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Paper vs Instrument vs Document

Paperinstrumentdocument all mean a writing (often typed, sometimes printed) that is of value to its owner or to others who come after him as a source of information or proof of a right, contention, or claim.

Paper is the most general term, applicable to such writing (as a letter, deed, certificate, or writ) filed away for future use or reference.

Instrument is a legal term applicable to a paper (as a deed, a writ, a will, or a contract) that is made and executed according to the terms of the law, as concrete evidence of some legally defined action (as a transfer of property, the enforcement of a judgment, one's decisions as to who shall inherit one's property, or the terms of an agreement).

Document (see also DOCUMENT 1 ) applies to a legal instrument or to an original or authentic copy of a letter, a record, or other paper that may be used as a source of information, evidence, or proof.