Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Quitclaim Definition:

A document in which a person who has an alleged interest in real property, transfers this interest to another.

A term unique to real property law.

Lamont wrote that a quitclaim is:

"... a release of any claim or interest which a person may have in land, without any admission or certainty that the person has any interest to release ...."

In Childress v Siler, Justice Macdonald of the Court of Civil Appeals of Texas wrote:

"A quitclaim is an instrument which purports to transfer only the right, title and interest of the grantor as distinguished from other types of deeds ... which evidence an intention ... to convey the property itself."

Thus, a quitclaim does not necessarily transfer the actual title of real property although it may operate as a transfer of title in real property where the signatory of the quitclaim has, in law, all the property interests in the real property at the time of the quitclaim.

It is thus distinguished from a deed which by definition purports to transfer the full and unfettered title (ownership) of real property from one person to another.


  • Childress v Siler 272 SW 2d 417, at page 420.
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Deed
  • Lamont, D., Real Estate Conveyancing (Toronto: Law Society of Upper Canada, 1976), page 100.

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!