The Indiana warranty deed is a form of deed that provides an unlimited warranty of title. It makes an absolute guarantee that the current owner has good title to the property. The warranty is not limited to the time that the current owner owned the property. This means that the current owner could be legally responsible for title issues that arose before the current owner acquired the property. In Indiana, warranty deeds are often used:
Special language is required to ensure that the deed qualifies as a warranty deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Indiana counties.
An Indiana warranty deed form transfers Indiana real estate from the current owner (grantor) to the new owner (grantee) with a full warranty of title. A grantor that signs an Indiana warranty deed guarantees that the grantor owns the property, has the undisputed right to convey the property, and will defend the property against all claims—including claims that arose before the grantor owned the property.
An Indiana warranty deed form is sometimes called a general warranty deed form. The word “general” is added to distinguish the deed from a special warranty deed form, which provides a more limited warranty of title.
The term warranty deed form relates exclusively to the warranty of title. A grantor that signs a warranty deed provides the grantee with an absolute guarantee that the grantor owns the property, has the right to convey the property, and will defend the property against all claims relating to title to the property. The warranty deed provides the most protection to the grantee and, conversely, places the most risk on the grantor.
A warranty deed form differs from two other Indiana deed forms that provide a different warranty of title:
A warranty deed form also differs from two other Indiana estate planning deed forms that are named after their probate avoidance features:
Although a warranty deed is conceptually different from a life estate deed, the two names refer to independent features. Because a life estate deed can be drafted to include a full warranty of title, a single deed may be a life estate deed and a warranty deed.
Because warranty deeds place all of the risk on the grantor, a grantor will usually be unwilling to sign a warranty deed unless the grantor is receiving something of value in exchange for the property. For this reason, warranty deeds are rarely used if the grantor is gifting property to the grantee. They are much more common in the sale context, where the grantee is paying full value for the property. Even then, the grantor’s risk is often reduced by purchasing a title insurance policy to help shift the risk to a third-party title insurance carrier.
To be valid, each Indiana warranty deed form must meet the requirements of Indiana law. These requirements include 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.
In addition to the requirements that apply to all deeds, special care must be taken to create the correct warranty of title. The Indiana statutes include specific vesting language required to create the warranty. This language may be supplemented with other warranty language in the deed. It is important to get the language exactly right. Minor differences in language—even the omission of a single word—can result in an entirely different type of warranty.
Most generic online deed forms were created to be one-size-fits-all and may not take these requirements into account. The deeds created by our online deed preparation service were attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Indiana law and be eligible for recording in all Indiana counties. We also include customized, step-by-step instructions (Next Steps) for signing and recording the deed.