Deed vs Agreement in Australia: What You Need to Know
In Australia, deeds and agreements are used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences in their legal nature and requirements. Knowing the differences between the two can be important when you`re dealing with legal documents and contracts.
What is a Deed?
A deed, also known as a `deed poll,` is a legal document that creates a legally binding agreement or obligation between two or more parties. It`s a formal and solemn document that requires execution in a specific way to be legally valid.
Deeds are typically used to document arrangements that go beyond just an agreement, such as the transfer of property, release of claims, or the granting of a lease. They`re characterized by the presence of a seal, and the signature of the parties involved.
One of the key features of a deed is that it doesn`t require consideration, meaning that there doesn`t need to be an exchange of values between the parties for the document to be valid. For instance, a gift of property or a promise to do something in the future may be recorded in a deed.
What is an Agreement?
An agreement, on the other hand, is a legally binding understanding between two or more parties on certain terms and conditions. It can be made verbally, although a written agreement is always more preferable.
Unlike a deed, an agreement requires consideration, meaning that both parties must agree to exchange something of value for the document to be valid. For instance, a contract for the sale of goods or services will require the payment of a sum of money in exchange for the delivery of the goods or services.
Agreements can be simple or complex, depending on the circumstances. They can be used for a wide range of arrangements, from employment contracts to joint ventures, partnership agreements, and loan agreements.
Key Differences between a Deed and an Agreement
Here are some of the key differences between a deed and an agreement:
1. Execution: As mentioned earlier, deeds require special execution formalities, such as a signature and seal, to be legally valid. On the other hand, agreements don`t require these formalities, although they should be in writing.
2. Consideration: A deed doesn`t require consideration, whereas an agreement does.
3. Binding Nature: A deed is a more solemn and binding document than an agreement. It creates a stronger legal obligation and is not easy to revoke or cancel. An agreement, on the other hand, is less formal and creates a less binding obligation.
4. Time Limitations: A deed can be valid for an indefinite period, whereas an agreement may have a set duration and may expire after a certain period.
In summary, while deeds and agreements are used interchangeably in Australia, there are considerable differences between them. A deed is typically used for more solemn and formal arrangements that don`t require consideration, while an agreement is used for more simple, everyday arrangements that do require consideration.
Knowing the differences between the two can help you choose the right document for your specific circumstances. If you`re still unsure, it`s always best to seek legal advice to ensure that your document is legally valid and binding.