A deed or any other written agreement provides evidence of the transaction it relates to.
Deeds historically had to be executed under seal and prepared on parchment paper and delivered, now they are simply written documents which must make it clear on their face that they are intended to be a deed (by stating as much) and are validly executed and delivered as a deed.
The following does not attempt to address issues such as the registration of deeds, nor any particular form of deed (ie. trust deeds etc), it is just a broad outline to assist your understanding.
Types of Deed
There are 2 types of deed:
- A Deed of Indenture – being a deed to which 2 or more persons are party, evidencing some act/agreement between them other than simply their consent to jointly express a common intention (ie. a conveyance would be an Indenture – one party wanting to sell and one party to buy, so two different intentions); and
- A Deed Poll – being a deed made by and expressing the intention of 1 party only, or made by 2 or more persons joining together to express a common intention (ie. a deed declaring a change of name).
You should be aware that if a deed is a contractual document then it is referred to as a Specialty (for example a loan evidenced in a deed).
Read the full guide here: A guide to understanding deeds