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Common Maryland Deeds Described in Plain Language

A Deed is a legal document confirming ownership of a piece of real estate, such as land or a house. The three most common deeds in Maryland are a General Warranty Deed, a Special Warranty Deed, and a Quitclaim Deed.


In a General Warranty Deed the grantor (or seller) declares that the property title is without defect and agrees to defend the title against any claims of defect, either during or before the grantees’ ownership. This type of deed provides the most protection for the grantee. Potential defects might include recording mistakes contained in any of the legal documents, forgeries, undisclosed heirs, deeds executed under invalid (or expired) powers of attorney, liens for unpaid taxes, or fraud.


In a Special Warranty Deed the grantor warrants (or promises) to the grantee that the grantor has not created any defects to the title while owning the property.


In a Quitclaim Deed the grantor makes no promises as to the quality of the title. These deeds are most common between spouses going through a divorce. A quitclaim deed provides the least amount of protection for the grantee.


A Special Purpose Deed is typically used when a personal is acting as a representative on behalf of the property owner. These, like quitclaim deeds, offer little protection for the grantee.


While drafting and filing a deed does not require, by law, the use of an attorney, the process can often be strenuous and difficult. Recording errors, missing materials, and incomplete legal descriptions are just a few of the common mistakes people make without legal counsel. Also, deeds containing errors can be frustrating and difficult to change after the fact.  If you’re considering transferring property, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced attorney.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss estate planning, including the transferring of a deed, contact Maryland estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by clicking here.


Day, evening and weekend appointments are available in office or at your residence. Mr. Reichert personally serves estate planning clients throughout the entire state of Maryland. Stephen looks forward to assisting you with your Maryland estate planning needs.


Stephen looks forward to assisting you with your Maryland estate planning needs.


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