Free Hawaii Quitclaim Deed Form

Everything You Need to Know About the Quitclaim Deed in Hawaii

A quitclaim deed, a quitclaim or a quitclaim deed form, mistakenly referred to as a quick claim deed is a legal document that conveys or transfers the ownership of real property or estate from one person to another. This deed will identify the party that hands over their interest in the said property as the grantor, and the party is accepting the transferred interests as the grantee.

The quitclaim deed, unlike other types of deeds, is commonly used when a property’s interests are transferred rather than when the property is sold. As a result, this document is completely different from other types of deeds like the warranty deed. With the warranty deed, which comes in two forms – the regular and the special warranty form, there is an actual sale.

How is the quitclaim different from other real estate deeds?

A general warranty deed has covenants from a grantor. These covenants are assurances from the grantor noting that they have actual ownership of the property they are transferring and that the property in question does not have any undisclosed encumbrances or liens. The most important bit about the general warranty deed is that the grantor provides a warranty and defends the property. So, the language used in the covenant shows a level of commitment from the grantor.

The special warranty deed, on the other hand, only provides warranty noting that the owner possesses the right to convey interests in said property. The grantor also provides that nothing’s been done in the course of the grantor’s ownership period to cause defects in the title. In most cases, the grantors in the special warranty deeds are personal representatives, lenders, bankruptcy trusts or even successor trustees.

Looking back to the quitclaim, it is clear that this deed is a non-warranty deed. The property is conveyed as it is, and the grantor might not be the actual property owner. The title might come with defects, title issues. A quitclaim has no warranty of title. Warranty of title refers to the legal guarantee from a grantor to a grantee noting that the title has no issues.

Common Title Issues

  • With a quitclaim, it is easy for a grantor to furnish a grantee a deed with title issues either knowingly or unknowingly. Often, these issues are uncovered when one runs a title search. Some of the defects you should be aware of include:

    • Public records errors – errors are human, but the error could affect property ownership.

    • Unknown liens – if the grantor gives up his/ her interests in property and they didn’t know of old debts or other liens by previous owners, the property title will be deemed defective when the new owner runs a title search.

    • Illegal deeds – unfortunately, even with a seemingly clear chain of title, it is possible that the prior deed was prepared by an illegal party or obtained illegally.

    • Forgeries

    • Missing heirs

    • Undiscovered/ undisclosed encumbrances

    • Survey or boundary disputes

    • Unknown easements

    • Undiscovered wills – these take precedence to deeds

    • Impersonation of a previous owner.

Why and when do you use the quitclaim deed in Hawaii?

Considering all the risks that come with a quitclaim, you might be wondering why you should bother with the deed. But, despite the lack of warranty on the title, the deed comes in handy when conveying property among close family members.

One catch though – make sure that you trust the persons you are dealing with. During these transfers, the grantor transfers the property title ‘as-is’ which means that they will not be held liable if any of the defects above are uncovered later. A quitclaim does not protect a grantor.

Recommended uses of the quitclaim

Transfer of property to a living trust – in such transfers, you already know the history of the claim, and you even have information about prior title searches having conducted one when buying the property.

Clearing title – if the title has an issue, say you need to change some details following a divorce, you will be required to prepare a new quitclaim deed to make the change. You might also need to prepare a new deed to clarify that a loan has been paid off even though the lender hasn't released it.

Transferring real property within a family – the quitclaim is the best legal instrument for conveying the property to a loved one, without having money exchanging hands. It works best when you are gifting a family member property.

Following a mutual consent in a divorce – after a divorce, and following a mutual understanding, you could use the quitclaim to release your interest in a property to your now ex-spouse. This is common in the transfer of rights from marital property.

Effecting a government transfer – you might also need to sign this deed form when a property is being foreclosed/ sold by the government for the recovery of unpaid taxes. The person who buys the foreclosed property gets a quitclaim deed.

How to prepare/ process a quitclaim

  • First, download a free Hawaii quitclaim deed online. This free deed form is a printable PDF sample, and it will ensure that you meet all statutory requirements. Below is a list of the requirements:

    • The grantor’s full legal name and their marital status

    • The grantee’s full legal name, their marital status, actual mailing address, and their vesting interests. The vesting interest describes how the grantee wishes to hold the property. Under the residential property laws in Hawaii, property titles could be held under joint tenancies, tenancy in common, or through tenancy by the entirety. For property transferred to at least two people, even spouses, the tenancy is regarded as a tenancy in common, unless expressed otherwise in the conveying instrument.

    • The grantor should sign the quitclaim

    • The state must acknowledge the document or delivered with authorized sections as per sections HRS 502-45 (HRS 502-41) or HRS 502-42.

    • For record purposes, consult Hawaii’s Department of Land & Natural Resources Bureau of Conveyances. They have a list of recording requirements, besides the property’s legal description which contains the description and location of the property.

    • There also is a documentary transfer tax for you to deal with, as per the provisions of section HRS 18:247-1.

    • A conveyance is void if it isn’t recorded against the grantee.

    • The recording is done using the Torrens/ Land Court System or the Regular System.

Would you like to prepare a quitclaim for a residential property today in Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua, Kapolei, Lahaina, Kihei, Kahului, or any other city of Hawaii? Download our free quitclaim deed form here to get started.