Understanding the Key Differences: Documents, Deeds, and Instruments
Documents, deeds, and instruments are all legal terms, but they have different meanings.
Documents are any written or printed records of information. They can be formal or informal, and they can be used for a variety of purposes, such as contracts, agreements, receipts, and letters.
Deeds are a specific type of document that is used to transfer ownership of property. They are typically formal documents that must be signed and witnessed. Deeds must also be registered with the government in order to be valid.
Instruments are a broad term that encompasses both documents and deeds. They can also refer to other legal documents, such as wills and trusts.
The following table summarizes the key differences between documents, deeds, and instruments:
|Definition||Any written or printed record of information||A specific type of document used to transfer ownership of property||A broad term that encompasses both documents and deeds|
|Form||Can be formal or informal||Typically formal||Can be formal or informal|
|Purpose||Can be used for a variety of purposes, such as contracts, agreements, receipts, and letters||Used to transfer ownership of property||Can be used for a variety of purposes, such as contracts, agreements, receipts, letters, wills, and trusts|
|Requirements||None||Must be signed and witnessed, and registered with the government||None|
Here are some examples of each:
- A contract between two businesses
- A lease agreement
- A marriage certificate
- A birth certificate
- A letter
- A deed of sale
- A deed of gift
- A deed of mortgage
- A promissory note
- A bill of exchange
- A check
- A power of attorney
- A trust deed
It is important to note that the distinction between documents, deeds, and instruments can be complex, and there is some overlap. For example, a deed of sale is both a document and a deed.