What are the differences between General Warranty Deeds, Special Warranty Deeds, and Quitclaim Deeds?
In Missouri, there are three primary types of deeds used to transfer title to a piece of real estate: a General Warranty Deed, a Special Warranty Deed, and a Quitclaim Deed. Each type of deed provides a different level of assurance from the Grantor (the one giving the real estate) to the Grantee (the one receiving the real estate).
Most protection – General Warranty Deed – The Grantor guarantees that they (1) own the property, (2) have the right to transfer the property, and (3) the property is free of any liens or encumbrances (unless otherwise disclosed). The Grantor promises to defend any challenges to proper chain of title.
Some protection – Special Warranty Deed –The Grantor guarantees that they (1) own the property, (2) have the right to transfer the property, and (3) the property is free of any liens or encumbrances (unless otherwise disclosed). However, the Grantor is only promising to defend against challenges to proper chain of title from their period of ownership. They are not giving any assurances that title was properly transferred prior to their ownership.
Least protection – Quitclaim Deed – The Grantor makes no guarantee as to ownership, right to transfer the property, or freedom from liens or encumbrances. Essentially, a quitclaim deed is the Grantor saying, “I am transferring any share of title I potentially own to the Grantee.” There are no assurances. Transfer by quitclaim deed is most used amongst family members.
Typically, for estate planning either a General Warranty Deed or a Special Warranty Deed will be acceptable for transferring title into a Trust.
If a Quitclaim Deed is all that is available, a title company will need to be hired. A title company will create a title report to prove the chain of title, before the title can be transferred to your Trust.