Indiana Quitclaim Deed Form

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What is an Indiana Quit Claim Deed?

An Indiana quit claim deed form (sometimes called a quick claim deed or quitclaim deed) transfers Indiana real estate from the current owner (grantor) to the new owner (grantee) with no warrant of title. The grantee acquires whatever interest the grantor had, but may not sue the grantor if it turns out that the grantor did not own or have clear title to the property.

Other Names for Indiana Quitclaim Deeds

The terms quit claim deed and quitclaim deed are both correct and can be used interchangeably. Although some laypeople use the term quick claim deed (substituting “quick” for “quit”), that term is always incorrect. There is no such thing as a “quick claim” deed.

In some states—including Texas and North Carolina—title companies can be reluctant to ensure title that is transferred using a quit claim deed. In those states, a deed without warranty (also called a no warranty deed) is often used in lieu of a quit claim deed. Because quit claim deeds are commonly used in Indiana, there is no need for a deed without warranty. An Indiana quit claim deed is a perfectly valid way to transfer Indiana real estate.

Relationship of Quitclaim Deed Form to Warranty of Title

The term quitclaim deed deals exclusively with the absence of a warranty of title. This lack of a warranty of title distinguishes a quitclaim deed from from two other Indiana deed forms that are named after their warranty of title:

  • Indiana Warranty Deed Form – Also called a general warranty deed, this deed form provides a full warranty of title. The grantor is responsible for all title issues, including those that arose before the grantor owned the property.
  • Indiana Special Warranty Deed Form – Provides a warranty of title that is limited to the time that the grantor owned the property. The grantor must defend title to the property against any actions relating to the period when the grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for anything that happened before the grantor acquired the property.

The name quitclaim deed also distinguishes an Indiana quitclaim deed form from two types of estate planning deeds that are named after their probate avoidance features:

  • Indiana Life Estate Deed Form – Divides ownership into a life estate that is possessory during the life of a life tenant and a remainder interest that passes automatically to remainder beneficiaries on the life tenant’s death. The life tenant cannot sell or mortgage the property or change or revoke the deed without involving the remainder beneficiaries.
  • Indiana TOD Deed Form – Avoids probate by allowing an Indiana property owner to name a beneficiary to inherit property at death. The owner retains complete control during life, including the ability to change or revoke the deed or to sell or mortgage the property.

An Indiana life estate deed can be drafted to provide no warranty of title. In that situation, the same deed may be both an Indiana life estate deed and an Indiana quitclaim deed.

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.

Common Uses of Quit Claim Deeds

When a buyer is paying for real estate, the buyer will often insist that the property be conveyed with a warranty of title. Because an Indiana quit claim deed form provides no warranty of title, it is rarely used in the sale context, where warranty deeds or special warranty deeds are more common. A quit claim deed form is more often used when no money (consideration) is changing hands. Common uses include:

  • Transferring property to an ex-spouse following a divorce;
  • Adding a new spouse to title to property after a marriage;
  • Transferring property to children or other family members as a gift;
  • Adding an owner to title to property in order to create survivorship rights that avoid probate at death; and
  • Transferring property to an LLC or living trust that is owned or controlled by the grantor.

How to Create an Indiana Quitclaim Deed

An Indiana quitclaim deed must meet all of the requirements that apply more generally to other Indiana deed forms. These requirements include a valid legal description, statement of consideration, and a description of the manner in which co-owners will hold title, font size and page format requirements, and signature and notarization requirements.

For the deed to be valid as a quitclaim deed, special care must also be taken with the vesting language and any warranty language included in the deed. A difference of even a single word can result in the inclusion of a warranty or the creation of a different type of deed.

Because Indiana’s requirements differ from the requirements of other states, each deed should be drafted to comply with Indiana law. Many generic fill-in-the-blank-style forms do not comply with these requirements and may result in an invalid deed. Each deed prepared by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to comply with Indiana law and be eligible for recording in all Indiana counties.