Quit Claim Deeds and Minnesota Law

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Some counties in Minnesota may require witnesses when signing quit claim deeds.
Some counties in Minnesota may require witnesses when signing quit claim deeds. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A quit claim deed, sometimes referred to as a quitclaim or “quick claim” deed, is used to transfer an individual’s (grantor’s) ownership interest in a piece of property to another individual known as the grantee. Quit claim deeds are frequently used to transfer ownership of property among family members, between divorcing spouses or simply to clear the property title. Minnesota laws require you to follow some specific procedures when using this type of deed to transfer property ownership.

Quit Claim Deeds

A quit claim deed should not be confused with another type of deed used for the transfer of real estate property, known as a warranty deed. Warranty deeds are typically used when one person is purchasing property from another person. A warranty deed guarantees a clear title for the grantee, which means that no other parties exist who may have any ownership interest in the property. Quit claim deeds make no such guarantees. They only transfer the ownership interests and rights of the grantor signing the deed. The process of completing quit claim deeds in Minnesota is governed by state statutes and individual county rules.

State Deed Tax

When property is transferred in Minnesota using a quit claim deed, a state deed tax must be paid. According to the Property Tax and Records division in Ramsey County, Minn., the state deed tax is “a state tax imposed on each deed or instrument that grants, assigns, transfers or otherwise conveys real property.” Typically, the deed tax is paid by the seller of a property. In the case of property transfer by quit claim deed, the deed tax may be paid by the grantor and would amount to 0.0034 times the net consideration. The net consideration is the value of the real property minus any amount still owed on the mortgage, or the amount of the new mortgage acquired by the grantee.

Well Disclosure

Minnesota law requires the disclosure of all wells known to exist on a property before a successful ownership transfer can be completed. The Minnesota Department of Health requires a well disclosure statement from the grantor, which must include a legal description of the well’s location (county name, lot or block number, section, township or range number) and its current status (in use, not in use, sealed). The well disclosure statement is used to file a Well Disclosure Certificate, which includes a $45 fee payable to the county recorder by the buyer or individual filing the quit claim deed.

Recording the Deed

Once a quit claim deed is completed, it must be recorded at the county recorder’s office where the property is located in order to be valid. It is advisable to check with the particular county for the specific rules, as each county has its own formatting requirements for quit claim deeds. The state deed tax must be paid and the Well Disclosure Certificate filed before the deed will be recorded. A notary public may be required for signing the deed.

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