Signing Verbal Agreements: Is It Possible, and What You Need to Know
Verbal agreements, as the name suggests, are agreements that are made orally between two parties without any written documentation. While verbal agreements are legally binding, they can be difficult to enforce in court, especially when there is no written evidence to support the terms agreed upon.
However, what about the concept of “signing” a verbal agreement? Can a verbal agreement be made more legally enforceable by adding a signature or any other form of written confirmation?
The short answer is no – signing a verbal agreement does not make it more legally enforceable. A signature is only considered valid when it is appended to a written document with clear terms and conditions that both parties have had ample time to read and understand.
In the absence of any written document, it can be challenging to prove the terms of the verbal agreement in court, especially if the other party denies the existence of the agreement or claims that the terms were different from what was agreed upon.
However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that the verbal agreement is as clear and enforceable as possible:
1. Take detailed notes: If you`re engaging in a verbal agreement, it`s important to take detailed notes of what was agreed upon, including the date, time, and location of the agreement, and the specific terms and conditions discussed. If possible, both parties should sign and date the notes as an acknowledgement of the agreement.
2. Follow up with an email: After your verbal agreement, it`s essential to follow up with an email that summarizes all the key points discussed, including the terms and conditions of the agreement and any actions that need to be taken by both parties. This email should be sent immediately after the agreement is reached, and both parties should confirm receipt of the email and its contents.
3. Use a digital voice recorder: In situations where detailed notes may not be possible, such as during a phone conversation or an impromptu meeting, using a digital voice recorder can be a useful tool to capture the conversation. However, it`s essential to obtain consent from the other party to record the conversation, and you should inform them beforehand of your intention to do so.
In conclusion, while signing a verbal agreement does not make it more legally enforceable, there are other steps you can take to ensure that the agreement is clear and enforceable, including taking detailed notes, following up with an email summarizing the key points, and using a digital voice recorder to capture the conversation. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself in case of any disputes that may arise and ensure that the terms of the agreement are clearly understood by both parties.