Who Is Competent to Enter into a Contract
If you are faced with a problem in an existing contract that may be questionable due to the nature of a party, you should immediately seek the assistance of a qualified contract attorney. Just because a person does not fully understand the meaning of the contract and its terms does not automatically have contractual capacity. When an agent sells an insurance policy, he sells a contract. A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. For such an agreement to be legally enforceable, it must meet the following minimum requirements: A person who is incompetent and has limited contractual capacity may terminate a contract. This is a legal right called disaffirmation. It is a presumption of the law that everyone has the ability to enter into contracts. If a party does not have capacity, the contract is generally declared null and void and the party without capacity does not have to fulfill its obligations under the contract. Both parties must have the contractual capacity to establish a binding contract. Although this is not a contractual obligation, it is often advisable to consult a lawyer before entering into a contract. An experienced and qualified contract lawyer can advise and inform you in case of problems of jurisdiction and execution of a party who concludes the contractual agreement. If a competent party decides to deal with incompetent parties, such as minors, it does so at its own risk.
Indeed, minors are generally unable to confirm or avoid ordinary contracts at any time before reaching the age of majority and a reasonable period after reaching the age of contractual jurisdiction. Adults do not have the opportunity to affirm this and are bound by the agreements they have concluded. Similarly, contracts with mentally handicapped persons are voidable at the discretion of that person. However, the guardian or personal representative of a person with a mental disability may ratify a contract as the legal representative of the mentally disabled person, thus transforming the agreement into a legally binding contract. Others who are totally incompetent do not have the legal capacity to enter into contracts. This includes people who have been declared mentally ill by a court because of a mental illness. If that person understands what he or she has done, the contract may be rebutted or ratified, provided that the consideration received under the contract is returned to the other party. All persons, whether declared mentally ill or not, are responsible for the reasonable value of the necessities/considerations provided to them. Ken joined LegalMatch in January 2002. Since his arrival, Ken has worked with a variety of talented lawyers, paralegals and law students to make LegalMatch`s law library a comprehensive source of legal information accessible to all.
Prior to joining LegalMatch, Ken practiced law in San Francisco, California for four years, handling a variety of cases in areas as diverse as family law (divorces, custody and maintenance, injunctions, paternity), real estate (real estate, landlord/tenant litigation for residential and commercial real estate), criminal law (misdemeanors, crimes, minors, traffic violations), personal injury (car accidents, medical malpractice, Slips and traps), entertainment (hosting contracts, copyright and trademark registration, licensing agreements), labor law (wage claims, discrimination, sexual harassment), commercial law and contracts (breach of contract, drafting of contracts) and san Francisco bankruptcy (Chapter 7 of personal bankruptcies). Ken holds a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law and a B.S. in Business Administration at Pepperdine University. He is admitted to the California State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Ken is an active member of the American Bar Association, the San Francisco Bar Association and the California Lawyers for the Arts. In general, a person entering into a contract is likely to have full legal capacity to be held responsible for the duties he or she is willing to perform, unless that person is a minor, mentally handicapped or drunk. In addition, the nature and general content of certain directives are defined by law. Most states require certain provisions to be included in life and health insurance contracts. While some contracts may be oral, for the most part, insurance contracts must be written in writing and meet the requirements of the states in which they are sold.
Contracts may be oral or written; However, you must follow a certain legal formA suitable language or an appropriate language. The legal form may vary from one State to another. As mentioned earlier, some insurance contracts are – at least initially – oral. Most states do not have laws that directly prohibit oral insurance contracts. However, they require that certain contract forms (the written version of the standard insurance terms and schedules) be approved by the state before being offered for sale. In addition, it is generally accepted that mentally handicapped or drunk persons are not condemned to contractual incapacity. Like contracts with minors, contracts entered into by drunk persons are also questionable at the discretion of the drunk person, but only if the other party knew the degree of impairment or had reason to know. There are situations where agreements made by a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol are questionable. Once the person is sober, the agreement made under the influence of alcohol cannot be confirmed. This can only happen if the other party was responsible for the person under the influence, or if they knew that the person was unable to work and unable to understand the terms and consequences of the contract. There is a reasonable period of time for the sober person to say yes, otherwise they will lose the right to do so. Each party must be able to conclude legally binding agreements.
The parties must exist and be identifiable and have the power to enter into contracts. The common law rule states that persons under the age of 21 are considered minors and are therefore legally considered to have no legal capacity. Many states have changed this rule and lowered the age limit from 21 to 18. Other states have changed the age of majority to 19. The competent parties to a contract have the ability to understand that a contract is being drawn up and to understand the nature of the contract. Read 3 min A minor who concludes an insurance contract can therefore declare him disabled in early childhood or when he reaches the age of majority. Ratification of a directive at the age of majority can be obtained (by oral or written communication) explicitly or implicitly (by continuing the directive). Some states have laws that give minors the power to enter into binding life insurance contracts for their own lives at the age of fourteen. A minor is defined in most states as a person under the age of 18. The law assumes that minors are too immature, inexperienced and do not have the legal capacity to enter into a contract.
Thus, the courts allow any contract concluded by a minor to be questionable at the discretion of the minor in order to protect him from liability for the conclusion of reckless contracts. In practice, when working with an agreement, it is assumed that the person is competent, unless you know otherwise. In addition, a Contracting Party shall be released from its contractual obligations only when the court has ruled on the matter in its entirety. This means that a court will first review all evidence of the party`s mental capacity and make a decision based on that evidence before releasing them from their contractual obligations, unless there is an existing court order declaring the party incompetent or mentally ill. .