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Deed Polls

A deed poll (or deeds poll if referring to more than one) is a legal document that is binding either on a person acting alone or several people acting jointly, to express an ‘active intention’ such as the rescinding of a former name and the assumation of a new name. Deeds poll are not contracts as they are binding on only one party and they express an intention rather than a promise.

As per the example above, a deed poll is most commonly used to change a person’s name, via a deed of change of name (which is often simply referred to as a ‘deed poll’). Deeds poll can be used for changes of name in many common law countries.

Scotland is a notable exception as deeds poll do not exist under Scottish Law. See Name Change in Scotland for more details.

See also