Indiana Special Warranty Deed Form – Summary

The Indiana special warranty deed form provides a limited warranty of title. With a special warranty deed, the person transferring the property guarantees that he or she has done nothing that would cause title problems, but makes no guarantees about what might have happened before he or she acquired the property. In Indiana, special warranty deeds are often used:

  • To transfer property to a trust—like a living trust—that the transferor controls or benefits from;
  • To transfer property to a business—like a limited liability company—that the transferor owns;
  • For sales of commercial or multi-family residential property;
  • To transfer property to a new owner that is purchasing title insurance on the property and is not concerned with the limited warranty of title; or
  • In other circumstances where the current owner does not want to be legally responsible for problems with title that arose before the current owner owned the property.

A special warranty deed requires special language to ensure that the deed qualifies as a special warranty deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Indiana counties. Get Deed

How an Indiana Special Warranty Deed Form Works

What is an Indiana Special Warranty Deed?

An Indiana special warranty deed form—also called an Indiana limited warranty deed—transfers real estate with a limited warranty of title. The person transferring the property (grantor) guarantees that he or she has done nothing that would prevent conveyance of clear title to the property, but limits that guarantee to the period when the grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for title issues that arose before the grantor owned the property.

Other Names for Indiana Special Warranty Deeds

An Indiana special warranty deed may also be called a limited warranty deed. Both terms are correct. In other states, the same deed form may be called a grant deed, covenant deed, or statutory warranty deed. Each of these terms refers to the same basic deed form—a deed that conveys property to the new owner with a warranty of title that is limited to the time when the grantor owned the property.

Relationship of Special Warranty 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 title special warranty deed refers exclusively to the warranty of title. A grantor that signs a special warranty deed guarantees that the grantor has done nothing that would prevent the grantor from conveying clear title to the grantee but makes no promises about what may have happened before the grantor acquired the property. The grantor is not responsible for title problems other than those caused during the grantor’s ownership of the property.

The limited warranty of title provided by a special warranty deed distinguishes it from two other Indiana deed forms that are named after the warranty of title:

  1. Indiana Warranty Deed Form – Also known as a general warranty deed form, this deed provides a full warranty of title that is not limited to the time when the grantor owned the property. The grantor is responsible for all title issues, including those that arise from the actions or inactions of prior owners.
  2. Indiana Quit Claim Deed Form – An Indiana quit claim deed form provides no warranty of title. The grantee acquires only the interest that the grantor has and may not sue the grantor if it turns out that the grantor did not own or have clear title to the property.

The limited warranty provided by an Indiana special warranty deed makes it a middle ground between these two other types of deeds.

An Indiana special warranty deed form also differs from two other Indiana deeds that are named after their probate avoidance features:

  1. Indiana Life Estate Deed Form – A life estate deed divides ownership of the property into two classes of interest that are possessory at different points in time. The original owner becomes a life tenant with a life estate that gives exclusive right to possession during life. The new owners are called remainder beneficiaries and hold a remainder interest that becomes possessory when the life tenant dies. The life tenant cannot sell or mortgage the property or change beneficiaries without the written consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
  2. Indiana TOD Deed Form – Also called a transfer-on-death deed, this newer form of deed allows the owner to designate beneficiaries to inherit property at death. Unlike a life estate deed, the owner can freely deal with the property and change or remove beneficiaries. The consent of the existing beneficiaries is not required.

Although the terms special warranty deed and life estate deed refer to conceptually different features, a life estate deed can include a limited warranty of title. A single deed may be both a life estate deed and a special warranty deed.

Common Uses of Special Warranty Deeds

Special warranty deeds are most often used in sales of commercial real estate, where the buyer is paying full price for the property. In that context, the warranty provided by the special warranty deed is almost always supplemented by a title insurance policy that shifts risk from the grantor to the title insurance company. Special warranty deeds may also be used to transfer real estate to a living trust or an LLC that is owned or controlled by the grantor.

How to Create an Indiana Special Warranty Deed Form

All Indiana deeds must meet the requirements of Indiana law. Because each state has distinct requirements, a deed that is valid under another state’s law may not be valid in Indiana. Each Indiana deed should be designed to meet the specific requirements of Indiana law. These requirements include a correct vesting and warranty language, 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.

Each deed used by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Indiana law and be eligible for recording in all Indiana counties.