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Deed

seal, sealed, signed and person

DEED. A deed is a document in writing. or printing, on paper or parchment, which is signed, sealed and delivered by the parties thereto.

All deeds are now signed, though at one time it was sufficient if they were merely sealed and delivered. In the olden times persons would often be unable to write, and the sealing of the document with their own private seal would be of the first On portance, but now that nearly all persons can write, the signature to a deed is the principal matter, the seal being merely a formal affair. The deed must be sealed, hut it is no longer necessary that it should be the seal of the person who is sealing. It may be the seal of anyone, or a drop of wax, or simply a red wafer, The seals may be put on the deeds before the parties sign it, and by touching it with the finger at the time of signing, it has the effect of sealing. There must be a separate seal for each person. if a deed is read over to a person who cannot read. the attestation clause should be " signed, sealed and delivered by the said John Brown, the document having first been read over to him when he appeared fully to understand the same." In addition to being signed and sealed, a deed must be delivered, and this is usually accomplished by the party placing a finger on the seal and " I deliver this as my act and deed."

A special note in the attestation clause of any material alteration or erasure in the deed should be made at the time the deed is signed and witnessed.

It is customary for a deed to be witnessed. but the absence of the attestation by a witness does not invalidate it.

There is no prescribed size or shape for a deed, and they are found in different forms and sizes. Many modern deeds are drawn on comparatively small sheets, fixed together in book form, which are much more easily read and dealt with than the old full-sized sheets with the long lines.

There are two kinds of deeds, an Indenture w.v.), which is made between two or more parties, and a Deed Poll (q.v.). which is made by only one person, or by more than one if their interests arc the same.

Blackstone says it is called a deed " be cause it is the most solemn and authentic act that a Irian can possibly perform with relation to the disposal of his property ; and therefore a man shall always be estopped by his own deed, or not permitted to aver or prove anything in contradiction to what he has once so solemnly and deliberately avowed." By the Stamp Act, 1891, the stamp duty is :