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 Missouri counties.
A Missouri special warranty deed form transfers Missouri real estate from the current owner (grantor) to the new owner (grantee) with a limited warranty of title. The grantor guarantees that the grantor has done nothing to 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’s guarantee is limited to the time that the grantor owned the property.
In Missouri, a deed that provides a warranty of title that is limited to the time that the grantor owned the property is called a special warranty deed. In other states, the same deed is known by different names. For example, California calls it a grant deed, Michigan calls it a covenant deed, and Alabama calls it a statutory warranty deed. Each name generally refers to the same deed form.
The designation of a deed as a special warranty deed deals exclusively with the warranty of title provided by the deed. A special warranty deed provides a warranty of title that only covers the period when the grantor owned the property and does not extend to any actions or inactions by prior owners. This limited warranty of title differs from the warranty of title provided by the two other types of Missouri deeds that are defined by the warranty of title:
By dividing risk between the grantor (for the period that the grantor owned the property) and the grantee (for the period before the grantor owned the property), a Missouri special warranty deed form creates a middle ground. Most commercial transactions in Missouri use special warranty deeds. In that context, the protection offered by a special warranty deed is usually supplemented by a title insurance policy on the property being conveyed.
A Missouri special warranty deed also differs from two other types of deeds that are named after their use as estate planning tools for avoiding Missouri probate:
Even though the names refer to different features, a life estate deed can also be a special warranty deed (or warranty deed or quitclaim deed), depending on the language it includes for the warranty of title.
Special warranty deeds are used most often in commercial real estate transactions where the property is being sold to an unrelated third party. They may also be used to transfer Missouri real estate to a living trust or an LLC that is owned or controlled by the grantor. Using a special warranty deed provides a continued connection to the grantor that may help ensure continued protection under the grantor’s title insurance policy.
A Missouri special warranty deed must be carefully prepared to ensure that it includes the right vesting and warranty language to create the limited warranty of title that is characteristic of special warranty deeds. The deed must also meet the legal requirements that apply to other types of deeds, including 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 should be created with Michigan law in mind. A deed that is perfectly valid in another state may not be valid or recordable in Michigan. And imprecise language—even a single phrase that is incorrect—can result in a different type of deed than the one intended. Each deed created by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed with Michigan legal requirements in mind.