Can a Quitclaim Deed Be Contested? Everything You Must Know

Can a Quitclaim Deed Be Contested?

Can a Quitclaim Deed Be Contested?

When you transfer ownership of a piece of property, you need to ensure the legality and accuracy of the deed transference. If you suspect something amiss in a property transfer, you might want to challenge a quitclaim deed. Can a quitclaim deed be contested?

What does the legal process look like for the contesting party? Anthony Law Group, Scottsdale’s experienced real estate lawyer, guides you through quitclaims and the subsequent litigation.

What Are Quitclaim Deeds?

A deed may act as a legal instrument to allow you to transfer property ownership rights to a new owner, whether upon someone’s death or through other means:

  • General warranties allow grantees to acquire titles for free.
  • Quitclaims grant ownership rights to a grantee.
  • Grant deeds impart ownership interest to a grantee.

These real estate documents essentially allow the grantor to impart some type of vested interest in the real property to another person as the grantee.

How a Quitclaim Deed and Warranty Deed Differ

Of these deeds, the two often confused ones are the warranty and quitclaim deeds. Both facilitate a property transfer to a grantee. However, you will notice some key differences.

Warranty Deed

A warranty deed transfers real property from one person to another. If you sell your house, you might use a general warranty deed to document the property transference. This deed basically states that you are the current owner and nothing can legally stop you from finalizing the property sale.

Quitclaim Deed

By contrast, a quitclaim deed assures nothing. As a grantor, you might have longstanding issues like liens. When transferring property, you will’ll also transfer those legally binding obstacles to the grantee. While your general warranty deed covered the transfer of real property without obstacles, the quitclaim deed does not provide that level of ownership protection.

Why You Might Use a Quitclaim Deed to Transfer Property

If you are unfamiliar with the modern housing market or how real estate transactions in Arizona work, you might not know when or how real estate deeds work, let alone specific ones like quitclaim deeds. However, quitclaim deeds are common in real estate law processes. You might seek out a quitclaim deed under the listed circumstances.

Divorce Settlements

For example, you and your spouse decide to end your marriage. Many couples become a singular property owner of purchased real estate. You might use a quitclaim deed to split or impart the property between the two of you in a divorce settlement.

Trust Transference

Alternatively, you might transfer real property into a trust. Trusts act as entities that manage assets, including property. You will ‘ll assign a trustee to maintain the trust until you dissolve it.

Property Gifts

Sometimes, family members might want to give a piece of property as a gift. These property transfers can’t fit neatly into traditional property sales. Therefore, they may use a quitclaim deed transfer to change the ownership.

Probate Court Avoidance

Finally, you might use a quitclaim deed to avoid probate court when a family member dies. When a dying loved one owns a property title, they want to ensure it stays within the family. They will’ll use quitclaim deeds for transferring ownership upon the grantor’s death.

When Can a Quitclaim Deed Be Contested?

You now know what a quitclaim deed offers. But when can a quitclaim deed be contested? If you suspect unfair dealings within the context of a non-warranty deed, you have the legal right to challenge a quitclaim deed:

  • Unreliable notarization: A notary should sign any legal quitclaim deed at the county clerk’s office. While the notary public doesn’t judge a legal document’s legality, they may refuse to notarize if they doubt whether the grantor understands the agreement.
  • Undue influence: The grantee should not coerce the grantor into signing a legal document. If you suspect coercion of any sort, you might have grounds to contest a quitclaim deed.
  • Mental capacity: When someone signs a deed transfer, they should understand the basics of the process. They should not be influenced into signing because of mental illness or substance use. You should gather compelling evidence via witness testimony and medical records to prove a grantor’s mental instability.
  • Forgery: All real estate deeds require signatures from the participating parties. If the grantee signed a quitclaim deed without the grantor’s knowledge, they committed forgery.

A Step-By-Step Guide to a Contested Quitclaim Deed

You have established that you believe a loved one signed a quitclaim deed under false pretenses. How should you go about challenging a quitclaim deed? Real estate litigation is tricky.

Learn which actions you should take to challenge a quitclaim deed below.

Collect Substantial Evidence

What evidence do you have to support your claim? The admissible evidence depends on your reason for challenging a quitclaim deed. Some examples include:

  • Forgery: Hire a professional handwriting expert to find differences between the forged signature and the grantor’s signature. You might also find other evidence, like messages or digital insinuations, that suggests the grantee planned to forge the documents.
  • Mental health status: Gather medical records demonstrating the grantor’s mental health status. You can also use communications or social media statuses that suggest the grantor was using mind-altering substances at the time they signed.
  • Undue influence: Can you locate evidence of blackmail or coercion? This might require a more in-depth investigation from professionals.

Hire a Real Estate Attorney

Show your evidence to and consult with a competent attorney with extensive experience with real estate processes. They will assist in challenging a quitclaim deed by gathering further evidence and smoothly navigating the legal system. They can also identify other substantial reasons you might want to pursue a court case.

Prepare for Legal Proceedings

Finally, you should file your suit as soon as possible. Your real estate lawyer will help you navigate the process. If you succeed in your challenge, you could put a stop to any quitclaim deeds, preventing the would-be grantee from taking advantage of your loved one.

Contact Anthony Law Group for Legal Assistance With Property Transactions

When can a quitclaim deed be contested? Discover more about quitclaim deed loopholes, learn about other property deeds, and more. Call 602-362-2396 to learn more. Anthony Law Group also assists with commercial real estate litigation.

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