Understanding a Florida Quitclaim Deed
Property can be transferred in a number of ways – not just through being bought and sold. As the property owner, you have the right to give it away or exchange it for other property. To transfer your property quickly and efficiently, you may use a quitclaim deed in Florida. If you are interested in giving real estate to a spouse, a new or current co-owner, or to a trust, contact an attorney for assistance throughout the process.
What is a Quitclaim Deed?
A quitclaim deed is a legal document used to convey an interest in real property. It must be in writing and it must contain certain elements, as outlined in Florida Statute Section 695.26:
- “Prepared by” statement (name and address of the “natural” person preparing the Deed)
- Grantor(s) (Sellers-Party Giving Title) names legibly printed in the body of the Deed
- Grantor(s) mailing address
- Grantee(s) (Buyer-Party Receiving Title) names legibly printed in the body of the Deed
- Grantee(s) mailing address
- Signatures of Grantors
- Names printed under Grantors’ signatures
- 2 Witnesses, for each signature (For all Florida Deeds) the names of witnesses printed under witnesses’ signatures
- Complete Notary acknowledgment
- Names being acknowledged
- Date acknowledgment taken
- Signature of Notary
- Name printed under signature
- Commission expiration date
It is common for a quitclaim deed to be a single page document. Due to its simplicity, many people think they can do it themselves. However, it is best to have the document drafted or reviewed by an experienced attorney who can ensure there are no defects.
When to Use a Quitclaim Deed in Florida
When you use a quitclaim deed to transfer real estate, you are not making any promises or guarantees about the title. This means there is a greater amount of risk for the grantee in accepting a quitclaim deed. If it came to light you did not have full or proper title to the land, the grantee would not get the property. This is why this transfer method is typically used for individuals who know and trust each other and not between strangers.
Some of the most common ways to use a quitclaim deed include transferring property or an interest in the property:
- To a living trust
- As part of a divorce settlement
- From community property to a joint tenancy
- From single ownership to co-ownership with another
- From one co-owner to another
Florida Quitclaim Deeds Should be Properly Filed
To ensure the transfer of a quitclaim deed, the original document should be recorded with the county recorder for the county where the relevant property is located. Until the deed is recorded, it is not valid against third-party interests.
When the quitclaim deed is recorded with the county, one of the parties must pay the transfer tax to the Clerk of the Court for the county. This is also known as the documentary stamp tax, and is typically paid by the grantor. The tax is 70 cents per every $100 of the property’s sale price. Miami-Dade County is the only county with a different tax rate of 60 cents per $100.
Speak to an Attorney About Potential Consequences
Transferring property to other individuals is rarely simple. It could have a number of consequences, including for any mortgage on the property or the grantor or grantee’s taxes. Before you sign property over through a quitclaim or accept property this way, speak with an experienced real estate attorney about the risks and benefits. Our attorneys of the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. are here to help. Contact us online or call 561-571-8970 to schedule a consultation.