A deed will be used every time there is a transfer of ownership in real property. In the state of Arizona, there are four types of deeds that can be used to transfer real estate from one person or entity to another. Here are the key points of conveying title to real property in Arizona and the differences between the deeds.
Arizona Law on Real Property Deed Conveyance
Arizona Revised Statutes § 33-401 lays out the formal requirements for conveyance of property. All transfers of property in Arizona must be in writing. The deed must be signed by the grantor and notarized by an authority granted those duties in the state.
There are additional regulations for the grantee if they are a business operating in Arizona, but failure to follow these rules at the time of sale will not impact the validity of the transfer of title.
General Warranty Deed in Arizona
A general warranty deed is the most common type of deed used when real property is purchased. The deed includes a guarantee from the grantor (seller) that they hold the title free and clear without any encumbrances on the property. This provides the grantee (buyer) the assurance that they can take ownership of the property without any parties making claims to it.
If you’re buying property, you would obviously like to get guarantees that your investment in the property will not be challenged by other parties. Special warranty deeds can also be used and will include the same guarantee from the grantor. However, special warranty deeds differ in that the grantor is only representing that they held title without any competing claims in the time the grantor had title of the property. Thus, a special warranty deed leaves open the possibility that there could be questions about ownership rights from before the grantor owned the property.
Quitclaim Deed in Arizona
Quitclaim deeds come with no guarantees that the title is free and clear from any potential encumbrances or disputing claims of ownership. It is simply the current title holder recording the transfer to the new title holder. Quitclaim deeds are not often used when the sale of the property is involved for obvious reasons. Quitclaim deeds are much more common when there is a transfer of property from one family member to another or after a divorce. It can also be used to add a company to the deed. We put together a detailed guide to understanding quitclaim deeds in Arizona that provides some more depth on when and how they are used. Since there are risks associated with quitclaim deeds, it is best to consult with an experienced real estate attorney before proceeding with that type of conveyance of real property.
Beneficiary Deed in Arizona
Beneficiary deeds are also common in Arizona but come with some risks and pitfalls as well. A beneficiary deed allows a real property owner to transfer the ownership of property to their desired grantee upon their death through a deed, instead of using a will. This allows the property to avoid probate and the grantee to immediately take possession of the property. While a beneficiary deed can be simple and avoid the delays of probate, it is not always the best estate planning tool. It is essential to work with an estate planning attorney that can help you explore the best way to convey title to your heirs or beneficiaries in Arizona.
Joint Tenants Deed and Rights of Survivorship
A joint tenants deed with rights of survivorship is established in ARS § 33-431 and allows for multiple parties to own a property together in Arizona. If the deed expressly identifies rights of survivorship and is in accordance with the statute, then the death of one of the owners results in the other owners receiving a share of the deceased’s property. A joint tenancy deed can be established without rights of survivorship and the property share would pass to the designated beneficiaries.
Phoenix Real Estate Attorney for Deed Conveyance
The purchase of a home or any real estate will typically be one of the largest of anyone’s life. It’s important that you utilize the experience and knowledge of a real estate attorney to make the best decisions possible in the transaction and conveyance of title. The attorneys at M&G Law can help you structure the best way to transfer the title and use the appropriate deed in Arizona. Contact us today at 602-533-2840 or make an appointment on our contact us page online.