The easiest way for a property owner in West Virginia to transfer their ownership is by using a quitclaim deed.
A quitclaim deed transfers only the interest in the property held by the property owner — called the grantor in a deed — without any other legally enforceable promises about the property.
The quitclaim deed works best when transferring property within the same family or moving property into a trust.
West Virginia Quitclaim Deed Laws and Requirements
West Virginia law requires that a quitclaim deed must be in writing and signed by the grantor. The grantor’s signature must either be acknowledged or done in the presence of two witnesses.
To be effective against third parties, the deed must be recorded, and a filing fee and a transfer tax must be paid.
West Virginia codified its laws governing deeds in Article 3 of Chapter 36 of the West Virginia Code. The definition of a quitclaim deed is found in West Virginia Code § 36-3-7, which provides language to be used in quitclaim deeds.
The process for authenticating and recording a deed is governed by Article 1 of Chapter 39 of the West Virginia Code.
The quitclaim deed must include the property’s complete legal description, which is not the same as the property’s mailing address.
You can find the legal description in previous deeds of the property, which should be recorded with the county clerk’s office.
A deed must be in writing and signed by the grantor under West Virginia Code § 36-1-3.
According to West Virginia Code § 39-1-2, for a deed to be accepted for recording, the grantor’s signature must either be done in front of two witnesses or be acknowledged.
An acknowledgment may be made by a notary public or certain other officials under West Virginia Code § 39-1-3.
West Virginia Code § 36-3-7 provides that using the following phrase creates a quitclaim deed: “the said grantor releases to the said grantee all his claims upon the said lands.”
Words that have similar meanings can also create a quitclaim deed. In addition, a statutory deed form is provided in West Virginia Code § 36-3-5, but using the form in that section is not required.
A tax on the transfer of real estate (also referred to as excise tax) is imposed by West Virginia Code § 11-22-2 at the state tax rate of $1.10 for each $500 of the property’s value.
The county clerk collects the transfer tax, and after payment, the deed will receive a property transfer stamp under West Virginia Code § 11-22-4.
There are exemptions to the transfer tax under West Virginia Code 11-22-1(4) including transfers between husband and wife or parent and child and transfers by will.
A completed Sales Listing Form (Form STC 12:39) must be filed along with the deed.
The grantor’s signature on the deed must be either acknowledged or performed in front of two witnesses per West Virginia Code § 39-1-2.
West Virginia Code § 39-1-2 provides that the quitclaim deed is to be recorded with the county clerk where the property is located. A recording fee of $30 must be paid to the county clerk under West Virginia Code § 59-1-10.
How to Write & File a Quitclaim Deed in West Virginia
Follow the steps below to write and file a quitclaim deed in West Virginia.
Step 1 – Obtain Quitclaim Deed Form
Find the appropriate form for the West Virginia quitclaim deed and download it.
Step 2 – Fill in Preparer Details
Find the area that says “prepared by,” and enter the name and address of the person who fills out the form. This may be the grantee or grantor, but it needs to be recorded in this area.
Step 3 – Write ‘Return To’ Information
Add the name and return address information for the person receiving the form after it has been filed appropriately. This goes in the blank under “After Recording Return To.”
Step 4 – Note Date of Conveyance
Write the Date of Conveyance. First, write the calendar day, the month, and the year. This should be the date that the deed is signed.
Step 5 – Enter Grantor and Grantee Details
Write the full names and addresses of the grantee and the grantor in the appropriate blanks.
Step 6 – Document Consideration
After “in consideration of the sum of” write the amount being paid, if any, for the property in words. In the parenthesis after this, write the numerical value of the price.
Step 7 – Write Property County
Record the county where the property is located. Then write the legal description of the property. Use attachments if needed.
Step 8 – Get Quitclaim Deed Notarized
Have the grantor sign the West Virginia quitclaim deed in front of a notary public or two witnesses. After signing, the grantor should print their name. The deed will have a space for the witnesses or notary public to sign and notarize the document.
Step 9 – File Your West Virginia Quitclaim Deed
Take the signed deed and any other required documents to the West Virginia County Court Clerk’s office in the county where the property is located. Pay any required filing fees as charged by the county.
West Virginia Quitclaim Deed Sample
Below is an example of what a West Virginia quitclaim deed looks like.
West Virginia Quitclaim Deed Samplewest-virginia-quitclaim-deed