How an Illinois Quitclaim Deed Form Works
An Illinois quit claim deed form is a special type of deed used to transfer Illinois real estate when the transferor does not wish to provide the transferee with a warranty of title.
Other Names for Illinois Quit Claim Deeds
This type of deed is called a quitclaim deed (no space between quit and claim) in some states, but the Illinois statutes use the term quit claim deed (with a space). As a practical matter, though, the two terms are interchangeable, and you may see it spelled different ways. A quit claim deed is sometimes erroneously called a quick claim deed.
Relationship of Quit Claim 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 distinguishing feature of an Illinois quit claim deed form is the absence of a warranty of title. When a transferor conveys property by quit claim deed, he or she makes no guarantee about whether he or she owns the property. The transferee receives whatever interest that the transferor has.
Stated differently, when property is conveyed by quit claim deed, the transferee assumes the risk of any problems with title to the property. But if the transferor did not own the property or there is a defect in title, the transferor is not responsible.
Comparison of Illinois Quit Claim Deeds to Other Forms of Illinois Deeds
An Illinois quit claim deed form can be distinguished from an Illinois warranty deed form, which provides an unlimited warranty of title. It is also different from an Illinois special warranty deed form, which provides a limited warranty of title. Unlike these two other deeds, the Illinois quit claim deed makes no promises or guarantees about the title (no warranty of title).
Example: Assume Ashley conveys real estate to Brett. After the conveyance, Brett finds out that the IRS placed a lien on the property due to Ashley’s unpaid taxes. This lien means that Brett does not have clear title to the property. With a warranty deed or special warranty deed, Brett could sue Ashley for the undisclosed lien. With a quitclaim deed, though, Brett has no legal basis to sue Ashley.
The designation of a deed as a quit claim deed deals exclusively with the warranty of title provided by that deed. Other names do not depend on the warranty of title. For example, an Illinois life estate deed or Illinois transfer-on-death instrument are both forms of Illinois deeds that allow property to be transferred at death without going through probate. The designation of a deed as a life estate deed does not relate to the warranty of title, but to the probate avoidance feature. This means that a deed can be both a quitclaim deed (a warranty of title issue) and a life estate deed (a probate avoidance feature).
Common Uses of Illinois Quit Claim Deeds
Because an Illinois quit claim deed form provides no warranty of title, it is usually used in situations where the parties to the deed know each other. Common examples include transfers between friends, spouses, or other family members. This is especially true if the property is being transferred without consideration (if the property is a gift).
Although quit claim deeds may also transfer property to a living trust or business entity (like an LLC), special warranty deeds are often the preferred choice in these contexts. Special warranty deeds provide a limited warranty of title that provides the trust or LLC with protection if there is a problem with the title to the property and can help with the continuation of title insurance coverage. There is usually no additional risk to the transferor due to the transferor’s continued interest in the trust or LLC.
General warranty deeds or special warranty deeds are often used instead of quit claim deeds when property is sold to an unrelated party. Because the buyer is paying value for the property, it is customary for the seller to provide at least a limited warranty of title. But this is not always a requirement, especially when title insurance is being purchased to supplement or replace the warranty provided by the seller.
Quitclaim deeds are also used to remove an ex-spouse from title to real estate following a divorce.
We make it easy to create your own Illinois Quit Claim Deed. Just complete our user-friendly interview and our software will create a custom, ready-to-file Illinois quit claim deed that includes the right language based on choices you make in the interview. We also include customized, step-by-step instructions for completing the real estate transfer. Documents are delivered instantly.
How to Create an Illinois Quit Claim Deed
The form for an Illinois quit claim deed comes from 765 ILCS 5/10, which provides in part:
Quit Claim deeds may be, in substance, in the following form:
The grantor (here insert grantor’s name or names and place of residence), for the consideration of (here insert consideration), convey and quit claim to (here insert grantee’s name or names) all interest in the following described real estate (here insert description), situated in the County of …., in the State of Illinois.
Although this statutory format touches on some requirements for validity—including consideration and an accurate legal description—it does not include many common elements of Illinois deeds. The deed must meet other requirements, including proper page format, description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title, and signature and notarization requirements.
As with other deed forms, the statute merely provides the starting point for the deed. In practice, Illinois quit claim deeds often contain language similar to the statutory format. This language is found in the vesting paragraph of the deed. The vesting paragraph is the portion of the deed that contains the language that transfers the property to the new owner. But properly drafted Illinois deeds will also include the supplemental information needed for an effective transfer.
Confused? Don’t worry. Our software simplifies the process. It walks you through a guided interview process and automatically includes the language needed to create the type of deed that matches your choices.
The language in the vesting paragraph should follow the type of deed and meet state-specific requirements. Many fill-in-the-blank deed forms use generic deed templates that do not include the appropriate language. In Illinois, the quit claim deed should “convey and quit claim” the property to the new owner. This language distinguishes quit claim deeds from both general warranty deeds and special warranty deeds, each of which “conveys and warrants” the property to the new owner.
These requirements are important because third parties (including title insurance companies) will expect to see them. Failure to meet these requirements could cause unmarketable title. Unmarketable title means that legal action is required before a title insurance company will write a title policy on the property. This prevents the property from being sold to a third party until the legal action is complete. Unmarketable title substantially reduces the value of the property. To protect against this risk, our Deed Generator creates deeds that include the information required by law and in common practice, not just the information contained in the basic statutory format.