Deed Poll – Trinidad Law
By: Azaria Cheddie 7th July, 2020
Deed Polls: What are they used for?
The legal name for a deed that has been drawn up to change a persons name is called a Protocol of Deeds, more commonly known as a Deed Poll. Deed Poll documents are required for officially recognizing a change of name.You can change any part, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling.
Deed polls must be drafted and prepared by an attorney-at-law, and once executed and issued, it serves as legal proof that your name has been changed.
Your certificates will remain valid, but everywhere you present them, you will be required to present a copy of the Deed Poll. The Deed Poll enables you to get all your official documents and records changed to your new name.To change your name on all official documents, you just need to present the Deed Poll along with your birth certificate and apply for your new documents.
Please note that you do not need a Deed poll to take your spouse’s surname when you are married, you will simply present the marriage certificate when applying for new identification and documents.
A Deed Poll contains three declarations, it states that you are:
1. Abandoning the use of your former name;
2. Using your new name only at all times; and
3. Requiring all persons to address you by your new name only.
Once prepared, your attorney will ask you to review the document and once you are satisfied with it, your attorney will instruct you to sign and date the document in both your new name which must contain both a forename and a surname.
Two witnesses must also sign your deed poll and give their names, occupations and addresses and a witness affidavit must be prepared by one of them and signed and dated by a Commissioner of Affidavits whose address must also be provided.
By executing the Deed Poll (that is, by signing, dating and having your witnesses sign) you are legally committing yourself to the course of action as detailed on the Deed Poll document.
Stamp Duty and Registration:
A Deed Poll is a deed, which means the document must pass through the Board of Inland Revenue where Stamp Duty charges will be incurred. Stamp Duty is a tax that you must pay when carrying out certain transactions that require legal documents. Deeds of Conveyance, Deeds of Gift, Deeds of Mortgage, Release of Mortgage Loan, Release of Life Insurance Policies, Transfer of Shares, Deeds of Lease, Deed Polls, Bonds, and any other deeds, require “stamping”, which means you must pay duty.
Subsequently, the deed must be registered at the Ministry of Legal Affairs; a deed cover sheet must be attached. The processing time is usually approximately 2-3 months. Once registered, Deed Poll documents carry an official seal, so there is no question about their authenticity.
Once a Deed Poll has been executed, any alteration thereafter requires the production of a new Deed Poll by the Registrant.
- Birth certificate
- New name
- Proof of address
- Document requiring correction
- Documentary evidence to support change to record, e. g. affidavit, baptismal certificate, immunization card, Form 19
- Non-nationals will have to provide proof of residency eg. Certificate of Registration as a Resident of T&T along with their birth certificate and national ID
In addition to charges incurred at Stamp Duty and Land Registry, you will have to pay legal fees to your Attorneys.
Attorney fees for conveyancing transactions are guided by legislation:
The Attorneys-at-Law (Remuneration) Non-Contentious Business Rules 1997, Schedule 1, Section 9 (as amended) states:
For conveyancing transactions not otherwise specified in items 1 to 8, the following charges shall be applicable:
(m) Deed Poll on Change of Name: A fee shall be charged according to the amount of work involved, up to a maximum fee of $2,500.00.
(n) Disbursements: Any costs payable in discharge of a liability properly incurred by an Attorney-at-law on behalf of his client are not included in the scale fees and can be charged in addition to such fees, including a reasonable amount for searches, complying with statutory and regulatory obligations (including anti money-laundering and stamp duty requirements for registration), travelling, photocopying, telephone, telefax, electronic correspondence and postage.