Kansas Quitclaim Deed Form

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What Is a Kansas Quitclaim Deed Form?

A deed is the main legal document for transferring Kansas real estate from its current owner to a new owner.1 A Kansas quitclaim deed transfers real estate as is, with no warranty of title.2

What Is Warranty of Title?

Warranty of title in Kansas consists of a series of promises—or covenants—that a property owner signing a deed extends to the new owner taking title under the deed.3 An owner warranting a property’s title guarantees that the transferred title is free from title defects, among other things. Title defects are problems with a property’s title that can affect its value or marketability. They may include liens and mortgages, a conflicting ownership claim by a third party, or a lack of physical access to the property.4

Warranty of Title and Kansas Quitclaim Deeds

A Kansas quitclaim deed transfers real estate with no warranty of title. The property owner signing the deed makes no statements about title defects or about how valid the transferred interest’s validity. The new owner receives any claim the current owner can transfer, in whatever condition it happens to be. A person taking title under a quitclaim deed bears all risk of title defects and cannot sue the prior owner for breach of warranty if the deed transfers a defective or invalid title.

What Are Other Names for a Kansas Quitclaim Deed Form?

The Kansas authorizing statute for deeds with no warranty uses the name quitclaim deed.5 Another Kansas statute uses quit claim deed, and quit-claim deed is also acceptable.6 However, quickclaim deed—sometimes used in error—is not an actual legal term.

Synonyms for quitclaim deed include the following:

  • Release deed. A few states use release deed to mean the same as quitclaim deed.7 Kansas quitclaim deeds sometimes state that the current owner releases and quitclaims the real estate to the new owner, but release deed is not a common term in Kansas.8
  • Bargain-and-sale deed. These are practically the same as quitclaim deeds in some areas and slightly different in others.9 Bargain-and-sale deed is rarely if ever used in Kansas.
  • No-warranty deed and deeds without warranty. Title insurance companies in a few states do not like to insure quitclaim deeds due to slight legal differences in those states.10 No-warranty deeds or deeds without warranty serve in place of quitclaim deeds in those states and have the same effects.

How Do Kansas Quitclaim Deed Forms Relate to Other Forms of Deeds?

A Kansas quitclaim deed places all risk of title problems on the new owner. The new owner receives whatever property rights the current owner can transfer but cannot sue if the transferred interest is defective.

Kansas law authorizes two other deed types—each of which keeps at least some risk of title defects with the property owner signing the deed.

  1. Kansas warranty deeds. A Kansas warranty deed form—sometimes called a general warranty deed—transfers real estate with the most complete warranty of title.11 The current owner guarantees a good, defect-free title and promises to stand behind the title if a problem arises.12 The new owner can get payment from the current owner for any financial loss suffered due to an undisclosed title defect.13 A property owner who signs a warranty deed bears all risk of defects not specifically excluded from the deed—no matter when in the property’s chain of title a defect arose.
  2. Kansas limited warranty deeds. A Kansas limited warranty deed form—also called a special warranty deed—is like a warranty deed but with one big limitation.14 A limited warranty deed’s warranty only covers title problems that arose while the current owner owned the property. A title defect rooted earlier in the property’s chain of title is outside the scope of a limited warranty. Limited warranty deeds assign risk to both the current and new owners—depending on when the events that caused a defect occurred.

Either party to a deed—or a third-party lender financing a real estate purchase—can protect themselves from the financial risk of unknown title defects by buying title insurance. A title insurance policy is a contract under which an insurer agrees to cover any financial loss that results from unknown defects in a covered property’s title.15 The insurance company accepts a single, up-front premium, and if a title defect later emerges, the insurer pays for the resulting damages. Title insurers also require a total review of the property’s chain of title before issuing a policy—increasing the chance that any hidden defects are found before closing.

How Do Quitclaim Deeds Compare to Other Kansas Deeds Used in Estate Planning?

Kansas quitclaim deeds, warranty deeds, and limited warranty deeds are named based on the warranty of title each one provides. Kansas law recognizes several other deed types defined by their specific purpose or context rather than by the warranty of title provided. Kansas deed forms used in estate planning include the following:

  • Transfer-on-death deed. A Kansas transfer-on-death deed transfers real estate title to a named beneficiary when the current owner dies.16 A transfer-on-death deed—also called a TOD deed or beneficiary deed—allows a property to transfer outside probate without affecting its title or control during the owner’s life.17
  • Life estate deed. A Kansas life estate deed transfers a lifetime ownership interest in real estate to a life tenant and a remainder interest that gives title to another person after the life tenant’s death.18 It works like a TOD deed, except that the life tenant’s rights in the real estate (such as the right to sell or mortgage the property) are limited by the remainder interest.
  • Personal representative deed. A personal representative deed transfers real estate from a deceased owner’s estate to a buyer or other rightful owner.19 A court-appointed executor or personal representative signs a personal representative deed with the probate court’s approval.

What Are Common Uses of Kansas Quitclaim Deed Forms?

A Kansas quitclaim deed form works well for many transfers involving little or no payment. A real estate purchase for fair market value, on the other hand, typically involves a warranty deed or special warranty deed. Quitclaim deeds can also be a convenient way to retitle a property without changing actual ownership or control.

A property owner might use a Kansas quitclaim deed form in any of these cases:

  • Joint tenancy. A sole owner signs a quitclaim deed transferring ownership to both themselves and another person to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship.20
  • Deed to business entity. A shareholder of a corporation or member of an LLC signs a quitclaim deed titling real estate in the entity’s name.21
  • Deed to partnership. A partner in a general partnership quitclaims real estate to the partnership.22.
  • Deed to trust. A property owner transfers real estate to a trust or to a trustee who is accepting it as a trustee.23
  • Divorce. A spouse signs a quitclaim deed releasing their rights to jointly owned real estate to the other spouse as part of a divorce settlement.24
  • Estate planning. A property owner setting up an estate plan transfers title to a family member as a gift.25

Kansas Quitclaim Deed Requirements

Kansas’s authorizing law provides only limited guidance for creating quitclaim deeds. Kansas law says a signed deed that has been confirmed by a notary and includes the following wording is a quitclaim deed:

[Current Owner] quitclaims to [New Owner] . . . [property description] for the sum of [amount of payment].26

A Kansas quitclaim deed transfers all of the current owner’s rights in the real estate unless it clearly states that it transfers limited rights.27 A quitclaim deed also transfers any title in the property that the current owner later acquires unless it clearly states otherwise.28

Kansas General Deed Requirements

The simple phrase prescribed in Kansas’s quitclaim-deed authorizing law is not enough by itself to create a valid deed lawfully transferring title to Kansas real estate. A Kansas quitclaim deed must also meet Kansas’ general deed requirements. It must be prepared in the correct format.29 It must also contain complete, accurate information for indexing—such as a legal description of the property.30

Further, a Kansas deed must be signed, notarized, and recorded. The current owner and any co-owners—if the property is co-owned and the deed transfers more than one co-owner’s rights—must sign the deed, and a notary must complete the acknowledgment block.31 The owner’s spouse may also need to consent to the transfer by signing the deed.32 The deed must then be recorded with the register of deeds for the county where the property is located.33

Selecting a Kansas Quitclaim Deed Form

Kansas—like other states—has its own unique laws for real estate transfers. A quitclaim deed form must be designed to meet all Kansas requirements for transferring real estate with no warranty of title. Quitclaim deed forms created for use in other states are unlikely to follow Kansas law. Using the wrong form can result in a failed transfer and future problems with the property’s title.

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  1. Kan. Stat. § 58-2205.
  2. Kan. Stat. § 58-2204.
  3. See Griffith v. Byers Construction Co., 510 P.2d 198 (Kan. 1973).
  4. See Kan. Stat. § 40-1136(g).
  5. Kan. Stat. § 58-2204.
  6. See, e.g., Kan. Stat. § 79-1437e; In re Deeds, 864 P.2d 1194 (Kan. 1993); McHenry v. Pence, 212 P. 2d 225, (Kan. 1949).
  7. See, e.g., Whitt v. Whitt, No. 02-CA-93 (Ohio Ct. App., 2003); Henningsen v. Stromberg, 221 P.2d 438 (Mont. 1950).
  8. See Roberts. v. Rhodes, 643 P.2d 116, (Kan. 1982).
  9. See, e.g., Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-30-113(1)(c) See also Tuttle v. Burrows, 852 P.2d 1314, 1316 (Colo. App. 1992).
  10. See, e.g., Tex. Prop. Code § 5.023 (implying warranties within deed “unless the conveyance expressly provides otherwise”).
  11. Kan. Stat. § 58-2203.
  12. See Griffith v. Byers Construction Co., 510 P.2d 198 (Kan. 1973).
  13. Wilder v. Wilhite, 376 P.2d. 797 (Kan. 1962).
  14. See Gotheridge v. Unified School District, 512 P.2d 478, (Kan. 1973).
  15. Kan. Stat. § 40-1136(g).
  16. Kan. Stat. § 59-3501.
  17. Kan. Stat. § 59-3504(a); Kan. Stat. § 59-3506.
  18. Kan. Stat. § 58-503.
  19. See Kan. Stat. § 59-2311; Kan. Stat. § 59-1410; Kan. Stat. § 59-1413.
  20. See Kan. Stat. § 58-501(a).
  21. See Kan. Stat. § 17-7693; Kan. Stat. § 17-6102(d).
  22. See Kan. Stat. § 56a-204.
  23. See Kan. Stat. § 58a-810(e).
  24. See Kan. Stat. § 79-1437e(8).
  25. See Kan. Stat. § 79-1437e(4).
  26. Kan. Stat. § 58-2204.
  27. Kan. Stat. § 58-2202.
  28. Kan. Stat. § 58-2207.
  29. See, e.g., Kan. Stat. § 28-115.
  30. See, e.g., Kan. Stat. § 28-115; Kan. Stat § 58-2209.
  31. Kan. Stat. § 58-2205; Kan. Stat. § 58-2209; Kan. Stat. § 58-2211.
  32. See Kan. Const., Art. 15, Sec. 9; Kan. Stat. § 59-505.
  33. Kan. Stat. § 19-1204.