Free California Quitclaim Deed Form

Do You Need a Quitclaim Deed in California?

Our decisions over property are driven by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors/ reasons. So, after carefully analyzing your situation and that of a loved one, you might decide to gift them a piece of your real property. Now, while you can make a phone call telling the recipient of the property rights of your decision, the law doesn’t recognize this communication. You have to make things official. For this to happen, you have to sign a document that legalizes the transfer. The document you need to transfer or quit your interests or rights to the real property is the quitclaim deed. While many other instances call for the use of other documents to facilitate the transfer of rights or interests in property between parties, this article dwells on the often misunderstood quitclaim deed.

What is a quitclaim deed?

Often misunderstood and misspelled as a quick claim deed, the quitclaim deed (quitclaim deed form, non-warranty deed, or quitclaim) is, as mentioned above, the document that gives a new owner (grantee) interests/ rights to real property. The person who transfers the interests in the grantor and the document is legally binding once grantor (current owner) signs and delivers (then records) the deed to the new owner.

This document does not, however, promise the new owner that the title transferred has no issues or that the grantor is the actual owner of the property. The quitclaim deed in California (and other states) is, therefore, different from the warranty deed form in that unlike the other two types of deeds – special and general warranty deed, the deed does not offer warranties or protection to the grantee. The general and the special warranty deeds offer a warranty of title in that they contain warranties to protect buyers from any legal claims of other superior titles while agreeing to compensate the grantee in the event of a superior title claims challenge. The quitclaim is also devoid of finer details like defects or liens on the property. In short, the warranty deeds address title issues which can only be fixed through legal action.

Note that even with the use of a quitclaim, should it be known that the transferor had no tangible interests in the property transferred, the transferee ends up with nothing.

After-Acquired Title

The other big difference between the quitclaim in California and other deed forms in the state is that the quitclaim will not convey the after-acquired title. What this means is that if it later turns out that the grantor doesn’t have a title to a piece of property, but they acquire the title afterward, the grantor gets to keep the rights/ interests in the property after the property’s acquisition. Therefore, it means that the grantee only gets interests in a property if the grantor has ownership rights/ interests at the time of the transfer. Otherwise, they have no rights to the property.

So, before you sign the document, you need to know that the designation of the quitclaim solely refers to property interests transfer without warranty of title.

When do you need a quitclaim form?

  • Before downloading a printable PDF version of a free California quitclaim deed form, determine whether or not you need it. Here are some of the legal uses of the quitclaim:

    • Gifting real estate when the recipient of the property doesn’t give any consideration for that property

    • When you need to create a deed that will automatically transfer property upon death, hence avoiding probate.

    • When removing an ex-spouse from a real estate title following a divorce.

    • To eliminate clouds/ defects from a title

    • When transferring property to a trust or a living trust

    • Giving up your rights on real estate to your spouse or a loved one.

    • Transferring property to a business entity

Requirements for a valid quitclaim

  • Having determined that you need to use the quitclaim form, there are things which you must ensure their presence in the form. Some of the conditions set in the statutes include:

    • The quitclaim should be in writing and the conveyance done using the correct language.

    • The title of the document must be present at the top (near) on the first page, just below the recorder’s allocated space.

    • It must have the name and the address of the person requesting the recording as well as well as the return address to be used following the recording of the deed.

    • The name and mailing address of the person/ entity expects to receive the property’s tax bills should be laid out at the bottom of the page

    • The document must have the names and mailing addresses of all the entities or individuals who have an ownership interest/ right in the named property. These names must be presented in the same way they appear in the older deed. Should there be unrecorded changes, you must provide the original and the new names of parties with interests in the property.

    • If using a document that releases, cancels, or modifies the provisions of an earlier deed, you have to issue the identification number of the recorder, page or book of the modified document. Also, the government requires that all the names of parties be indexed when appearing in a legal instrument for recording purposes.

    • The quitclaim should also carry the names of witnesses and executors of the transfer. These persons should also sign the document or have their names signed legibly below or beside the signature.

    • The document must also have the succinct description of the property in question, as well as the name, mailing address and the vesting interests of the grantee.

    • The quitclaim form should also be recorded in English and the paper used should meet the set formatting requirements where, in the top-right corner, a 2 " X 5" margin is left to be used by the recorder and a 2 " X 3 " top-left corner margin reserved for the details of the party that is requesting the recording.

Now that we have the details out of the way, are you ready to prepare your non-warranty deed for use by your loved one looking for a favorable rental lease agreement? Download our free quitclaim deed form accessible online to residents of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno, or any other city in California.