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deed, in law, written document that is signed and delivered by which one person conveys land or other realty (see property) to another. A deed may assure the extent of the conveying party's ownership or, if the party is uncertain of the precise extent, he issues a quitclaim (i.e., a sale), without description, of whatever he may own. The formalities with which a deed is invested are designed to make the instrument conclusive evidence of the transaction described and to eliminate the need for further proof. In all states of the United States deeds must be formally delivered and their receipt formally attested. It is possible to deposit a deed with a third party or a court for delivery to the purchaser; this is termed a delivery in escrow. Most states also require that deeds be acknowledged by a duly authorized commissioner and that a copy be deposited with the clerk of the county where the realty is situated. If the formalities are not observed, a deed (or the contract purporting to convey realty) is some, but not conclusive, evidence of the conveyance.
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Any duly attested, written document executed under seal and delivered to effect a transfer, bond, or contract, such as a conveyance of real property or interest therein.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Law a formal legal document signed, witnessed, and delivered to effect a conveyance or transfer of property or to create a legal obligation or contract
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005