à A necessary element of duress is dear on the part of the victim that he would be subjected to an injurious, unlawful act by not acceding to the other party’s demands. Undue Influence Occasionally, one person is found to dominate the will of another. Especially when a young nurse or relative induces a very old (and wealthy) individual to sign over assets in a way
that seems to take extreme advantage of the relationship, courts will sometimes allow parties to escape liability for agreements. In addition to the concepts listed above, some states allow for a three-day cooling off period after agreements made between consumers and door-to-door salespeople. These home solicitation statutes typically give buyers an automatic right to rescind for three days, even if they cannot show a specific problem like fraud or duress. When must contracts be written? It is always smart to put important contracts in writing. Then, if a problem arises that leads to a lawsuit, it is easy to establish what the parties were obligated to do. However, it is usually not required that contracts be written. Oral contracts are generally enforceable in court, provided that you can convince a court the oral agreement existed in the first place. The statute of frauds does require that a few types of contracts be written. Generally, when one of the following agreements is not in writing, it is unenforceable: Sale of Land Contracts that involve real property (land, structures, and other things permanently attached to land) generally must be written. The deed that transfers ownership must also be in writing and signed by the seller. à the exception: if there is an oral contract and the buyer (1) paid for part of the land, (2) takes possession of the land, and (3) makes substantial improvements to it. Contracts that are not performable in one year Agreements for a specific length of time over one year (such as, "this appointment will run from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015"), and agreements for transactions that must take place more than one year in the future ("I agree to cater your wedding 15 months from now") must generally be written. Promises to pay another's debts Imagine that you cannot afford to buy a new Ferrari, but your wealthy Uncle Bill kindly agrees to help you out. You sign an agreement with the Ferrari dealer agreeing to make $2500 per month payments on your new car, and your Uncle Bill communicates to the Ferrari dealer that he will make the payments if you fall behind on them. Uncle Bill's promise is a guaranty contract, and it must usually be written to be enforceable . There are three standard elements of a guaranty contract. (1) the guarantor promises to pay the debtor’s obligation if the debtor does not, (2)Promise is made for the benefit of the debtor. (3) Guaranty promise is made to the creditor, not the debtor. As with everything covered by the statute of frauds, exceptions exist.
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