Types of Real Estate Deeds in Florida | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

Types of Real Estate Deeds in Florida

January 29, 2021

Any time you transfer property, whether buying, selling or inheriting, you’ll deal with a deed. A real estate deed is a legally binding instrument that determines title and ownership. There are several types of real estate deeds that you can use in Miami, FL. Since not every deed is appropriate for every situation, it’s important that you consult a real estate attorney before transferring property. Otherwise, you could run into issues that affect who legally owns the property.

Here’s an overview of the main types of real estate deeds:

  • General warranty: General warranty deeds are the most common type of real estate deed in modern times. They state that the seller is the current owner who has the right to transfer the property, all liens and encumbrances (if any) have been disclosed, there are no title defects, and if there are, the seller must protect the new owner from damages and defend them from other claims against the property. You are most likely to use this deed type when buying or selling property, but it’s important to understand the other types, too.
  • Statutory warranty: This offers the same protections as a general warranty deed, but it’s a short form version created by Florida statute.
  • Special warranty: A special warranty deed offers the same protections as a general warranty deed, but there’s a catch: it only applies to the time period during which the seller owned the property. If disputes arise stemming from previous owners, the seller is not liable to the buyer.
  • Fee simple: A fee simple deed is appropriately named, as it only conveys the title to the buyer. There are no warranties or guarantees in the transaction, either explicit or implied. That means that if someone else has a claim to the property, the buyer is solely responsible for dealing with the financial and legal ramifications.
  • Quit claim: A quit claim deed is unlike the previous examples, because it does not actually transfer ownership. Instead, quit claim deeds are a legal way to announce the person legally “quits” any claim they have to the property. This is usually used when an owner wants to sell, but there are defects in the title to deal with first.
  • Life estate: Life estates give a person the title to the property for the rest of their lives. Once they die, the property transfers to another person with a fee simple deed. This is often seen in estate planning—it’s a way to ensure ownership transfers seamlessly after the owner’s death.
  • Personal representative: This type of deed allows a personal representative to transfer estate property to an heir or a buyer. It’s usually similar to a fee simple deed—that is, no warranties or guarantees are involved.

As you can see, understanding what kind of deed you or a seller plans to use can directly affect your ownership and liability. Work with a real estate lawyer in Miami, FL to ensure you’re legally protected during and after the sale. Call Ruben J. Padron, PA for a consultation.

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