2 月 24

One of the most common questions that many people ask is whether a contract needs to be in writing to be legal. The answer to this question is both yes and no. While some contracts must be in writing, others can be legally binding even if they are not written.

Let`s take a closer look at the different types of contracts to better understand when they need to be in writing.

1. Statute of Frauds Contracts:

These contracts must be in writing to be legally enforceable. They include agreements for the sale of real estate, contracts that cannot be performed within one year, promises to pay another person`s debt, and contracts for the sale of goods worth $500 or more.

The reason these contracts must be in writing is to prevent fraud or misunderstandings. Without written documentation, it is too easy for the parties to disagree on what was agreed upon.

2. Oral Contracts:

These contracts do not need to be in writing to be legally binding. Oral contracts can include any agreement that is not subject to the Statute of Frauds. For example, an oral agreement to mow a neighbor`s lawn every week for a year is a legally binding contract.

However, it is important to note that oral contracts can be challenging to enforce in court. This is because the parties may have different understandings of what was agreed upon, and there is no written record to verify what was said.

3. Implied Contracts:

These contracts are not written, but they are still legally binding. An implied contract is when the actions and behaviors of the parties indicate an agreement exists. For example, if someone hires a plumber to fix their sink, an implied contract is created that the plumber will fix the problem and the homeowner will pay for the services rendered.

Implied contracts are often created when one party provides goods or services to another party and the other party accepts them without objection.

In conclusion, the answer to the question of whether a contract needs to be in writing to be legal depends on the type of contract. If the contract is subject to the Statute of Frauds, it must be in writing to be legally enforceable. If the contract is an oral or implied contract, it can still be legally binding without being in writing. However, it is always a good idea to get any agreement in writing to avoid misunderstandings and disputes in the future.