How to ensure your contract or agreement is legally binding?
For a contract to be legally binding, it should at least be able to meet the following requirements, agreed by all parties:
- One, both, or all of the parties involved should agree with the terms in the document.
- One party should be making an effort, and at least one other should be accepting the offer in its entirety.
- A contract exchanges one entity for another. A typical contract may involve a valuable object or service in exchange for a specific price.
- The validity or duration of the deal should also be specified. Several agreements are often long as the various points of the sale are discussed thoroughly, so as not to create any form of confusion.
- The exchanging of promises should be clear to both parties so that decisions based on later transactions can be checked for legality.
- So, it can be said that for a contract to be legally binding, it should first iterate a valid offer.
- Then, there should be explicit acceptance, emphasizing the mutual assent of the parties involved. The contract’s details should be fair, considering the capacity of both parties in meeting the agreed offer in the duration of time identified.
- Because of this emphasis on fairness and mutual agreement, the signatures of all parties involved are required. Typically, these agreements are signed by not only those directly involved but also by witnesses.
- This way, other people can validate that the various parties signed without being put under duress. They can also further verify the identities of the signatories.
- The signatories must all be capable of making the said decisions by being of sound mind during the finalizing of the contract.
Once all the legal contract elements are met, the contract can be enforceable by the law.
What contracts or agreements can be signed electronically?
These days, you can sign contracts or agreements made between parties that live in two different countries.
It is a convenient way of enabling global transactions.
Electronic signing allows a quick and inexpensive way of getting into an agreement with someone across the ocean, for example.
What documents can you sign electronically?
You can sign electronic contracts (e-contracts) using your digital signature. E-contracts, as the name suggests, are electronic and are, therefore, not paper-based.
It is then easy to send a copy of these contracts over a secure email or through an application. The going back and forth signing is also done electronically. It makes transactions speedy.
An e-signature can be used to sign several documents of various formats.
Whatever format you can type on or paste a picture on, you can sign electronically.
Most of the time, the electronically-signed documents are in.pdf format.
However, other forms can be signed, such as spreadsheets and word documents. In increasingly more common instances, signing can occur within platforms that are specifically designed for electronic signatures.
Sometimes, the signatures are left to indicate that the target parties have seen the documents.
They have become another way of saying, “noted.”
Can you electronically sign legal documents?
Putting your electronic signature signifies that you have read and understood the documents. The use of these e-signatures has been observed worldwide for several years now. However, does it also mean that you can willingly enter into a legal agreement?
Interestingly, electronically signed documents are just as legally valid as those traditionally signed using pen and paper. The E-SIGN Act and the UETA Act are forms of legislation that protect the validity of these signatures.
The electronic signature is acceptable in all the states of America. It holds the same status as handwritten signatures. Some states may have made a few modifications to the UETA Act, which you may have to check on.
In general, though, you can then use an electronic signature to confirm your agreement for legal contracts. Your signature can enter you into an enforceable contract anywhere in the world, where there is access to a device and the net.
It has even been noted that these signatures are more secure and are less prone to forgeries.
Documents that you can sign electronically include real estate property transactions, affidavits, deposition transcripts, NDAs, disclosures, financing, and more.
However, you may want to check country-specific or even state-specific laws, as well as your lawyer, when dealing with wills, insurance termination, cancellation of utility bills, and other family-centered legal documents.
In short, yes, you can sign most legal documents electronically.
However, if you still have some lingering doubts, do not hesitate to seek legal advice.
What documents can’t you sign electronically?
As mentioned in the previous point, there may be instances wherein an electronic signature may not be accepted or at least will require you to consult legal advice first.
For example, electronic signatures cannot be used when executing wills or codicils. If someone asks you to sign such documents electronically, emphasizing convenience, you need to have your lawyer check the records.
Other documents that must not be signed digitally include cheques, alienation of immovable property, or agreements that exceed a period of ten years on said immovable property.
Therefore, even though electronic documents are widely accepted worldwide for various document formats and contracts, there are still some exceptions. You must be aware of the exceptions, especially in your area.
To summarize the points above, yes, you can sign legal documents electronically.
However, your state or country may have exceptions.
Even in the United States and countries with full provisions, some documents should not be signed digitally.