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  • Jim Schroeder

What Kind of Deed do I Need?

Warranty Deeds, Limited Warranty Deeds, Joint & Survivorship Deeds, Fiduciary Deeds, and Quitclaim Deeds are all types of real estate deeds used in property transactions. A Transfer on Death Affidavit is often used to transfer real estate without having to process the transfer through the Probate Court. Each of these deeds serves different purposes and offers varying levels of protection and guarantees to the grantee (the person receiving the property). Here are the key differences between these types of deeds:

General Warranty Deed:

Provides the highest level of protection to the grantee.

Contains a full set of covenants or promises, including:

a. Covenant of seisin (ownership)

b. Covenant of the right to convey

c. Covenant against encumbrances

d. Covenant for quiet enjoyment

e. Covenant of warranty

The grantor (seller) guarantees the title against any defects or claims that may arise at any point in the property's history.

Limited Warranty Deed (Special Warranty Deed):

Offers a more limited set of covenants.

The grantor only warrants against defects or claims that arose during their ownership of the property.

Does not provide protection against claims or defects that predate the grantor's ownership.

Joint & Survivorship Deed (Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship Deed):

Typically used in joint ownership situations, such as between spouses.

When one owner passes away, the surviving owner automatically inherits the deceased owner's share of the property without the need for probate.

Fiduciary Deed:

Used when a property is transferred by a person acting in a fiduciary capacity, such as an executor, trustee, or guardian.

The deed indicates that the grantor is acting on behalf of a trust or estate and may have limited personal liability.

Quitclaim Deed (Quit Claim Deed):

Provides the least amount of protection to the grantee.

Transfers the grantor's interest or claim to the property, if any, without any warranties or guarantees.

Often used in situations where the grantor's ownership interest is uncertain or when transferring property between family members or in divorce proceedings.

Transfer on Death Affidavit (TOD):

The owner signs and records this affidavit in the County where the property is held stating that upon their death that all of the grantor’s ownership interest passes to the person named in the Transfer on Death Affidavit. This is a helpful tool for transferring real estate quickly and cleanly upon death of the owner by making it immediately available to be deeded into the beneficiary’s name or for the beneficiary to sell the property.

In summary, the main differences between these deeds lie in the level of protection they offer to the grantee and the specific covenants or guarantees made by the grantor. General Warranty Deeds and Limited Warranty Deeds offer stronger protections, while Quitclaim Deeds provide the least assurance. The choice of deed depends on the circumstances of the property transaction and the level of protection the parties involved are comfortable with. It's advisable to consult with legal professionals or real estate experts to determine the most appropriate deed for a specific situation.

If you are working on an Estate or Real Estate issue and come across a question of transferring properties I am here to assist you. To get started call 609-270-7590 to set up an Estate Planning Strategy Session.

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