In California, a deed transfers real property interest. Other documents such as affidavits may be used in certain situations to transfer interest in real property.
A grant deed is the most common type of deed. It transfers property from one person or legal entity to another. It does not guarantee a clear title in the grantor. It warrants lack of encumbrances on the property conveyed.
An interspousal transfer deed transfers interests in property from one spouse to another or to a former spouse. It is usually used in connection with a divorce.
A trust transfer deed is used to transfer property into a revocable living trust. It can be used to change the trustee holding title, from the trust to trustor, or to the trustor's spouse.
Quitclaim deeds should only be used when you are sure that they are the correct instrument for what you want to convey. With a quitclaim deed, the grantor states that he, she, or they, "do hereby remise, release and forever QUITCLAIM TO," a property. A grantor may use a quitclaim deed to avoid possible future ownership in property, which could cause legal problems.
A transfer on death (TOD) deed is used to transfer property upon the death of the grantor. It has pros and cons. It does not provide for an alternate grantee. It can be revoked if you change your mind. This deed keeps your property out of probate and avoids the problems of joint tenancy.
Several types of affidavits are used to transfer property: Death of Spouse, Community Property with Right of Survivorship; Death of Spouse Succeeding Title to Community Property; Death of Trustee; Change of Trustee.
The fee for a deed and filing it is $135 and does not include county recorder fees (excludes TOD).
An affidavit is $225, not including recording fees.