There are broadly, five types of deeds in Arkansas:
- Warranty Deed: The Cadillac of deeds. This property transfers all title with a covenant of warranty. The warranty assures the buyer that the person giving title (grantor) has full title free of flaws and claims by other people. If there are other claims or flaws, the grantor may be sued for breach of warranty. The warranty will also transfer any title acquired by the grantor after the conveyance.
- Special or Limited Warranty Deed: With this type of deed, it is hard to understand what the grantor is really giving. Typically, the warranty is for “acts done and suffered by the grantor and no other.” What does that mean? It means that if the problem with the title did not arise during the grantor’s tenure of ownership, the grantor is off the hook.
- Quitclaim Deed: A quick and dirty conveyance of the property. This is the 1970 Volkswagon Beetle of deeds. It transfers only what the grantor owns right then and there and nothing in the future. The quitclaim deed offers no protection to the purchaser. It is title given caveat emptor “as is, where is.”
- Fiduciary Deed: A deed given by a court-appointed fiduciary. This usually happens with a guardian, executor, receiver, or administrator. It may or may not include a warranty. Usually, it includes only the “right title and interest” of the person whom the fiduciary represents. E.g. “all right, title and interest of the Estate of John Smith, deceased in the property.” The phrase “right, title and interest” do not carry a warranty. Fiduciary deeds must usually be authorized by the Court.
- Beneficiary Deed: A statutorily authorized “pay on death deed.” It transfers no present interest in the property, but becomes an irrevocable transfer upon death. This is a great estate-planning tool for non-residents of Arkansas because it avoids probate.