Execution of documents: FAQs

Walker Morris is regularly asked about the formalities of executing documents. The following are 10 of the most frequently asked questions.

Firstly, which documents must be executed as a deed? A deed must be used in the following: transfers of real estate; leases of real estate (subject to some exceptions, e.g. leases for a term of less than three years); mortgages and charges; sales of mortgaged/charged property; appointments of trustees; powers of attorney; releases and variations; and gifts of tangible goods not accompanied by delivery.

A party may also insist on using a deed where there is no legal obligation to do so but where it is unclear whether there is valuable consideration, or where the party wishes to obtain the benefit of the longer limitation period that applies to deeds (12 years as opposed to six years for simple contracts)…

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