Indiana real estate is transferred using a deed. A deed is a legal document that transfers property from the current owner or owners (grantors) to one or more new owners (grantees). The process involves four steps:
- Locate the prior deed to the property. The prior deed is the best source of important legal information, including how owner’s names are worded, the manner in which joint owners hold title, and a legal description of the property.
- Create the new deed. Our Deed Generator makes it easy to create a deed. Our software collects information and walks you through the decisions you must make, then creates a deed that matches the choices you made in the interview.
- Sign the new deed. The deed must be signed by the grantors (signatures must be notarized).
- Record the original deed. The deed should be recorded in the real property records of the county recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. Code Ann. § 32-21-2-11.
The deeds created by our Deed Generator come with a set of customized instructions (Next Steps) that explain the process in more detail.
Types of Indiana Deeds
Indiana recognizes three deed forms defined by their warranty of title:
- General Warranty Deed Form – Provides an absolute warranty of title that covers any title defects, including those that arose before the grantor acquired the property.
- Special Warranty Deed (Limited Warranty Deed Form) – Provides a limited warranty of title that only covers the period when the grantor owned the property. The warranty does not cover anything that may have arisen from the acts of owners that preceded the grantor. This type of deed may be called a special warranty deed or a limited warranty deed.
- Quitclaim Deed Form – Provides no warranty of title. The grantee takes the property “as is” and bears the risk of any title defects.
Indiana law also recognizes two deed forms that are defined by their probate avoidance features. Each of the following deed forms can transfer property automatically at an owner’s death:
- Transfer on Death Deed Form – A popular deed form that is specifically authorized by Indiana law to transfer property to designated beneficiaries upon the death of an owner. Until the owner’s death, the owner retains broad control over the property, including the right to revoke the deed or change beneficiaries without notifying the beneficiary.
- Life Estate Deed Form – An older, common-law deed form that reserves a life estate in the original owner (who becomes a life tenant) and leaves the property to other owners (called remainder beneficiaries) on the death of the life tenant. The life tenant cannot sell or otherwise deal with the property without the consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
The following types of Indiana deeds are currently supported by our deed creation software:
|Indiana Transfer-on-Death Deed Form||Find Out More|
Indiana Deed Requirements: Validity and Recording
To be valid and eligible recording, Indiana deeds must meet the state-specific requirements of Indiana law. These requirements include:
- The deed must consist of at least one individual page that is no larger than 8.5 by 14 inches (regular 8.5 by 11-inch letter-size paper is commonly used) that is not permanently bound and not in a continuous form. Code Ann. § 36-2-11-16.5.
- The deed must be on white paper that is at least 20-pound weight. Code Ann. § 36-2-11-16.5.
- The deed must have clean margins on the first and last pages of at least two inches on the top and bottom, and one-half inch on each side. For other pages, all four margins must be at least one-half inch. Code Ann. § 36-2-11-16.5.
- The deed must be typewritten or computer-generated in black ink with at least 10-point font. Code Ann. § 36-2-11-16.5.
- The deed must be acknowledged (notarized) or proved. Code Ann. § 32-21-2-3.
- The deed must include the mailing address to which the property tax statements should be mailed. Code Ann. § 32-21-2-3.
- The names of everyone signing the deed (usually just the grantors) or serving as a witness on the document must be identical throughout the deed and appear in printed or typewritten ink just below each signature. Code Ann. § 36-2-11-16.
- The deed must include name of the individual that prepared the deed with the statement: “This instrument is prepared by ______ (printed name of individual).” Code Ann. § 36-2-11-15(c).
- The preparer must include an affirmation statement that states: “I affirm under penalties of perjury, that I have taken reasonable care to redact each social security number in this document, unless required by law.” ______ (printed name of individual). Code Ann. § 36-2-11-15(d). The affirmation statement must appear at the end of the deed and immediately before or after the preparer’s statement.
- The deed must satisfy the general requirements of valid deeds, including a statement of consideration, a valid legal description, appropriate vesting language, and language to indicate how multiple owners will hold title.
Each deed created by our Deed Generator is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Indiana state law and be eligible for recording in the jurisdiction where the property is located.
Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form
An Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form must accompany most deeds. The Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form must identify the grantor and grantee, list the value of the property described in the deed. It is filed with the county auditor of the county where the property is located and must be filed before the deed is recorded. Ind. Code Ann. §§ 6-1.1-5.5-5 and 32-21-5-7. The Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form can be completed using the State of Indiana’s online tool.
An Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure is not required for affidavits of survivorship that remove a deceased owner from the title without transferring the property to anyone else.
Some counties—including Marion County—require the Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form and deed to be stamped by the county assessor’s office before the deed can be recorded in the county recorder’s office. Questions about the Indiana Real Estate Sales Disclosure Form should be directed to the city or county where the deed will be recorded.
Forms of Co-Ownership of Indiana Real Estate
A deed may convey property to multiple grantees. There are three ways that multiple owners can hold tile to Indiana real estate:
- Tenants in Common – Each owner has an undivided interest in the property. On the death of an owner, his or her interest will pass to his or her probate estate. Probate is usually required to transfer the property after the deceased owner’s death.
- Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship – Similar to tenants in common in that each owner has an undivided interest in the property, but with a survivorship feature. On the death of an owner, his or her interest passes to the surviving owners automatically, without the need for The last living owner owns the entire property.
- Tenants by the Entirety – A form of joint ownership that includes survivorship rights, but is only available to a married couple. The couple is treated as a single economic unit. Neither spouse can convey the property without the consent of the other spouse, and the property is not available to the creditors of any one spouse. Tenants by the entirety is usually the preferred form of ownership for a married couple.
The last two forms of co-ownership—joint tenancy with right of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety—depend on a person’s lifetime and thus only apply if all of the owners are people. If any owner is a trust or business, the owners will hold title as tenancy in common.