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Declaration of trust checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the document to make sure it meets your needs and that everyone involved agrees with the declaration of trust.

Remember that if you have any questions about the document you can easily Ask a lawyer.

The declaration of trust is a special type of contract called a 'deed'. This means it must be signed in a special way:

  1. Print a copy of the deed for signature by each trustee. 

    You must print a copy of your deed and sign it physically. Deeds can legally be signed using electronic signatures, but extra care must be taken when signing electronically to ensure that all of the formalities for execution of the particular type of deed are met. This deed is, therefore, designed to be signed by hand (ie ‘wet-signed’) to ensure that it is executed correctly. You cannot sign online.
  2. All the trustees must sign the declaration.

  3. Each signature must be witnessed by an independent person who should be over the age of 18 and unconnected with the parties.

  4. The witnesses must sign and add their name, address and occupation directly underneath the signature of the party they are witnessing.

  5. When you are ready to complete the declaration, write the date at the top of the document which should be the same as the date of the last signature.

The trustees need to have this deed noted on the register at the Land Registry. You can record your interest by completing the declaration of trust panel in the relevant Land Registry Form TR1, or completing Form JO (which allows you to make a declaration of trust when time is short, eg between exchange and completion). If you need help you can also Ask a lawyer.

You should keep the original safe and use a copy when you need to provide the declaration of trust to someone. It is a good idea to certify any copies. This means that a copy is confirmed by a qualified person - usually a solicitor - as a true copy of the original document. Certification can be provided by most solicitors for a small fee. If you'd like your declaration of trust certified, Ask a lawyer.

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