why is a deed poll called a deed poll

 

Since we’ve already established what exactly a Deed Poll is and why you need one to effect the change of your name in Singapore, it’s time to talk about why a Deed Poll is called a Deed Poll.

A Deed Poll is a combination of the words “Deed” and “Poll”. A deed is a legal instrument in writing that has been signed and delivered to all relevant parties. In certain jurisdictions, deeds also have to be sealed. Poll is an old English word used to describe a legal document that had its edges cut (polled) so they were straight.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would need to do this. In the old days, this was done to distinguish between a deed signed by one person (a polled deed – hence the term Deed Poll) and a deed signed by more than one person (an indenture), which had an edge indented or serrated.

These indentures were originally written two times on one piece of parchment, which was then torn down the middle and each half given to each party.  The impossibility of matching the tear was a guard against forgery.


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