Real Property Contracts

DEEDS – Adding or Changing Names on Real Property

Whenever someone wants to make a change on title to real property, they need to record a deed with the local county recorder. In California, we have a few commonly used types of deeds:

-Grant Deed – A grant deed is used when somoen who is on the current deed transfers ownership or adds a name to a deed. You are also promising that there are no hidden liens or mortgages. Grant deeds are commonly used in sales or gifts of real property, to add another owner to title, to change the form of title for two co-owners (such as from joint tenancy to tenants-in-common or vice versa), or to update an owner’s name after a legal name change.

-Quitclaim Deed – A quitclaim deed is used when someone is giving up all the rights they have during that moment in time in favor of someone else. This sometimes occurs even if you’re not presently on the deed, but is done out of an abundance of caution for the potential of future quiet title claims and may often be used in divorces, or inheritenaces when someone is giving up their potential rights.

There are other types of deeds that are commonly used, such as “interspousal deeds”. These changes the characterization of real property from separate property to community property, or vice versa. You can also use a quitclaim deed or a grant deed to affect the same result, but interspousal deeds may be preferred because it is very clear to everyone examining the deed the change is intended to impact the parties community property rights.