Transferring ownership of a piece of property from one person to another can sometimes be a complicated process. It always has to be handled correctly so that you don’t end up with an encumbrance on the title or questions about the true ownership years down the line. Most of the time, warranty deeds are used when a property is bought and sold to transfer ownership properly.

Warranty deeds are designed to reassure the new owner that there’s no problems with the title or liens on the property and that the person granting the deed has the legal right to do so. Title insurance usually is involved in a warranty deed, which naturally requires a title search (and more expense).

There are times, however, when a quitclaim deed will suit your needs quite nicely. For example, if you and your spouse are divorcing, one of you may be willing to deed their share of the family home over to the other. Keeping in mind that transferring title of the property doesn’t erase your mortgage obligation, a quitclaim deed can accomplish your goals with a minimum of paperwork and little cost.

Quitclaim deeds are also useful when settling inheritances. Imagine if you and your siblings inherit equal shares of the family home, but only you want to keep it. The uninterested siblings can sell their share of the home to you and use quitclaim deeds to quickly transfer their interest in the property to you.

Quitclaim deeds are also sometimes used to “quiet” a title. If a title search reveals a potential ownership interest that was never properly divested, the quitclaim deed can resolve the issue.

Real estate transfers and transactions can be confusing. It’s always wise to consult an experienced attorney with your questions.