July 6, 2020

The Different Types of Deeds in Florida

When conveying property, there is more than one type of deed you can use. While no deed is better than the other, the type of deed you use can have a lasting effect on the rights and remedies of the parties involved in the transaction. 

The three most common types of deeds used in real estate transactions are the general warranty deed, special warranty deed, and quit claim deed. When a seller uses a general warranty deed, which is frequently used in residential real estate transactions, they are warranting that have clear title and that all prior owners had the same. Therefore, the seller is warranting that if a claim is made as to the validity of the title, the seller will defend the buyer, regardless of when the title defect occurred. 

The special warranty deed is different from the general warranty deed in that the seller is saying that while they have a clean title to convey to the buyer, they cannot warrant that prior owners did as well. Therefore, if a claim is made to the validity of the title, and the alleged claim occurred prior to the sellers possession of the property, the seller will not defend the buyer.  

The quit claim deed provides the least amount of protection to the buyer and is commonly used between family members or individuals who wish to take the property subject to any claims that may exist. When a quit claim deed is used, the seller is saying that title to the property may have defects and that they will not defend the buyers claim to title under any circumstances.

The enhanced life estate deed, popularly known as the lady bird deed, is an estate planning tool to avoid probate when one wishes to transfer property upon their death. The lady bird deed allows for an individual to “deed” their property to another, while retaining for themselves a life estate in the property. The life estate gives the grantor full use and enjoyment the property, including the ability to sell or encumber the property, without seeking permission from the grantee. This means  while the grantor is alive, they may enjoy the same ownership rights they had prior to executing the lady bird deed, but upon their death, the grantee will receive the property instantaneously, without the time or cost of probate.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should always hire a real estate attorney if you have any legal questions. 

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Michele Green

Head of Legal, MGT Insurance
[ Orlando, FL]
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Daniel Bronson

CEO, Capitol Insurers
[ Lake Mary, FL]
+1 (386) 218-6155
1801 S Volusia Ave, Orange City, FL 32763
83 Ash Dr. Orlando, Florida 32812 U.S.A.