Everything You Need to Know About the Quitclaim Deed in Louisiana
For centuries, the human race has held real estate/ property in the highest regard, and for centuries, the human race has devised some of the best strategies to ensure the property transfer of interests or ownership rights to said property. One of the tools devised is the quitclaim deed.
But, it wasn’t always there. Before the quitclaim deed (which was only introduced in the US in the mid-1800s), there were surveys, land patents, and warrants. And before these, there were ceremonies. The Livery of Seisin is one such, and though written and/or verbal contracts were involved, the transfer of real estate, particularly land had the person transferring the piece of land give the buyer/ recipient of the property a twig from the land. Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with any of that anymore. Today, all you need to facilitate the transfer of real property, especially to a loved one is a deed.
What is a quitclaim deed?
Also called a quitclaim, a non-warranty deed, or a quitclaim deed form, it is a legally binding instrument that facilitates the transfer of real property. If you’d like to convey or give up your rights to said property to a loved one, a trust of a corporation, you’d have to sign this deed to show the transfer of rights. The quitclaim, though imperfect, is one of the fastest ways of transferring property rights, and it is, as a result, referred to as a quick claim deed, albeit mistakenly.
The party transferring their interests is referred to as the grantor while the recipient of the rights is the grantee.
Why is the quitclaim an imperfect deed?
Though legally binding and recognized by the law, the quitclaim facilitates the conveyance of rights to property, without any warranties. What this means is that unlike other legal conveyance instruments like the warranty deeds, the quitclaim deed in Louisiana will only convey the interests held by the grantor at the time of the execution of the deed. This instrument does not offer any guarantees that the grantor is the actual owner of the property they are conveying rights from. In short, with the quitclaim, there is no warranty for the title.
Without the warranty of title, a grantee has little and in other cases no legal recourse against the grantor if the title has issues/ defects in the future. With such little protection, the quitclaim’s use is often recommended for use among family or parties that know each other well.
Title Defects to be aware of
As mentioned above, the title a grantee receives when the grantor quits their claim of the real property might have issues which could mean the loss of the transferred rights. These title defects vary and often come to light when a title search is performed.
The defects include errors in the public records, unknown liens on the property, or an illegal deed. Other issues include undisclosed encumbrances, missing heirs, forgeries, boundary issues, unknown easements, or an uncovered will
Regarding the uncovered will, you should bear in mind that if it is later disclosed that a will named a someone else the heir to the property, the grantee will have to forfeit their rights to the property. A last will takes precedence over a quitclaim.
If you wish to transfer your rights/ interests on real property to your spouse, note that the deed transfer will not absolve you from any mortgage debt. Despite the transfer of rights, the mortgages papers still name you as a party liable to the debt. So, you will still have to pay. This also applies when going through a divorce – even if you transfer your rights to your ex, you’ll still, bear responsibility for the mortgage debt, unless you come to a different understanding during the divorce proceedings.
Requirements for the validity of the quitclaim
A non-warranty deed sample online will reveal that this legal instrument must be prepared in a certain format. To get started, you’ll need to download a free Louisiana quitclaim deed form. This form comes as a printable PDF.
According to the statutes, in the Civil Code 1839, your free deed form must meet some minimum requirements. The requirements include:
The deed must be in writing
Its execution (the signing of the quitclaim) should take place in the presence of a notary public. Without the notary public, the execution could be done in front of any other authorized officer of the law.
During execution, there should be two independent witnesses.
The grantor (s) must sign the deed, and under the grantor’s and grantee’s signatures, there should be accompanying typed or printed names.
The sale should offer a warranty against eviction.
For the grantor and the grantee, some of the essential details required include their full legal names, marital status, their domicile, as well as their full mailing addresses.
If the grantor is married, they should include the legal name of their spouse, as well as a statement to detail any changes in marital status.
The document must also have the full legal description of the property including the address and the municipal ID. The ID number should be accompanied by the printed, stamped or typed the name of the attorney or the notary.
A recitation of amount of consideration paid is also important.
The document should be recorded soon after the execution. The recording style adopted by the state of Louisiana follows the “race-notice” recording statute. This statute provides that the first party to record the quitclaim is the party that holds priority of ownership of the property if a dispute arises. Even if a second grantee pays more (a bona fide purchaser) for the property, the early recording of the property’s deed means that the second grantee will have no rights to the property. Otherwise, the first grantee would be forced to forfeit the rights to the property.
The need for proper recording is further asserted in CC 517 which notes that no voluntary transfer of property ownership right is effective unless recorded in the public land records in the parish that the property is located. The recording makes the public aware of the change in ownership, and it also preserves the chain of title, while offering the grantee some rights to the land.
Would you like to prepare a quitclaim for your residential property in New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Metairie, Lake Charles, Houma, Kenner or any other city in Louisiana? Download our free quitclaim deed form here to get started today.