Affordable. Quick. Attorney Prepared. 

DEEDS by Arden Law

prepared by Arden Law Firm’s experienced & licensed real estate attorney(s).  Our lawyers are licensed in Maryland only. 

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Maryland deeds go through a multi-step process before winding up indexed in Land Records. This usually involves 3-4 different government offices.  

See if our experienced real estate attorney(s) can assist with your Maryland deed transfer. Provide a few basic details and we’ll see if we can help.


We believe in transparent, upfront and affordable pricing. Use our online estimator to get an idea of the likely deed costs / recording fees.

Types of Deeds Arden Law offers:

  • Quit Claim / No Consideration / Family Deeds

  • Personal Representative / Estate / Inheritance Deeds

  • LLC Deeds including liquidation / entity dissolution Deeds 

  • Private party sales Deeds (without title insurance)

  • Life Estate (transfer on death) Deeds

  • Deeds to/from Revocable or Irrevocable Trusts

Legal Requirements for Maryland Deeds

  • What are the requirements for a valid deed? The old song lyrics “signed, sealed, delivered I’m yours” nicely up key deed components - a deed must be signed, sealed (or the modern equivalent notarized) and delivered for recording.  In Maryland, the recording process typically involves presenting the deed at 2-4 government offices (varies by county) for stamping and approval before the deed is recorded in the Land Records.  

  • What needs to be in a deed? Are there forms?  Deeds ought at a minimum identify the parties, how they will hold title, include an appropriate legal description and describe any warranty.  Certificate of Preparation and must be accompanied by county-specific forms as well as intake sheets. Since deed requirements vary state-to-state, county-to-county and by the nature of the property (e.g., leasehold or fee simple) and the way the parties hold title (e.g., Tenants in Common or Joint Tenants), we urge extreme caution before using any form deeds in this state. Generally in MD deeds should be customized to the situation. There are some standarized forms that get filed with a deed (e.g., the Maryland Land Intake Sheet and Maryland Withholding Tax forms) although if you are not familiar with the process in your county it can be easy to omit a required form.  Our firm makes sure the necessary elements are included in deeds we prepare.

  • What is a Certificate of Preparation?  Maryland law requires that deeds contain a certificate of preparation stating who prepared the deed. Individuals not licensed to practice law in this state may not prepare a deed for anyone else.  A Certificate of Preparation attests that the document was prepared by an attorney licesned to practice law in the State of Maryland. 

  • If the clerk accepts a deed, does that mean it is valid?  Clerks check deeds for only specific things. While clerks will reject a deed without necessary affidavits or intakes, or one with transfer taxes calculated incorrectly, county clerks do NOT check deeds for legal sufficiency.  It is sadly possible to record a deed with legal defects - “quit claim” deeds are notorious for this and legal issues often go unnoticed for years until the parties go to refinance or sell. 

  • How do I file a deed in Maryland Land Records?  Every deed in Maryland must get “stamps” at several different county offices before being submitted to Land Records.  Assuming a deed has been properly prepared, has the Certification of preparation, land intake sheet, affidavits and other required forms (for example, municipal lien sheets and withholding forms), it must be presented at a series of county offices before filing. Our law firm can electronically submit (“e-file”) to these offices for most deeds, and we include deed recording as a part of our customary flat fee services.  

Arden Law's attorney-prepared deeds include the necessary Attorney Certificate of Preparation, mandatory Affidavits and county/state Land Intakes - all for a reasonable flat fee. 

Types of Deeds Arden Law prepares:

  • Quit Claim / No Consideration / Family Deeds

  • Personal Representative / Estate / Disbursal Deeds

  • LLC liquidation / entity dissolution Deeds

  • Private party sales Deeds (without title insurance)

  • Life Estate (transfer on death) Deeds

  • Deeds to/from Revocable or Irrevocable Trusts

  • Name Change Deeds  (a new deed may not be necessary after a name change)

FAQs about Maryland Deeds

Attorney Answer:

A: There are several ways to add children onto a property.  There can be significant cons of adding children as co-owners. For example, you might unwittingly open up the property to claims of a child’s creditor or unnecessarily increase future capital gains tax.  The first follow-up question an attorney should ask is: what are you trying to accomplish?   If the primary goal is facilitate a streamless transfer on death or to avoid probate, you may want to talk to our attorney about a Life Estate Deed.   

Attorney Answer:

A: Maryland law has 2 planning types of deeds that avoid probate - one is a Deed into a Grantor’s Trust (this requires the creation of a separate trust instrument, such as a Revocable Living Trust, and another is the Life Estate Deed, a perhaps under used but very powerful tool to seamlessly transfer property on death.  Maryland does not specifically call these deeds TOD / transfer on death deeds but they achieve the same purpose. 

Attorney Answer:

A: Every deed goes through a multi-step recording process in Maryland.  Although the preliminary steps vary a bit by county, the last step of the process in every county is recording the deed with the Clerk in the Land Records office.  Generally a deed must be signed, witnessed, notarized and be accompanied by county-specific forms and intake sheets before being presented at the various county offices.  Our law firm can electronically submit most deeds which dramatically speeds the process.  If you hae questions about a specific county please give us a call. 

Attorney Answer:

A: If property is in a deceased person’s name, the first step is to open an estate.  When the estate is ready to disburse, the Personal Representative should engage an attorney to prepare the deed of distribution to the heirs.  Note that even though the Personal Representative submits an account with the Court / Register of Wills to show where the property is going, the transfer is not automatic - a deed still must be prepared and recorded in Land Records appropriately reflecting the change in ownership from the deceased person to his/her heirs. 

Attorney Answer:

A:  In Maryland, most purchase deeds include a SPECIAL WARRANTY. The Seller basically promises that they have not done anything to negatively affect the title to the property.  (General warranties are common in other states). 

Attorney Answer:

 To remove a co-owner, a new deed must be prepared and the person coming off title signs and notarizes the deed giving away their interest in the property. The deed needs to go through the recording process.  Depending on the situation, the county/state may impose transfer and recordation taxes.  

A:  While it is often not legally necessary to record a new deed to reflect a name change (e.g., pursuant to marriage or divorce), if your name changed and you’d like to have that reflected in the Land Records, you’d need a new deed prepared. 

A:

A:

Attorney Answer:

A: A quit claim deed often leaves out necessary language but is not necessarily any cheaper to prepare! Lenders and realtors may generically refer to any no-consideration deed as a “Quit Claim” but a true quit claim (sometimes called quick claim) deed just says the peson signing is quitting or giving away what they may or may not own.   In most cases a true " Quit Claim Deed" is rarely the best choice.  Quit claims make sense where a possible owner isn’t sure what they own (e.g., a grandchild is one of 13 heirs who received a fractional interest in her grandmother’s estate and wants to give whatever she may have received to a cousin).   
Our law firm can prepare quit-claims and other no-consideration deeds - you’re welcome to give us a call to see which might be right in your situation. 

Attorney Answer:

  A: Possibly. It will depend on the county and specific circumstances. Standard deeds trigger transfer and recordation tax.  If there is no mortgage and your child is not giving you any money for the property, a parent/child transfer is ordinarily fully exempt from tax.  However, if there is a mortgage, some counties will impose a county transfer tax on parent/child deeds which can be several thousands of dollars. 
If you are considering adding a child to title, you might want to consider instead a life estate deed (with powers).  You’re welcome to contact our firm with questions.   

Attorney Answer:

A: The current owners (individuals) will need to convey (transfer) the property to the Trustees by a new deed. Maryland law offers a specific statutory exemption so that this type of transaction no longer is subject to possible transfer/recordation tax. When Arden Law Firm prepares a deed into or out of a revocable trust we make sure the necessary language is present.

Attorney Answer:

  A: Deeds are stored in the Land Records (usually housed in the same building as the Civil Clerk of the Circuit Court for each county).  The clerks usually charge 50 cents a page, but cannot assist with research to retrieve old deeds. You may be able to obtain access online with a land records subscription.  If that sounds like too much work, let us help!  Our law firm provides clients with copies of any deed we have prepared for free. We can also retrieve deeds we didn’t prepare, so long as they were recorded within the last 50 years and send it to you (hard copy or by email)  for a nominal fee (about $20 per deed).  

Warning: Beware of a scam where private companies will pose as a government office and suggest you pay them $90, $100 or $109 to get a copy of your deed.  The courthouse only charges 50 cents a page and you should be able to get a copy of your deed from the attorney or title company who assisted with the recording at no additional charge.  

Attorney Answer:

  A: While our firm handles many types of deeds, we do not prepare domestic partnership deeds or deeds to/from a live-in boyfriend/girlfriend. Such deeds may require further documentation to be exempt from transfer/recordation tax. You may find other Maryland real estate attorneys are skilled with those types of deeds.
Although we can assist in the majority of Maryland counties, from time to time processing issues with specific jurisdictions limit our ability to effectively manage recordings there.  If you give us a call or send us a message we can let you know if your deed falls in such a locale. 
Additionally, while our managing attorney is a licensed title insurance producer our firm does not provide title insurance policies so we are not currently helping with situations where title insurance is desired (unless a settlement company is helping with a refinance and our attorney can send the deed to be recorded with the refinance). If you are purchasing property from an unrelated party and want title insurance you may wish to contact a traditional settlement / title company.  

Still have a deed question? Send us a quick line.

Why choose Arden Law to prepare your MD deed? 

Attorney Prepared

Every deed benefits from the skill and oversight of an experienced  real estate lawyer. All deeds our office handles include a certificate of preparation signed by a seasoned managing attorney. 

Comprehensive

We don’t leave clients  to fend for themselves with the county recording offices!  We coordinate recording and in most cases can electronically submit.  (Most MD deeds must go to 2-4 different government offices including Land Records)

Quick Turn-Around

We aim to  have  deeds signature ready in 2 weeks or less from the day we open the file.  Rush service available. Occasionally, we limit new deeds to allow us to provide the best service to our clients. 

Affordable

Affordable and transparent costs for deeds. Reasonable flat attorney fee of $300 for standard deeds  (Estate / LLC deeds are slightly more).
Check out our Deed Cost page for details.

Serving Maryland

Our law firm regularly assists with deeds in Central Maryland (Anne Arundel, Baltimore Co., Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties) as well as deeds for property in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore (Worcester). Request a Deed Now

Questions welcome!

Have a question about the best way to structure a deed? Unsure about tax ramifications? Check out our FAQs or feel free to give us a ring.

$300 + gov’t fees
- Family or No Consideration Quit Claim Deed

Maryland family and “quit claim” deeds prepared by experienced real estate attorney.  Flat fee includes: 

  • Land Records research to retreive existing deed

  • Preparation of required Land Intake sheets

  • Preparing Supplmental Deed Affidavits as necessary

  • Notarization at law firm (other notary options available for additional cost)

  • Ordering county-specific lien releases

  • Coordinating Recording at various governmental offices

  • Electronic submission to county where available


Request Deed
$325 + gov’t fees
- Estate or Trust Deed

Maryland estate (Personal Representative), inheritance, distribution or trust deeds prepared by experienced real estate attorney.  Our flat fee includes: 

  • Review of Trust Instrument and/or Will 

  • Land Records research to retrieve existing deed

  • Preparing Required Land Intake Sheets (state and county)

  • Preparing Necessary Supplemental Affidavits (e.g., principal residence)

  • Notarization at law firm (other notary options available for additional cost)

    Preparation of required Land Intake sheets

  • Ordering county-specific lien releases

  • Coordinating Recording at various governmental offices

  • Electronic submission to county where available

Request Deed
$425 + gov’t fees- Sales / Consideration Deed

Whenever money changes hands  (or when a county does not construe a deed as fully exempt) transfer and/or recordation taxes apply. (Divorce deeds are exempt even if one party is buying the other out).
Arden Law prepares deeds with transfer taxes for a low flat fee which includes: 

  • Mandatory year end IRS reporting (forms 1099-S for real estate transactions)

  • Calculating Transfer and Recordation taxes

    Land Records and tax office research to retreive existing deed and tax account

  • Preparing state and county Land Intake sheets

  • Preparing Supplmental Deed Affidavits as necessary

  • Notarization at law firm (other notary options available for additional cost)

  • Ordering county-specific lien releases

  • Coordinating Recording at various governmental offices

  • Electronic submission to county where available

Add - on :  $150 - Settlement sheet where desired or needed to document sales price, transfer tax allocation, etc. 

Request Deed

Our Real Estate Lawyer Prepared Deeds available throughout Maryland:

Capitol Region / DC Metro:

Note: We prepare deeds throughout the Maryland counties of Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s County but cannot prepare deeds for properties in DC itself.

Arden Law can help with deeds for properties in Frederick, Thurmont, Walkersville and surrounds. 

Note that deeds inside Frederick City limits must be cleared for water bills before we can submit to the county for recording.

In terms of volume of deeds, Montgomery County is among the top 3 Maryland counties Arden Law serves.

We assist with deeds for properties in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Rockville, Silver Spring.
We can notarize in our office at no additional charge or set up remote (online) notarization for clients who don’t wish to battle the beltway. 

We service all of PG County, including Bowie, Hyattsville, Laurel and Upper Marlboro.

Central Maryland

Our firm regularly prepares deeds for Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties in central Maryland (some Baltimore City)

Our firm is centrally located in AA Co, and we can prepare deeds for the entire county including Annapolis and surrounding Arnold, Crownsville, Crofton, Davidsonvile, Gambrills, Edgewater, West County areas of Laurel, Odenton, South County including Shady Side, Deale and North County including Glen Burnie, Linthicum and Pasadena. 

Note that deeds inside Annapolis city limits  require an extra step and fee paid to the city. 

We prepare Baltimore City estate planning deeds including Life Estate (pay on death) Deeds and deeds into revocable trusts.
We are not currently assisting with deeds in Baltimore City that require “lien sheets” and associated processing.

Our law firm assists with Deeds for all Baltimore County, including Catonsville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Timonium and White Marsh

Note that most Baltimore County deeds require a “lien sheet” which is an extra step and fee paid to the Baltimore County Finance Department to identify any municpal bills (e.g., unpaid property taxes)

We prepare and record deeds anywhere in Howard County, including Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City and  Laurel.

Note that Howard County requires a lien sheet with extra charge paid to the county for most (but not all) deeds. Our office can order this as a part of the normal deed recording process. 

Southern Maryland

We’re happy to service Southern Maryland with deeds for Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties.

Arden Law can help with deeds for properties anywhere in Calvert County including Dunkirk, Huntingtown, Lusby, Owings and Prince Frederick

We do family deeds and other property transfers in Charles Co. including  LaPlata, Waldorf and surrounds.

Leonardtown, Mechanicsville

MD’s Eastern Shore:

We help with Eastern Shore deeds for the following counties:

Elkton, Rising Sun, Whitehall

Centreville, Grasonville, Kent Island

Easton, St. Michael's

Berlin, Snow Hill, Ocean Pines and Ocean City deeds.

Our Maryland lawyers can assist with deeds throughout the state. If you don’t want to make a trip to our central office, we can often arrange for remote (online) notarization. If you don’t see your town/city, please give us a quick call or fill out our contact form to see if we can help.

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$250

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