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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I am acquiring a condo in Chicago via a quit claim deed from

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I am acquiring a condo in Chicago via a quit claim deed from the owner. When this owner acquired the condo, his warranty deed described him as a married man, and the condo is specified “not a homestead property”. Nowhere in his warranty deed does the name of his wife appear; he is the sole grantee, described as married. My question is: Should the quit claim deed I am receiving be signed by both him and his wife, or is it perfectly valid if signed by him alone? I know that in other states, such as Iowa where I'm from, conveyance of a homestead property must be by both spouses, even if only one spouse's name appears on the deed of ownership. Given that this Chicago condo is not a homestead, will I be okay receiving a quit claim deed just from this person as the previous named grantee? What happens to the wife's rights, if any?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. The is for your question. I'll be glad to help you tonight.

IF the condo was acquires by the seller during his marriage, then his wife technically has an interest in the property as it would be considered marital property. This is the case even if it's not the homestead and even if her name is XXXXX XXXXX the title.

Thus, the only safe way to guarantee you're taking 100% ownership is to have both the husband and wife sign off on the deed. Also, the fact that the seller is only offering you a quitclaim deed instead of a warranty feed should be a concern as well. That makes me think that he's concerned about the spouse's interest and her willingness to sign a deed.

I would never advise a client to acct a deed for a property purchased during a marriage unless both spouses sign it.

I hope this answers your question, but if you need something further, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks.
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