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Florida has several property deeds, each with specific purposes and implications. Here are the most common types:
General Warranty Deed: This deed provides the most significant protection to the buyer because the seller is legally promising (or warranting) that they own the property free and clear, that there are no liens or encumbrances on the property, and that they have the right to sell it. The warranty is not limited to the time the seller owned the property; it extends back to its origins. This is typically used in most standard real estate sales. For example, if you're buying a home from a seller who asserts that there are no issues with the title, you would expect to receive a General Warranty Deed.
Special Warranty Deed: This is similar to a General Warranty Deed but limits the seller's warranties to their ownership period. The seller doesn't guarantee that there weren't any issues before they took ownership of the property. This type might be used in cases where the seller has owned the property for a relatively short period, such as with certain real estate investments.
Quitclaim Deed: This type of deed offers the least protection for the buyer. The person transferring the property isn't making any warranties about the property title. Essentially, they're only transferring any ownership interest they might have if they even have any. This is often used in cases where property is transferred between family members, to clear up a title issue, or in a divorce situation when one spouse is giving up any potential claim on a property.
Life Estate Deed: Under this type of deed, a person can maintain rights to a property for the duration of their lifetime, but the property passes directly to a named individual upon their death. This can be useful for estate planning purposes. For instance, an elderly parent might use a Life Estate Deed to ensure they can live in their home until they pass away, but the home will automatically pass to their child upon death.
Lady Bird Deed (Enhanced Life Estate Deed): This is a special type of Life Estate Deed specific to a few states, including Florida. It allows the owner to transfer property to beneficiaries while retaining a life estate in the property and the power to sell, mortgage, or gift the property during their lifetime without the beneficiaries' consent. This is often used in estate planning to avoid probate while retaining more control over the property than a regular Life Estate Deed.
Published: Feb 27, 2024
Updated: Dec 9, 2023
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