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What is the difference between an Agreement and a Deed?

The concepts of Deeds and Agreements are often incorrectly used interchangeably. From a legal perspective, the two (2) concepts are different and are used in different circumstances. The significant differences are as follows:-

  • Writing – Agreements do not necessarily need to be in writing or signed. However, a Deed must be written on paper, parchment or vellum.
  • Witnessing – An Agreement does not require a signature by a witness, however witnessing may be of evidentiary value. A Deed must be witnessed by a person not a party to the Deed.
  •  Execution – The execution of an Agreement by a party will generally only constitute an offer and will not bind that party unless there is an express intention to do so. However, the execution of   Deed will usually bind a party immediately even if other parties have not yet executed the Deed.
  • Consideration – An Agreement requires consideration to pass between the parties to the Agreement. A Deed does not require consideration.
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