In California (CA), a quitclaim deed allows a property’s owner (grantor) to transfer ownership or interest in the property to another party (grantee) or add a person to the deed without any title search or discovery. A California quitclaim deed works well in cases where the two parties know and trust one another, such as when adding a spouse to a deed or transferring property between family members.
Sometimes, quitclaim deeds are called by the wrong name, such as “quit claims deed,” “quit claim deed,” or “quick claim deed.” These all refer to the same type of deed, which offers no guarantee to the owner’s rights to the property or whether or not the title is clean. A warranty deed provides that sort of warranty.
Important Laws & Requirements
- Laws: California Civil Code § 1091 – 1099
- Recording: Quitclaim deeds in California must be recorded and filed with the appropriate County Recorder’s Office.
- Legal Description: The legal description of the property must include the Assessor Parcel Number (APN). The County Assessor’s Office can provide this number.
- Signing: The grantor’s signature requires the notarization from a notary public.
- Transfer Tax: California charges transfer tax on deed transfers. Each area of the state has its own rate, which the quitclaim deed must state.
- Documents: A Preliminary Change of Ownership form (Form BOE-502-A) must be filed along with the deed form.
How to Write & File a Quitclaim Deed in California
Step 1: Download the California quitclaim deed form and the BOE-502-A.
Step 2: Enter the name and the mailing address of the person who is filling out the document, as well as the name and mailing address of the person who will receive the completed deed and other statements.
Step 3: Record the property’s Assessor’s Parcel Number, which you can get from the assessor’s office in the property’s county.
Step 4: Write the grantor’s name in the appropriate blank. After “hereby quitclaims to,” write the grantee’s name.
Step 5: Write the county and city for the property, followed by the property’s legal description. This should include the address and description as found on the property’s current deed.
Step 6: Fill in the details on BOE-502-A. The quitclaim deed in California is fairly simple because BOE-502-A contains most of the details.
Step 7: Take the completed form to a notary public. Have the grantor sign in the presence of the notary.
Step 8: Take all of the paperwork to the County Recorder’s Office to file. Bring the transfer tax amount. The County Recorder’s Office will enter the transfer tax amount in the appropriate box.