Washington Quit Claim Deed Form
A Washington Quit Claim Deed is a legal document that addresses all of the state law requirements for a Grantor to convey their property interest to a Grantee. A Grantor and Grantee are two individuals who, upon execution of this contract, will enter into a legally-binding relationship. It is strongly recommended that these parties already have a pre-existing relationship based on trust long before establishing a contractual relationship. After all, unlike most contracts that will offer guarantees and protections if one party does not accurately convey their offering to another party, this contract offers neither of these features. Specifically, the Grantor’s interest is not guaranteed, nor can the Grantee take advantage of any warranties if the title proves to be defective.
Laws (RCW 64.04.050): Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Title 64: “Real Property and Conveyances,” Chapter 64.04: “Conveyances”
Community or separate property (RCW 65.04.030): If the Washington Quit Claim Deed is related to community or separate property that is described in terms of lot and block and addition or plat, the recording of the Deed will only take place once the plat of such addition has been duly filed and recorded.
Formatting requirements (RCW 65.04.045): State law lists several requirements concerning the formatting of the document that must be met. A range of matters are covered, from the presentation of titles to the width of margins. Quite specific instructions are given, so care should be taken to ensure that the completed document bears the appearance dictated by these requirements. For example, there is a requirement that the assessor’s property tax parcel or account number must appear separately from other text in the document.
Doing so will help to ensure the Deed is accepted for filing without delay. It will also save the preparer of the document the trouble of putting together the cover sheet and statement, as well paying the fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) required under RCW 65.04.047 and RCW 65.04.048 if these requirements are not met.
Statutory form of a Quit Claim Deed (RCW 64.04.050): A Grantor is permitted to use the form, or a substantially similar form, to the one provided in RCW 64.04.050 to release and quitclaim their interest to the Grantee.
Signing requirements (RCW 64.04.020): The Washington Quit Claim Deed must be signed by the Grantor and acknowledged before an individual who has authority to take acknowledgments under the Revised Code of Washington. RCW 64.08.010 provides an extensive list of individuals that have the legal powers to take acknowledgments in the state, as follows:
- A justice of the supreme court,
- A clerk of the supreme court,
- The deputy of a clerk of the supreme court,
- A judge of the court of appeals,
- The clerk of the court of appeals,
- A judge of the superior court,
- A qualified court commissioner of the superior court,
- The clerk of qualified court commissioner of the superior court,
- The deputy of the clerk of qualified court commissioner of the superior court,
- A county auditor,
- The deputy of a county auditor,
- A qualified notary public, or
- A qualified United States commissioner appointed by any district court of the United States for the state of Washington.
How to file a Quit Claim Deed in Washington (RCW 65.04.030): A Washington Quit Claim Deed must be filed with the auditor or recording officer in the same county the property stands. As established by RCW 65.04.130, the filing will only take place once the auditor’s fees detailed in RCW 36.18.010 are paid.
Washington follows a “race-notice recording statute.” This means that the law will protect a subsequent purchaser of a real property who duly records their conveyance if, at the time, they had no notice of a prior conveyance concerning the same property. The law will uphold their innocent claim to the property, and by implication, no longer uphold the claim of the party who failed to record their conveyance.
The reason that making the recording is so important is because it allows for a clear “chain of title” to be established. A chain of title is basically a chronological ownership history of a given property. In order to maintain an accurate chain of title, previous, present, and future titles must be legally considered as “marketable titles.” A state definition of a marketable title was provided by the Washington Supreme Court, which defined it as:
“…One being free of reasonable doubt and such as a reasonably informed and intelligent purchaser, exercising ordinary business prudence, would be willing to accept.”
If a conveyance remains unrecorded, there will be no way for a potential subsequent purchaser to see that there is a current conveyance in place. Recording the conveyance thus helps to make the title “free of reasonable doubt” so that the chain of title can be accurately maintained for any other party to refer to as needed.