I hear this from callers every couple of months. Usually it stems from a house that's been in the family for a couple of generations where, for example, Granddad died and nobody ever did a probate (because Granddad didn't have a will), now Grandma has died and "everybody knows my mom gets the house", etc. The most recent conversation I had about "quick-claim deeds" was with a former client whose grandfather had died, whose uncle lived with Grandma (who died a few years ago) in the house and whose mom was "supposed to get the house". Could I do the deed (so to speak) from uncle to mom? The rest of the story (there's always more) is that there are 4 other siblings and 5 kids from two siblings who died before Grandma died, and each of those people has a fractional interest in the house because - you guessed it - Grandma didn't have a will either.
First, it's "quitclaim deed", and second, Texas doesn't like quitclaim deeds because they only give the interest that the grantor has - meaning that I could deed you "all my right, title and interest in the Eiffel Tower" and you would get nothing. It's really hard to rely on a quitclaim deed to protect your interest in real property. On the above facts, a quitclaim deed would only give the uncle's interest in the house to Mom, and the 9 other people who inherited a fractional interest could each come in and demand their interest. Unfortunately, I had to tell the client that, given the value of the house (not much), it wouldn't be economically smart to try to clear up the title.
Moral: make sure you and your family members, especially in families with relational challenges, make written estate plans (wills, living trusts, transfer on death deeds, etc.). As always, the above is legal information, not legal advice, and it's based on Texas law because I'm a Texas lawyer. If you have questions about how your particular set of circumstances would play out, contact an experienced estate planning and probate attorney.
Musings, observations, the occasional whineage and some funny stuff.