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Deed Forms

deed is a form used for transferring ownership in real property from a seller (grantor) to a buyer (grantee). Once completed, the deed must be recorded with the local county recorder.

By State

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

By Type ()

Deed of Trust – An alternative to a mortgage, this is an agreement formed between a home buyer and a financial institution after closing on a property. With this contract, the lender holds on to the title of the property until the borrower has paid the loan back.

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General Warranty – Provides the most security to the grantee (purchaser) out of all of the deed types. Guarantees: 1) the property has not been sold to any third party, 2) the grantor is the true and rightful owner, and 3) the title is free of any defects and encumbrances.

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Grant Deed – Similar to a general warranty, but only provides assurances for the time the seller owned the property (i.e., does not cover any previous owners).

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Lady Bird Deed – Very similar to the Transfer on Death Deed in that it is used for conveying property after one passes away, but offers additional powers to the grantor in that they can do anything with their property without permission from their beneficiaries.

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Quit Claim – Offers no protection for the grantee, at the benefit of being quick and easy to complete.

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Special Warranty – Provides the grantee with more protection than a quit claim deed, but less than a general warranty deed. Guarantees the property is free of encumbrances and liens for as long as the grantor owned it (but doesn’t protect against any issues that arose with previous owners).

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Transfer on Death Deed (TODD)– Used for transferring property after the owner dies. Allows the parties to skip the probate process. The person conveying the property retains full ownership rights while they are still alive.

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Contents

Signing Requirements

The table below contains the signing requirements for deeds in all fifty (50) states. It’s important to note that a Notary Public and/or the witnesses only need to verify the signature of the grantor (seller).

What is a disinterested witness?

A disinterested witness is a person that does not benefit or have any stake in the transaction. Disinterested witnesses should not be someone that has a personal relationship with the grantor, including family members, employees, and employers.

What is a subscribing witness?

A subscribing witness is a person that watched, in-person, the grantor sign the instrument (deed).

STATESIGNING REQUIREMENTSSTATUTE
Alabama2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 35-4-20
AlaskaNotarization§ 34-15-150
ArizonaNotarization§ 33-401
Arkansas2 Witnesses AND Notarization§ 16-47-106
CaliforniaNotarization§ 27287
ColoradoNotarization§ 38-35-103
Connecticut2 Witnesses AND Notarization§ 47-5
DelawareNotarization§ 122
Florida2 Witnesses AND Notarization§ 695.26
Georgia1 Witness AND Notarization§§ 44-5-15 & 44-5-30
HawaiiNotarization§ 502-41
IdahoNotarization§ 55-805
IllinoisNotarization§ 765 ILCS 5/20
IndianaNotarization§ 32-21-2-3
IowaNotarization§ 558.31
KansasNotarization§ 55-2205
Kentucky2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 382.130
Louisiana2 Witnesses AND Notarization§ 1839
MaineNotarization§ 203
MarylandNotarization§ 3-104
MassachusettsNotarization§ 183-29
MichiganNotarization§ 565.201
MinnesotaNotarization§ 507.24
MississippiNotarization§ 89-3-7
MissouriNotarization§ 442.150
MontanaNotarization§ 70-21-203
NebraskaNotarization§ 76-211
NevadaNotarization§ 111.105
New HampshireNotarization§ 477:3
New JerseyNotarization§ 46:4-1
New MexicoNotarization§ 47-1-44
New YorkNotarization§ 306
North CarolinaNotarization§ 47-38
North DakotaNotarization§ 47-19-03
OhioNotarization§ 5301.01(a)
OklahomaNotarization16 § 26
OregonNotarization§ 93.410
PennsylvaniaNotarization21 § 42
Rhode IslandNotarization§ 34-11-1.1
South Carolina2 Witnesses AND Notarization (Notary can act as 1 witness)§ 30-5-30
South Dakota1 Witness OR Notarization§ 43-25-26
Tennessee2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 66-5-106
Texas2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 12.001
UtahNotarization§ 57-3-101
VermontNotarization§ 301
Virginia2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 55.1-600
WashingtonNotarization§ 64.04.020
West Virginia2 Witnesses OR Notarization§ 39-1-2
WisconsinNotarization§ 706.06
WyomingNotarization§ 34-1-113

Terms to Know

  • Acknowledgement – The act of verifying the identity of the signer (the grantor) and the fact that they signed the document. Every state either requires notarization or permits it as a method of authenticating a deed.
  • Encumbrance – A claim against a property from someone that is not an owner. Types of encumbrances include:
    • CC&Rs (Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions) – Also known as simply “deed restrictions”, these restrict the usage, appearance, and/or maintenance of the property. For example, a home association may ban RVs from parking in the driveway.
    • Easements – Provides a third party with the right to use the land, such as a right-of-way or a utility line.
    • Encroachment – Occurs when an object (such as a building) extends into the property. Examples include a tree or shrub, a fence, or a shed.
    • Liens – A lien is a 3rd party claim to the property. The property acts as collateral and can be claimed should the debt go into default.
  • Conveyance – Transfer/assignment of interest (ownership) in property from person or entity to another.
  • Grantor – This is the person (or entity) that is transferring property to the Grantee.
  • Grantee – The new owner of the property (whether by purchase or gift).