Minnesota Warranty Deed Form
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What is a Minnesota Warranty Deed Form?
A Minnesota warranty deed, also known as a general warranty deed, is a legal document used to transfer real estate ownership from the grantor (seller) to the grantee (buyer) in the state of Minnesota. A warranty deed offers the highest level of protection for the buyer, as the grantor guarantees that he or she holds a clear title to the property and has the legal right to sell it. In addition, the grantor warrants that there are no undisclosed liens or other adverse third-party claims against the property. If a third party asserts a claim against the property, the grantor is required to defend the grantee’s title.
How Warranty of Title Works in Minnesota
A warranty of title is a guarantee provided by the grantor (seller) to the grantee (buyer) in a real estate deed. This guarantee—which a Minnesota warranty deed includes—consists of several legal promises (or covenants) that the grantor makes to the grantee. Warranty deeds provide a complete warranty of title and typically include the following covenants:
- Covenant of seisin. The owner has complete, lawful title to the property.
- Covenant of right to convey. The owner has the right to convey the property.
- Covenant of freedom from encumbrance. The property is free from all encumbrances.
- Covenant of quiet enjoyment. The owner warrants that the new owner will enjoy “quiet and peaceable possession”—that is, that no other person will assert a superior claim on the property.
- Covenant of warranty. The owner will defend the transferred title against all persons who assert a conflicting claim.1
A warranty of title protects the new owner by placing the financial risk of title problems on the grantor. If the new owner suffers financial loss caused by a title problem, the grantor is liable to the grantee for the amount of the loss.2
Minnesota Warranty Deeds and Title Insurance
Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance that protects buyers and lenders from financial loss due to defects in a property’s title. It is typically purchased during the real estate closing process and provides coverage for issues such as liens, encumbrances, and other title defects that may not have been discovered during a title search. If a title problem emerges, a title insurer has a contractual obligation to either resolve the issue or compensate the owner for the financial loss the problem causes (up to the policy’s coverage limit).
Title insurance can provide an additional layer of protection for a buyer who acquires Minnesota real estate through a warranty deed. This approach combines the legal assurances provided by the grantor’s warranty with the financial backing of an insurance policy. While the warranty deed guarantees a valid, clear title, title insurance ensures a payment source if a defect or issue is discovered.
There are two types of title insurance policies: An owner’s policy protects the buyer, and a lender’s policy protects a lender that provides a mortgage.
Other Names for a Minnesota Warranty Deed Form
The term warranty deed is commonly used in Minnesota and many other states for a deed that transfers real estate with a complete warranty. Warranty deeds are sometimes called general warranty deeds to distinguish them from deeds that provide a less thorough warranty—such as a special warranty deed or limited warranty deed.
The name statutory warranty deed refers to a warranty deed that provides a warranty of title using model language prescribed by statute. In Minnesota, a statutory warranty deed is also a general warranty deed, but that is not the case in every state.
How Do Minnesota Warranty Deed Forms Relate to Other Forms of Deeds?
In Minnesota, several types of deeds can be used to transfer real estate, each offering different levels of protection and warranties for the grantee. In addition to a Minnesota warranty deed, two other commonly used deeds in Minnesota are the limited warranty deed and the quitclaim deed.
- Minnesota limited warranty deed form. A Minnesota limited warranty deed form offers less protection than a warranty deed. The grantor only warrants that he or she has not caused any title defects or encumbrances when he or she owned the property. This means that the grantor does not guarantee against any issues that may have arisen before the grantor acquired the property. Consequently, the grantee has less protection against potential title problems with a limited warranty deed.
- Minnesota quitclaim deed form. A Minnesota quitclaim deed form provides the least amount of protection for the grantee. It does not offer any warranties of title, and the grantor merely transfers whatever interest they may have in the property without guaranteeing a good title.3 As a result, a quitclaim deed offers no assurances to the grantee regarding the property’s title or protection against future claims.
A Minnesota warranty deed provides the grantee with the highest level of protection against title problems. A limited warranty deed offers limited protection, only covering the period of the grantor’s ownership. A quitclaim deed provides no warranties of title, making it the riskiest option for the grantee regarding title protection. Correspondingly, the warranty deed places the most risk on the grantor, followed by the limited warranty deed, followed by the quitclaim deed (which places no risk on the grantor).
Minnesota Warranty Deeds and Minnesota Estate Planning Deeds
Estate planning often involves using various types of deeds to transfer real estate to beneficiaries or manage property ownership during the grantor’s lifetime. In Minnesota, some of the deeds commonly used for estate planning purposes include the life estate deed, the transfer-on-death deed, and the joint tenancy deed.
- Minnesota life estate deed form. A life estate deed allows the grantor to retain a lifetime ownership interest in the property and transfer the right to own the property after the owner’s death to a beneficiary.4 The beneficiary, known as the remainderman, automatically receive complete ownership of the property upon the original owner’s death. A Minnesota warranty deed can be used to create a life estate, with the grantor providing the same warranties and protection as in a standard warranty deed transfer.
- Minnesota transfer-on-death deed (TOD Deed) form. A Minnesota transfer-on-death deed form, also known as a beneficiary deed, allows the grantor to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the property upon the owner’s death without going through the probate process.5 The owner retains full ownership and control of the property during for life and can revoke or modify the TOD deed at any time. By contrast, a life estate deed limits the owners right to mortgage or transfer the property for the rest of his or her life.
- Minnesota joint tenancy deed form. A joint tenancy deed—also called a survivorship deed—creates a form of co-ownership known as joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.6 When one co-owner passes away, their interest in the property automatically transfers to the surviving co-owner(s) without the need for probate. A Minnesota warranty deed can be used to create a joint tenancy, offering the same warranties and title protection as in a standard warranty deed transfer.
Common Uses of Minnesota Warranty Deed Forms
A warranty deed is commonly used in Minnesota for a variety of purposes, including:
- Real estate sales. Warranty deeds are often used in the sale of residential and commercial properties, providing the buyer with the highest level of title protection and assurance that the property is free from title defects or encumbrances.
- Business transactions. Warranty deeds can be used in business transactions, such as the sale of commercial properties or the transfer of real estate assets between companies or partners, ensuring that the buyer receives a clear and marketable title.
How to Create a Minnesota Warranty Deed Form
As with any deed, a Minnesota warranty deed should be customized to reflect the specific terms and conditions of the transaction. Reliance on fill-in-the-blank forms can lead to invalid documents and future title issues.
A warranty deed must include Minnesota’s essential elements for a valid, recordable deed. Among other things, warranty deeds must have the names of the grantor and grantee, the property’s legal description, and the specific language and covenants that demonstrate the grantor’s warranty to the grantee.
The grantor must sign the warranty deed in the presence of a notary public. Some states also require the grantee’s signature, but Minnesota only requires the grantor’s signature. The notary public will acknowledge the grantor’s signature and affix the notary seal to the warranty deed, confirming that the grantor has signed the document willingly and is aware of its contents. The warranty deed must be recorded at the county recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. This process ensures that the transfer of ownership is a matter of public record and protects the grantee’s interest in the property.
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