georgia, a warranty of title is a guarantee made by the grantor to the grantee that the grantor has the right to sell the property and that its title is free from defects, encumbrances, and other title issues that may affect the grantee’s ownership and enjoyment of the property.2 A grantor who signs a limited warranty deed guarantees a good title, but the guarantee does not cover issues that may have originated before the grantor owned the property.
Other Names for a Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Form
In most other states, a deed that provides a limited warranty of title is called a special warranty deed. The term limited warranty deed is typically used for this type of deed in Georgia, but Georgia courts and lawyers sometimes use the name special warranty deed. In California, the same document is known as a grant deed.
How Do Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Forms Relate to Other Forms of Deeds?
A Georgia limited warranty deed is one of three Georgia deed types that is named after its warranty of title. The other two types are a warranty deed and a quitclaim deed.
Georgia Warranty Deed Form
A Georgia warranty deed form is a type of deed that provides the most comprehensive guarantee of title. Under a warranty deed, the grantor guarantees a valid title that is free and clear of any defects or encumbrances caused by the grantor or anyone else. A warranty deed’s warranty covers the property’s entire history, while a limited warranty deed’s warranty covers only the period during which the grantor owned the real estate.
Georgia Quitclaim Deed Form
A Georgia quitclaim deed form transfers the grantor’s interest in a property to the grantee without any warranties or guarantees as to the status of the title.3 The grantor gives the grantee any ownership interest he or she has in the property, but does not guarantee a good title or provide any warranty. The grantee assumes all risks associated with the property’s title.
A quitclaim deed provides the grantee the least protection of the three main types of Georgia deeds. A limited warranty deed provides more protection than a quitclaim deed but less protection than a warranty deed.
Georgia Title Insurance and Special Warranty Deeds
Georgia title insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects real estate buyers and lenders from financial losses resulting from defects in the title to the property. The policy is purchased by the buyer or lender, and is issued by a title insurance company. The policy provides coverage for a range of issues, including but not limited to:
- Errors or omissions in public records
- Forged or fraudulent documents
- Undisclosed heirs or previous owners
- Liens or other encumbrances on the property
Title insurance policies are usually purchased at the time of closing and can provide ongoing protection for the life of the ownership of the property. With a special warranty deed, title insurance is often recommended to provide additional protection to the buyer or lender. The title insurance policy can cover any defects in the title that existed before the grantor’s ownership.
Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Forms and Other Georgia Deeds Used in Estate Planning
A Georgia limited warranty deed is also distinct from other Georgia deed forms that are named after their probate avoidance features.
Life Estate Deeds in Georgia
A Georgia life estate deed is a type of deed that allows a property owner (grantor) to reserve a “life estate” in the property that gives the owner the right to live in the property for the remainder of their life. The life estate deed gives future property ownership to another person (the remainder beneficiary) who becomes the property owner after the grantor’s death.
Under a life estate deed, the grantor retains certain rights to the property during their lifetime, including the right to live in the property, collect rent or other income from the property, and make improvements to the property. After the grantor’s death, the property automatically passes to the remainder beneficiary without probate. A life estate deed is usually irrevocable, and the grantor cannot change his or her mind or sell the property without involving the remainder beneficiary.
Transfer-on-Death Deeds in Georgia
A transfer-on-death deed is a type of deed that allows a property owner to transfer ownership of their property to another person upon their death, without the need for probate. This means that the grantor retains ownership and control of the property during their lifetime, and the property passes to the designated beneficiary after the grantor’s death. Although transfer-on-death deeds are gaining in popularity, Georgia has not yet adopted a transfer-on-death deed act. Transfer-on-death deeds are not available in Georgia.
Common Uses of Georgia Limited Warranty Deed Forms
A Georgia limited warranty deed is used in real estate transactions where the grantor wants to limit their liability for title defects, while still providing some assurance to the grantee that the title is free from defects caused by the seller. It is most often used when money is changing hands as part of the transaction. If the property is being transferred by gift, a quitclaim deed may be used instead.
How to Create a Georgia Limited Warranty Deed
As with any deed, a Georgia limited warranty deed should be customized to reflect the specific terms and conditions of the transaction. Reliance on fill-in-the-blank forms can lead to invalid documents and future title issues. A Georgia limited warranty deed form typically includes the names and addresses of the grantor and grantee, a legal description of the property being transferred, and any relevant information about liens or encumbrances on the property. The form must be signed and notarized by the grantor, and then filed with the clerk of the superior court’s office to make the transfer of ownership official.
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