Free Washington Quitclaim Deed Form

The Basics of a Quitclaim Deed in Washington State

What do you know about the quitclaim deed used in Washington State? Not MUSJ? Well, don’t worry much – this article is the information overload that you need to read, it has everything you need to know about the property deeds, how to use it, when to use, and its limitations.

What is it?

Also called a quitclaim deed form, a quitclaim, or a non-warranty deed, this deed is the legal instrument that ensures the conveyance or real property, without warranties. it’s not a covenant and the transferor of the real property (the grantor) doesn’t give assurances regarding property title or ownership to the recipient (grantee).

In Washington State, like all other states, the transfer of real property can only happen in writing using a document called a deed. The quitclaim is one such deed. It’s one of the most popular property deeds for title (property rights) conveyance, but it’s also the riskiest of property deeds. The risk involved comes from the quitclaim being a non-warranty deed – meaning that it only transfers the property’s ownership rights from the grantor at the time of the deed’s execution, only. And unlike the warranty deed, this deed might transfer a title with issues and the grantor might not be the actual legal owner of the property. When a warranty deed (another type of property deed) is used to transfer rights in property, it promises the purchaser of the property or the grantor that the transferred property is free of encumbrances and liens, and it also promises that the transferor is the actual legal owner of the property.

When to use the non-warrantydeed.

  • You could use the quitclaim in the following cases:

    • When transferring or gifting some or all of your rights in real property to your ex-spouse or your spouse.

    • When transferring property rights to a member of your family or someone else

    • To transfer your rights/ interests in property to a trust, as part of estate planning

    • Changing your name or correcting a spelling error as it appears on your title

    • Clearing a cloud from a title, a common case where lenders are involved and the chain of title is unclear.

    • When changing tenancy details or clarifying the ownership of property after marriage

    • Quitting your interests in real property, like a marital home during a divorce

    • Transferring real property into a business entity like an LLC.

Legal Requirements to Meet When Creating a Quitclaim deed in Washington State

Like any other property deed, you must take the preparation of the quitclaim seriously. You need to ensure that your deed carries all the information required for a complete quitclaim. To get you started in the right direction, first download our free Washington quitclaim deed form online, it comes in a printable pdf version to guide you during the processing of the deed.

  • The statutory requirements you need to meet include:

    • The deed must be in writing

    • All the parties bound to the deed must sign it

    • The deed’s to be acknowledged by the notary public or any other authority that acknowledges legal instruments

    • The formatting of the deed must meet the state requirements

    • For quitclaims that relate to separate or community properties, the deed must bear the actual legal description of the property. This includes the description of the property by the lot number, block number, or the plat number. Without these details, the quitclaim will not be admitted into the county records.

    • For the validity of the quitclaim against future buyers who buy the same property for valuable consideration and in good faith, the deed has to be recorded with the office of the county auditor, in the county where the property is based. When a quitclaim from another bona fide purchaser is recorded later, the priority of ownership goes to the party whose quitclaim was recorded. Note that a filed quitclaim deed in Washington is as good as a recorded deed.

Using Quitclaims Forms in Divorces

The use of quitclaims in divorces is common because of its simplicity, affordability, and efficiency. In some property transfer situations, quitclaims are extremely safe. One such circumstance is a divorce proceeding.

When one spouse transfers their interests in property to the other, say a husband transferring rights to their wife, he or she is relatively sure that their spouse hasn’t attached mortgages or other encumbrances to the property. The truth in this lies in the fact that the spouse receiving property rights would have received notifications of any encumbrances.

During a divorce, whether the court determines that a spouse takes up ownership of the property in question or not, a quitclaim is the most effective tool used to transfer of quit your claim on the property.

Note, however, that the quitclaim will not release you from debt tied to the transferred property. If the transferred property is mortgaged marital property, lenders will expect payment from you, even though you no longer own it. The reason for this is that the mortgage agreement is a separate contract/ agreement not tied to the person with the property’s title. If you don’t want to continue paying mortgage on the transferred property, consider asking your spouse to refinance the mortgage on that property to their name only, before signing the quitclaim.

The other limitation of quitclaims is that if an unprobated will is presented, it takes precedence to a quitclaim.

Ready to quit your rights in real property in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Spokane, Bellevue, Olympia, Everett, or some other city in Washington state? Get this free quitclaim deed form now to get started.

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