Missouri Warranty Deed Form – Summary

The Missouri 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 Missouri, warranty deeds are often used:

  • When a buyer is purchasing residential property from a seller for full value;
  • When the buyer does not intend to purchase title insurance; or
  • In other circumstances where the current owner is comfortable with the legal risk associated with an unlimited warranty of title.

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 Missouri counties. Get Deed

How a Missouri Warranty Deed Form Works

What is a Missouri Warranty Deed?

A Missouri warranty deed form transfers Missouri real estate from the current owner (grantor) to the new owner (grantee) with a full warranty of title. The warranty of title guarantees that the grantor owns the property, has free and clear title, and has the undisputed right to convey the property to the grantee. If any of those things are incorrect, the grantor must defend the grantee’s title to the property against all claims by third parties, including claims that arose from the actions or inactions of prior owners. Stated differently, the warranty of title provided by a warranty deed covers all title issues, including those that arose before the grantor owned the property.

Other Names for Missouri Warranty Deeds

A Missouri warranty deed form is sometimes called a general warranty deed. The inclusion of the word “general” clarifies that the deed is not a special warranty deed, which provides a more limited warranty of title.

Relationship of 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 term warranty deed refers to the warranty of title that the deed provides. The warranty of title provided by a warranty deed provides the most protection to the grantee and, conversely, places the most risk on the grantor. The grantor is responsible for all title issues affecting the property, including title issues that the grantor doesn’t know about and title issues that arose before the grantor owned the property.

The full warranty of title in a warranty deed distinguishes it from two other types of Missouri deeds that are named after the warranty that they provide or don’t provide:

  1. Missouri Special Warranty Deed Form – A special warranty deed also provides a warranty of title, but limits the grantor’s warranty to the period when the grantor owned the property. The grantor is not responsible for the actions or inactions of prior owners or for any other title issues that arose before the grantor owned the property.
  2. Missouri Quit Claim Deed Form – A quitclaim deed provides no warranty of title. The grantee accepts the property “as is” and may not sue the grantor for failure convey free and clear title.

A Missouri warranty deed form also differs from two other types of estate planning deeds that are named after their probate avoidance feature:

  1. Missouri Life Estate Deed Form – A life estate deed avoids probate by transferring the property on the death of the owner (life tenant) to new owners (remainder beneficiaries). The downside of a life estate deed is that the life tenant forfeits control over the property. The life tenant cannot sell, mortgage, or otherwise deal with the property without the consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
  2. Missouri Beneficiary Deed Form – A beneficiary deed allows the current owner to transfer property to beneficiaries at death without sacrificing control during life. The owner can deal with the property and can even change or revoke the beneficiary designation, all without the beneficiaries’ involvement or knowledge.

A life estate deed can be created with a full warranty of title. If that happens, the deed would be both a life estate deed and a warranty deed. Life estate deeds may also be quit claim deeds or special warranty deeds.

Common Uses of Warranty Deeds

A Missouri warranty deed form places all of the risk of title problems on the grantor. The grantor is responsible, not just for the grantor’s own actions, but for any title issues involving the property. Because of this broad liability, warranty deeds are usually used only in the sale context. Even then, the parties will usually purchase a title insurance policy that helps shift the risk to the third-party insurance company.

How to Create a Missouri Warranty Deed

Each state has its own requirements for creating various types of deeds. A Missouri warranty deed requires special language in the vesting paragraph and warranty sections to ensure that the deed complies with Missouri law. A deed that is valid in another state—or, even worse, a generic online deed form—may not meet these requirements. It is important that the deed be drafted specifically to comply with Missouri law.

A Missouri warranty deed must also meet the requirements that apply to Missouri deeds in general. These requirements include 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.

Imprecise language in the deed can invalidate the deed or create title problems that are costly to resolve. It is important to get the language and format right. Each deed prepared by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Missouri law and be eligible for recording in all Missouri counties.