Guidance

Deed Execution

To execute the deed you simply need to ensure that you understand its contents and then sign and date the deed then have the signatures of all parties to the deed witnessed.

It is always advisable that all signatures on the deed are witnessed by independent witnesses (a friend, work colleague or neighbour, NOT a blood relative or someone you live with), this is to ensure that the document is correctly executed as a deed. Below is some guidance on execution:

The three elements of a validly executed deed: signature, attestation and delivery:

Signature

To be validly executed as a deed by an individual, they must sign the document. Making one’s mark on a document is treated as signing it (s.1(4), LP(MP)A 1989). The signature should be on the document itself in the space provided and the words of execution should name the signatory or otherwise make clear who has signed the document. For obvious reasons, the signature ought to be in ink or some other indelible medium.

The individual must sign manually, not in facsimile.

Attestation by a Witness

The individual must sign “in the presence of a witness who attests the signature” (s.1(3), LP(MP)A 1989). Where a witness has signed the deed, their signature should clearly record the witnessing of the signing of the deed by the individual concerned, and the name and address of the witness should appear in legible form on the deed (to allow the witness to be traced should any questions later arise concerning execution).

The relevant legislation does not prevent a signatory’s spouse, civil partner or cohabitee from acting as a witness, but this is best avoided. It is also advisable that the witness be no younger than 18 or, at least, of sufficient maturity for their evidence to be relied on should it later prove necessary to verify the circumstances under which the execution took place.

The individual must sign manually, not in facsimile.

Delivery

The document must be “delivered as a deed” by each person executing it or a person authorised to deliver it on their behalf (s.1(3)(b), LP(MP)A 1989). Delivery requires that the person expressly or impliedly acknowledges, by words or conduct, an intention to be bound by its provisions.

In practice, there is an assumption that a document has been delivered as a deed unless there is some indication to the contrary.