A quitclaim deed is a legal transfer of real estate ownership, usually between family members, explains Nolo. A quitclaim deed records the names of the parties, the owner or the grantor and the receiver or grantee, gives a legal description of the property being deeded and is signed by the current owner of the property. A quitclaim deed removes any interest in the property that an owner may have.
A quitclaim deed must be notarized or signed in front of a notary who stamps it, according to Nolo. Some states also require witnesses or the grantee to sign. In all states, the deed is recorded in the land office in the county where the property is located.
Divorcing couples frequently use quitclaim deeds when one of them retains the family home. The quitclaim deed, however, does not remove legal responsibility for a mortgage on the property, according to Nolo. Lawyers.com explains that a parent can use a quitclaim deed to transfer property to a child to keep the property out of probate court, for example. There can be serious tax or other financial consequences for the grantor who signs a quitclaim if the property is sold before he dies. Quitclaim deeds are also extremely difficult to reverse, notes Lawyers.com. If the grantor ever wants ownership back and the grantee does not agree, then the grantor must prove lies, coercion or threats were used to get him to sign.