According to California law, a quitclaim deed is a document that enables you to relinquish and/or transfer real property interest, whether recorded or not, in land and or gas, mineral, or oil rights. Most people who sign quitclaim deeds do so when they are transferring the property to a family member. This is because a quitclaim deed does not “guarantee” the grantor has, in fact, valid ownership of the real estate property. Because the parties involved in gift transfer of ownership of real estate property and in quitclaim deeds are usually close family members, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer. In fact, it is a waste of money to hire a lawyer for something as simple as a quitclaim deed. The best choice is to hire a California registered legal document assistant to prepare your quitclaim deed.

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Get help filing a California Quitclaim Deed!

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about Quitclaim Deeds.

How Quitclaim Deeds Work

The person transferring interest (or potential interest) in the land is called the grantor. The recipient of the interest is called the grantee. The quitclaim deed form states that you “remise, release, and forever quitclaim to” your interests in the land. Most of the time, the grantors in quitclaim deeds have given their interests in the real estate property to the grantee as a gift instead of selling them. Once you file the quitclaim deed with both parties’ signatures, the grantee becomes the legal owner of any of grantee’s interest in the land.  As mentioned above, however, It does not guarantee that the grantee had, in fact, legal and rightful ownership of the land. To transfer ownership that you guarantee exists, you need a grant deed or some other kind of transfer deed.

A Quitclaim Deed Only Transfers Type of Title You Own

Therefore, in theory, a person may sign a quitclaim deed to transfer property he or she does not own. In this case, the person signing the quitclaim does not actually transfer title since there is no actual ownership interest. Remember, although you may sign and record a quitclaim deed, a quitclaim deed only transfers the type of title you own.

How to Transfer Ownership of Real Estate to a Family Member in California

Depending on the relationship between the original owner of the property and the recipient, California law recognizes the following types of documents for transferring ownership of a piece of real estate:

  • Quitclaim deed
  • Grant deed
  • Interspousal transfer deed
  • Transfer on death deed
  • Domestic partner transfer deed
  • Trust transfer deed

When you transfer a piece of real estate to a family member as a gift, the recipient becomes responsible for taxes and other liabilities associated with the property. Transferring ownership of a real estate property to a family member is a big decision; it will give the recipient a valuable asset but also a new set of financial responsibilities. Depending on the financial situation of the family member to whom you want to give the property, it might be a better idea to transfer the property to a trust, instead, naming your family member as a beneficiary. If your property is exceedingly valuable or there are complex issues to work out, you may want to generally consult an estate planning lawyer. Our estate planning video might help you better understand different estate planning considerations. Once, however, you have made up your mind to transfer your interest in the property, you only need a non-attorney legal document assistant.

Get a California Quitclaim Deed from A People’s Choice

Part of the process of making your quitclaim deed official in California is making a Preliminary Change of Ownership report.  You can get both documents at A People’s Choice for very reasonable fee.  A People’s Choice offers legal document preparation services by a non-attorney legal document assistant registered in California. Our services include quitclaim deeds and other real estate transfer documents, along with a variety of other routine legal documents. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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