Under Wisconsin law, a property owner can choose many legal forms to transfer real estate. The least complicated type, the quitclaim deed, merely transfers whatever interest the property owner — referred to as the grantor in a deed — has in the property.
Unlike a warranty deed, the quitclaim deed does not come with any promises that the grantor has good title to the property. Quitclaim deeds are often used to transfer property between family members or in divorces, among other situations.
Read on for more information about quitclaim deeds in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Quitclaim Deed Laws and Requirements
Under Wisconsin law, a quitclaim deed must meet certain requirements. The deed must identify the parties, contain a legal description of the property, identify the interest being transferred, and be signed by the grantor.
The grantor’s signature must be authenticated, and you must record the deed and pay a filing fee and a transfer tax, known as the real estate transfer fee.
Chapter 706 of the Wisconsin Statutes contains most of the Wisconsin laws governing the transfer of real estate. Wisconsin Statute § 706.10 defines a quitclaim deed.
To be valid in Wisconsin, a quitclaim deed must properly identify the land as specified in Wisconsin Statute § 706.02. For a quitclaim deed to be recorded, the deed must contain the property’s full legal description under Wisconsin Statute § 706.05(2m).
The legal description differs from a property’s mailing address. Wisconsin uses a Public Land Survey System for legal descriptions of rural property, and other methods should be used for smaller parcels.
Under Wisconsin Statute § 706.02, the grantor must sign a quitclaim deed to be valid. Wisconsin law does not require the grantee to sign the deed.
Before a quitclaim deed can be recorded, Wisconsin Statute § 706.05(2) requires that the grantor’s signature be authenticated using a method listed in Wisconsin Statute § 706.06.
That section states that a grantor’s signature is authenticated as genuine by a notary public.
Wisconsin law does not require any specific language for a quitclaim deed, and unlike most states, Wisconsin does not provide a sample quitclaim deed form.
A quitclaim deed, however, should use the term “quitclaim” and not contain any references to warranties or covenants.
Wisconsin Statute § 77.22(1) imposes a tax on most real estate transfers, called the real estate transfer fee. The fee is based on the property’s value: 30 cents for each $100 value or fraction of $100.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue requires the electronic filing of a return (Real Estate Transfer Return), and a receipt for the payment must be submitted along with the deed when recording.
Exemptions to the fee are listed in Wisconsin Statute § 77.25 and include transfers between certain family members.
There are no requirements for additional documents besides the real estate transfer return and fee receipt.
Witnesses are not required for quitclaim deeds under Wisconsin law.
Under Wisconsin Statute § 706.08, a quitclaim deed must be recorded for the deed to be effective against most subsequent purchasers.
Deeds are recorded with the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located per Wisconsin Statute § 706.05(1). A $30 filing fee must be paid at the recording time.
Wisconsin Statute § 59.43 contains several requirements for documents to be recorded:
- Documents must be on white paper with at least a 20-pound weight
- The paper must be 8.5 inches in width and either 11 or 14 inches in length
- The first page must contain a three-inch by three-inch blank space in the upper right-hand corner
- The pages must have at least a 0.5-inch top margin and 0.25-inch bottom and side margins
How to Write & File a Quitclaim Deed in Wisconsin
Follow the steps below to write and file a quitclaim deed in Wisconsin.
Step 1 – Obtain Quitclaim Deed Form
Download the WI quitclaim deed form. Fill in the form, either digitally or by hand.
Step 2 – Write Grantor and Grantee Details
Fill in the appropriate information. First, list the full name and address of the grantor (seller) and then the grantee (buyer). The terms “grantor” and “grantee” must be listed in the document.
Then, list the county where the property is located. Provide a complete legal description of the property. Add the amount paid, if any, for the property. Verify whether or not the property is homestead property.
Step 3 – Enter ‘Return To’ Information
Add the name and return address of the person and place where you wish to have the deed sent when the Register of Deeds is done recording the information. This is typically the buyer’s name and address.
Underneath that, list the parcel identification number (PIN) for the property.
Step 4- Have Quitclaim Deed Notarized
Get original signatures from the grantor(s) and have the signature acknowledged by a notary public.
Step 5 – List Preparer Details
List the name and contact information of the party who prepares the form.
Step 6 – Fill in Property County
Record the information for the Register of Deeds in the county where the property is located. Pay the county’s recording or filing fees for quitclaim deeds.
Step 7 – File Your Wisconsin Quitclaim Deed
File a Real Estate Transfer Return form electronically and submit the filing receipt along with the quitclaim deed. This allows the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to determine if the transfer is taxable.
Each transfer is considered individually when determining if it is taxable or not.
Sample Wisconsin Quitclaim Deed
Below is an example of what a Wisconsin quitclaim deed looks like.