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Quit Claim Deed

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New member
Pa. - My question is for a friend, The is an existing deed in the name of husband & wife. The husband is deceased. The wife wants a quit claim deed prepared in her name & her 2 children's names. The 2 children are adults. She wants to prepare the deed herself get it notarized & recorded on her own as she has no money for attorney fees. My question, Would the deed be drawn up as follows: Jane Smith ITF For Joe & Mike Smith, children or Jane Smith, Joe Smith & Mike Smith, Joint Tenants, Also I would assume she would have to produce a death certificate for her husband & where would she have to bring the death certificate. Also there is a mortgage on the property. Would the mortgage company have to be notififed


Senior Member
Understand that real estate is not a car. Title is the entire chain of deeds and other documents. Understand, you can prepare, sign, and record a quit claim deed, but if you don't have an interest to convey you may not have done anything.
The first question is dealing with the deceased husband's interest. Pennsylvania is a state that requires an explicit statement of survivorship (even for married couples). If they owned the property as tenants by the entirety or joint tenants with survivorship, then she should first contact the deed office where the property is and find out what she has to do (submit death certificate, etc...) to clear the deceased interest in her favor.

If the property was held in common without survivorship rights, then she has a problem. That quit claim can only transfer her interests. The deceased husband's interest will need to be probated and unless he has a will giving it all to her, some of it likely belongs to the children already.

Then, there's the problem of what she's attempting to do. You can't do a POD/ITF deed for real estate in Pennsylvania.

She likely should contact a real estate attorney with what she INTENDS and ask for advice rather than making possibly irreversable screw ups with deeds.


Senior Member
THere are smarter ways to convey land to ones children in PA ...which still has a bit of a nasty inheritance tax ..and sidestep probate if that is also a concern ......been there done that in PA ( with advice of tax counsel )

For example a JTWROS deed with 3 people on it cuts the PA tax by 2/3 if it's in place for at least a year ...but caution, it backfires if an adult child dies first ...and if Mom retains a life estate in the home or farm it probably gets full step up in basis ...opinions vary on that vs just on her share .

I think to get personally involved with a quit claim deed is a recipe for get it wrong and blamed for it as well.

ANd this is assuming Mom owns 100 % and as posted above that requires checking the deed and perhaps the probate of dads estate . I disagree in tiny part about pa deeds among married couples ...the default status in jWROS if the deed in unclear .....but still requires checking the deed .

Your friend is penny wise and pound foolish to do a home brew quit claim deed and you are into the unlicensed practice of law if you start filling out forms for her .


Senior Member
she has no money for attorney fees
Then she'd better leave it the way it is until she can afford an attorney. There are numerous ways to screw this up so badly that it will cost the heirs a fortune in legal fees after she is dead.

If the adult heirs want in on this, THEY should pay the attorney fees to get it done right.


Senior Member
I stand slightly corrected on the one point HRZ brings up. If the property was conveyed to them while they were married it does have survivorship rights absent compelling evidence to intent to the contrary. Still, it needs to be checked.

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