A deed is used to transfer or convey ownership in real property. While it may seem to be a relatively straightforward concept, there are many types of deeds to convey different types of ownership. In estate planning, Warranty Deeds, Quit-claim Deeds and Beneficiary Deeds are frequently used, but knowing which deed is necessary in your specific situation is a conversation best had with a real estate attorney.

General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed conveys all the right, title and interest in the real property from the Grantor to the Grantee. With this type of deed, the Grantor guarantees to the Grantee that they had title to the property free and clear with exclusive right and authority to sell the property. When clients establish trusts while owning a house outright, they usually choose to prepare and sign a warranty deed, placing ownership of the house into the trust.

Quit Claim Deed

With a quit claim deed, the Grantor conveys what interest they have in the real property, without any guarantee, to the Grantee. If there is a question about past ownership, a person setting up an estate plan may choose to use a quit-claim deed to pass ownership to another person or to a trust.

Beneficiary Deed

A beneficiary deed is a deed that remains dormant while the grantor is alive. It takes effect upon death, and can be revoked at any time before death. The beneficiary deed conveys all the right, title and interested in the real property from the Grantor, at their passing, to the Grantee. Beneficiary deeds can be used in estate-planning when clients have mortgages against their houses or other real estate, giving their trust control of a house or real estate only at death.

Power of Attorney for Medical and Healthcare

Your medical power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself. Your Power of Attorney for Healthcare may also, at your discretion, include an Advanced Directive, or Living Will. An advanced directive can specify decisions regarding various life-sustaining or end-of-life medical care.


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