Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Form
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What is a Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Form?
A Wyoming special warranty deed is a legal document that transfers real estate from the current owner—or grantor—to a new owner—the grantee—with a limited warranty of title.1 The grantor warrants that, while owning the property, he or she has done nothing to cause a problem with the property’s title. A special warranty deed’s warranty does not cover any issues that may have arose prior to the grantor’s acquiring the property.2
What is a Warranty of Title?
A warranty of title is a guarantee a seller (or grantor) gives to a buyer (or grantee) about the transferred property’s title. A Wyoming deed that provides a complete warranty of title—such as a warranty deed—includes the seller’s implied promises that:
- When signing the deed, the seller held good title to the property and had the right to transfer the property.
- The property is free from all incumbrances—such as liens or other third-party claims against the title.
- The seller guarantees that the new owner and future transferees will have undisturbed possession of the property.
- The seller will defend the property’s title against all persons who make legal claims on it.3
A Wyoming special warranty deed’s warranty of title is limited because it covers only title problems that the seller caused or allowed.4 The seller’s duty to defend the property’s title extends only to issues that arose while the seller owned the property. A Wyoming special warranty deed’s guaranty does not cover title problems or third-party claims caused by events that occurred earlier in the property’s chain of title.
Other Names for a Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Form
Wyoming uses the name special warranty deed for a deed that provides a limited warranty of title. The synonym limited warranty deed is occasionally used in Wyoming, also, and is the second most common name nationally. Other variations include:
- Statutory warranty deed (in Alabama);
- Grant deed (in California);
- Covenant deed (in Michigan); and
- Bargain and sale deed (in Nevada, New York, and Washington).
Each of these deeds has same essential purpose of transferring real estate with a limited warranty. There are sometimes differences in the details of the warranty from state to state, and the requirements for creating the deed are often quite different.
How do Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Forms Relate to Other Forms of Deeds?
Wyoming special warranty deeds are a middle ground between Wyoming’s two other main types of deeds for real estate transfers: warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds. Where special warranty deeds split the risk of title problems between the parties, the others place all risk on one party or the other.
- Wyoming warranty deed form. A Wyoming warranty deed form—also known as a general warranty deed—provides the most comprehensive warranty of title. A warranty deed’s guarantee covers all potential title problems—even if they existed prior to the grantor’s ownership of the property.5
- Wyoming quitclaim deed form. A Wyoming quitclaim deed form provides no warranty of title. A quitclaim deed simply transfers any interest that the grantor may have in the property but does not guarantee a good title or that the grantor actually owns an interest in the property.6
A special warranty deed splits the risk between a buyer and seller. The seller bears the risk for title issues that arose while he or she held title. The seller bears the risk for everything else. By comparison, a warranty deed places all risk on the grantor, while a quitclaim deed places all risk on the new owner.
Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Forms and Other Wyoming Deeds Related to Estate Planning
The three Wyoming deed forms described above—special warranty deeds, warranty deeds, and quitclaim deeds—are the deed forms most commonly used to transfer Wyoming real estate to a new owner. Wyoming also recognizes several specialized estate-planning deeds designed to allow real estate to avoid probate. Life estate deeds and transfer-on-death deeds are the most common estate-planning deeds in Wyoming.
- Wyoming Life Estate Deed Form. A life estate deed form creates a lifetime ownership interest—called a life estate. A life estate deed also creates a remainder interest in favor of another person who takes title when the current owner (the life tenant) dies. Life estate deeds allow the property to the remainder beneficiary without probate, but they have the disadvantage of limiting the owner’s right to sell or transfer the real estate without the remainder beneficiary’s consent.
- Wyoming Transfer on Death Deed Form. A transfer-on-death deed form—also called TOD deed or beneficiary deed—names a beneficiary who takes title to real estate upon the current owner’s death. A TOD deed does not affect the owner’s right to sell, transfer, or mortgage the property during the owner’s life.7
Common Uses of Wyoming Special Warranty Deed Forms
A Wyoming special warranty deed is commonly used for transferring real property from a seller to a buyer. It is particularly useful in situations where the seller does not want to provide the complete warranty of title given under a general warranty deed. A special warranty deed may be appropriate in any of the following scenarios:
- The seller inherited the property and is unsure of the property’s ownership history;
- The seller is a bank or other lender selling the property following a foreclosure;
- The real estate is a commercial property and the seller has limited knowledge of the property’s ownership before the seller acquired the title;
- The buyer has already occupied the property for an extended period before the purchase;
- The seller is a fiduciary—such as a trustee or estate’s executor—who has insufficient knowledge or legal authority to provide a complete warranty of title.
How to Create a Wyoming Special Warranty Deed
As with any deed, a Wyoming special 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 Wyoming special warranty deed must meet all of Wyoming’s legal requirements for deeds. The deed must include the parties’ names and addresses, an accurate legal description of the property, and a granting clause declaring that the current owner is passing title to the new owner.
A special warranty deed also must have the language needed to create the limited warranty of title. Wyoming has a suggested statutory deed form for special warranty deeds—which says that the current owner “conveys and specially warrants” the property to the new owner.8 A deed that uses the statutory special warranty deed form includes the grantor’s implied covenants that he or she has not caused any encumbrance of the property’s title and that he or she will defend the title against third-party claims that arose while the grantor held title.9
The grantor’s notarized signature must be added to the deed, and the signed, notarized deed should be recorded with the county clerk of the county where the property is located. Recording makes the transfer a public record and helps to protect the new owner’s rights in the property.10
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