Generally speaking, a deed is a document which passes interest in a property from one person to another, or which binds a person to perform or abstain from doing an action. In modern times, a deed is usually in writing on paper, which is signed sealed and delivered.
When a person wants to purchase, gift or mortgage a land, a document of transfer usually known as a deed is usually prepared by his solicitor. In this article, we will examine four important factors that should be present in any transaction involving a deed. They are:
A deed should be signed by the parties making it. A signature is a person's name or mark written by the person or at his direction with the intention of authenticating a document. It may include writing by hand, a print or stamp. It may also be typewritten, engraved, photographed, or cut from an instrument and attached to another.
In ancient times, sealing a document meant that a red wax or seal was physically put on that document. Section 159 of the Evidence Act however provides that when any document purporting to be and stamped as a deed, appears to have been signed and duly attested, it will be presumed to have been sealed and delivered even though there is no imprint of a seal on it.
The date a deed takes effect is usually not on the date written on it, but the day that it was delivered. Delivery has to include an intention to convey interest to the other party of that deed. It may either be absolute or conditional.
This is the act of witnessing the deed in writing, stating that one or more persons were present when the deed was executed. In practice, the name, address, occupation and signature of the witness is inserted in the document. This is important to prove due execution and to prevent fraud.
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