In NSW, for example, if a deed is expressed to be a deed (e.g., 'performed as a deed'), it is assumed to be sealed. This is not adequate in Victoria; rather, the words "signed, sealed, and delivered" (or equivalent language) are required.
A contract under seal, often known as a deed, is a written document that may be distinguished from a contract when "sealed." A deed is a legal document that clearly indicates that a person or entity makes a serious pledge to fulfill contractual obligations. The commitment can be made publicly or privately and must be confirmed by signing the deed. Sealing a deed refers to the act of delivering it to one or more parties so that it cannot be revoked. Contracts sealed with a deed are not as binding as contracts that are not sealed; however, they are still valid documents that can be enforced by law.
A deed is different from other contracts in that it requires an additional step - sealing - before it becomes final and binding. This is because there is some chance that the donor could change his/her mind about giving away their property. If this happens, then the deed is no longer valid and can't be used as evidence of agreement.
People use deeds to transfer property ownership. There are two types of deeds: warranty and quitclaim. A warranty deed gives clear title to the buyer, while a quitclaim deed does not require the seller to provide any information about previous owners. Often, people use both types of deeds when selling or buying real estate.
Because a deed is legally enforceable once "signed, sealed, and delivered," it is typically employed when parties are unclear if adequate consideration has been supplied. This will guarantee that the proposed agreement's responsibilities are legally binding. In addition, a deed can be much more detailed than an oral agreement. For example, it can include specific property descriptions or requirements such as soil tests for hazardous materials.
Deeds can also provide additional protections to both parties. For example, a deed can limit the ability of one party to transfer their interest in the property. This can help prevent people from losing their homes due to unforeseen circumstances.
Finally, deeds often contain language specifying that changes cannot be made to its terms without new agreements being signed. This prevents one party from getting out of or changing the terms of the deal under pressure.
In conclusion, a deed is useful when parties need extra protection beyond what an oral agreement can provide. They can be much more detailed than an oral agreement and can include clauses preventing transfers or changes to the property's ownership.
A deed must be signed in the presence of at least one witness who 'attests' (confirms) the signature (s). The sealing of a deed is no longer required Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.
The purpose of this requirement is twofold: first, it establishes the authenticity of the document; second, it provides evidence of the date when the deed was executed. The law requires only that witnesses be persons other than the parties to the instrument. Thus, for example, if you want someone to witness your signing of a will, they do not have to be named beneficiaries in order to serve as witnesses.
Witnesses can also include individuals who provide information or documentation regarding the transaction being recorded. For example, if you are recording a contract, you could include the names of any third-party contractors who may have been involved in the project as witnesses.
In some states, it is required by law that witnesses sign an affidavit confirming that they saw either the party to whom the deed is made or someone acting on his/her behalf sign it. If such an affidavit is not filed with the record of the deed, a subsequent purchaser would not know of the unrecorded agreement and thus would not be bound by it.