Special Warranty Deed

With a special deed or special Warranty Deed, the grantor only warrants that they own the property and that there are no title defects during the time the grantor owned the property. The special deed or limited warranty deed gives the grantee greater protection than a quitclaim deed and less protection than a full or general warranty deed.

When to Use a Special Warranty Deed

A special warranty deed is used when conveying an interest in real property where it is the grantor’s intent to assert that the grantor has title and there are no outstanding claims or liens during the time the grantor owned the property. It is generally used in the conveyance of commercial real estate, but can be used in a residential transaction as well. A general warranty deed is typically used in the conveyance of residential real estate.

Alternative: Standard Warranty Deed

What is a warranty deed? The warranty deed contains the following provisions:

  • Amount of consideration
  • The names and addresses of the grantor and grantee
  • City and county where the property is located and the legal description of the property
  • Signature of the parties
  • Notary acknowledgement

There are two types of warranty deeds. A general warranty deed and a special warranty deed or limited warranty deed.

A general warranty deed conveys certain covenants or warranties which the grantor is bound by, whether expressly stated or implied by statutory covenant.

These warranties include:

  • Covenant of seisin-The grantor warrants that they own the property with legal right to convey title to a new owner. 
  • Covenant against encumbrances-The grantor warrants that there are no liens or encumbrances against the property unless otherwise stated in the deed.
  • Covenant of quiet enjoyment-The grantor promises to defend the buyer against any third party claims regarding title of the property.
  • Covenant of further assurance- The grantor promises to deliver any further documents or instruments necessary to warrant marketable title.

The warranties apply to the time that the grantor owns the property and back to the property’s origin. A general warranty deed gives the buyer the greatest protection.

Importance of Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

It is important to hire an estate planning attorney when you are buying or transferring real estate. Estate tax laws are complicated and an estate planning attorney can advise you of the best ways to avoid or minimize estate taxes with regard to real property ownership.

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