Deed

A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, or affirms or confirms something which passes, an interest, right, or property and that is signed, attested, delivered, and in some jurisdictions sealed. A deed, also known as an instrument in solemn form, is the most formal type of private instrument requiring not only the maker of the deed (grantor, transferor) but also attesting witnesses as signatories. A deed has therefore a greater presumption of validity and is less rebuttable than an instrument under hand, i.e., signed by the party to the deed only, or an instrument under seal. A deed can be unilateral or bilateral. Deeds include conveyances, commissions, licenses, patents, diplomas, and conditionally powers of attorney if executed as deeds. The deed is the modern descendant of the medieval charter, and delivery is thought to symbolically replace the ancient ceremony of livery of seisin.

The use of attesting witnesses has replaced to a large extent the former use of seals to create a higher degree of formalism; this explains the traditional formula signed, sealed and delivered and why agreements under seal are also called contracts by deed. Where the use of seals continues, deeds are nothing more than a special type of instrument under seal, hence the name specialty for a contract under seal. Specialties differ from a simple contract, i.e., a contract under hand, in that they are enforceable without consideration (i.e. gratuitous), in some jurisdictions have a liability limitation period of double that of a simple contract, and allow for a third party beneficiary to enforce an undertaking in the deed, thereby overcoming the doctrine of privity. Specialties, as a form of contract, are bilateral and can therefore be distinguished from covenants, which, being also under seal, are unilateral promises.

At common law, to be valid and enforceable, a deed must fulfill several requirements:

  • It must state on its face it is a deed, using wording like "This Deed..." or "executed as a deed".
  • It must indicate that the instrument itself conveys some privilege or thing to someone. This is indicated by using the word hereby or the phrase by these presents in the clause indicating the gift.
  • The grantor must have the legal ability to grant the thing or privilege, and the grantee must have the legal capacity to receive it.
  • It must be executed by the grantor in presence of the prescribed number of witnesses, known as instrumentary witnesses (this is known as being in solemn form).
  • A seal must be affixed to it. Originally, affixing seals made persons parties to the deed and signatures were optional, but most jurisdictions made seals outdated, and now the signatures of the grantor and witnesses are primary.
  • It must be delivered to (delivery) and accepted by the grantee (acceptance).

Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as covenants. A deed indented or indenture is one executed in two or more parts according to the number of parties, which were formerly separated by cutting in a curved or indented line known as the chirograph. A deed poll is one executed in one part, by one party, having the edge polled or cut even, and includes simple grants and appointments.

Read more about Deed:  Structure, Recording

Other articles related to "deed":

List Of Judge John Deed Episodes - Series 6 (2007)
... Newman Steve Kelly 6.2 million 9 January 2007 (2007-01-09) Deed sits in The Hague to hear the case of a British soldier who killed 11 Iraqi civilians ... A previous ruling Deed made against a British National Party councillor angers Muslim extremists, and a female assassin is sent to kill Deed 27 "War Crimes, Episode 2" G.F ... Steve Kelly 5.8 million 11 January 2007 (2007-01-11) During the War Crimes case in The Hague, Deed learns that the British Soldier on trial is being sacrificed as ...
Merger Doctrine (property Law)
... the conveyance of property merges into the deed of conveyance therefore, any guarantees made in the contract that are not reflected in the deed are extinguished when the deed is conveyed to the buyer of the property ... that some or all terms of the contract survive the closing and delivery of the deed ...
Recording - Wild Deeds
... A deed that is recorded, but is not connected to the chain of title of the property, is called a wild deed ... A wild deed does not provide constructive notice to later purchasers of the property, because subsequent bona fide purchasers can not reasonably be expected to ... Because title searching relies on the grantor/grantee indexes, it's possible that a deed won't be discovered even though it was recorded ...
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... As the case nears abandonment, Deed is forced to consider the heretofore unconstitutional option of a juryless trial ... Deed risks his career by sleeping with a claimant 17 "Defence of the Realm" G.F ... Newman Steve Kelly 5.8 million 3 February 2005 (2005-02-03) Deed's affair comes back to bite him as the Home Office pressures for his resignation or impeachment he is temporarily ...
Trust Deed (real Estate)
... In real estate in the United States, a deed of trust or trust deed is a deed wherein legal title in real property is transferred to a trustee, which holds it as security for a loan (debt) between a borrower and lender ... lender is referred to as the beneficiary of the deed of trust ...

Famous quotes containing the word deed:

    To see someone do one good deed makes us forget his hundred evil acts.
    Chinese proverb.

    But the creative person is subject to a different, higher law than mere national law. Whoever has to create a work, whoever has to bring about a discovery or deed which will further the cause of all of humanity, no longer has his home in his native land but rather in his work.
    Stefan Zweig (18811942)

    Sometimes I lifted a chicken that warn’t roosting comfortable, and took him along. Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don’t want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain’t ever forgot. I never see papa when he didn’t want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)