Capacity to Contract Lawyers
Can Anyone Enter into a Contract?
The simple answer is that not everyone can enter into a contract. A basic principle of contracts is that a person has to have mental capacity and maturity. The reason for this requirement in contracts is that we don’t want certain parties taking advantage of other persons of a lower mental capacity.
How Old Do I Have to Be to Make a Contract?
In general the age at which a party can enter into a binding contract is the “age of majority.” In many states this means age 18.
What Mental Capacity Is Required to Validate a Contract if One Is Over Age 18?
The tests for determining mental capacity when one has passed the age of majority are very complex. The tests used to determine mental capacity vary from state to state. Some states use the “appreciate effects” test which asks if one has the capacity to understand what they are doing and appreciate its effects. Another test, the control test, asks whether someone can control themselves regardless of their understanding.
If Someone is Drunk When They Make a Contract, Can They Get Out of It?
In general, most courts do not like to enforce contracts against voluntarily intoxicated persons on the policy that the drunken person lacked the mental capacity. Most courts will look at whether the intoxicated person appeared intoxicated at the time of the contract. Even if the person did not look drunk at the time of contract, he can escape liability if he can prove he has a history of drunkenness.
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding My Capacity to Contract Issues?
The question of capacity to contract is a fundamental first question in any contract situation. If you don’t want to be bound to a contract you have signed for mental reasons, you should contact a good contract lawyer to help you get out of the contract.
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Last Modified: 07-05-2012 02:32 PM PDT
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