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What kind of deed I need to transfer property to family?

Philadelphia, PA |

I want to gift my property to my children. My question is what kind of deed I need - Quit Claim Deed or Fee Simple Deed. What is the difference between these?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

A fee simple deed guarantees the buyer that the ownership is bona fide but not that the property is free of liens, mortgages, or other encumbrances. A quit claim deed conveys whatever the seller may own (which could be nothing) simply transferring whatever he owns, defects and all, to the buyer. I always use a quit claim deed for my family property transfers.


Nusrat J. Rashid did a good job of distinguishing the two types of ownership transfer. Typically, one uses a quit claim deed for that type of transfer. If you talk to a local real estate attorney he/she may suggest a warranty deed, or life estate, trust property beneficiaries... I am only licensed to practice in Michigan.


It is true that quit claim deed is usually used in family transactions - the bigger and much more important question is what is the purpose of this transfer and what if any are the tax (gift, income, estate, inheritance) and long-term care consequences of the transfer. While I understand that you may want to do this yourself, you need to make sure you understand the implications of the transfer.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


You want to know which type of deed to use to transfer property to your children. I agree with Attorney Zelinger that although a quit claim deed is the type most often used in family transfers, there may be gift, income, estate, inheritance and long term care consequences of the transfer. I would like to expand on that to remind you that if you should be in a nursing home within the five years after the transfer, it may disqualify you from Medicaid.
From a practical point of view, transferring real estate to more than one owner frequently opens the way to disagreements on what to do with the property. Suppose one of your children dies without a will, then who owns his/her share of the property? Will they agree with the plan of your other children? While it may or may not be a good idea, you should think about the long term consequences of the transaction and either consult with a lawyer or do some research.

Of course, this answer does not create an attorney client relationship and you should seek the assistance of a competent attorney to help you with this matter. The information presented is for general educational purposes only and there may be facts not disclosed which would call for a different answer.