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Spend a Little, Save a Lot

1 minute read

Often the Court is asked to determine the intention of parties to an agreement that was not reduced to writing. This is a difficult task. Who does the Court believe?

Many of these situations could be avoided with even the simplest of written agreement that confirmed in writing the key issues on which the parties were ad idem (in agreement). To be helpful in resolving a dispute in Court, an agreement does not have to be elaborate or complicated. The written agreement may be sufficient to avoid formal proceedings. All that is necessary is that it confirms the major terms and conditions to which the parties have agreed.

When parties, whether they be family, friends or arm’s length third parties, wish to enter a formal relationship granting rights and imposing obligations one on the other, my recommendation is that you “spend a little” to have the agreement prepared by a lawyer. I recommend this as, in my experience, it will likely “save a lot” in the event the relationship between the parties breaks down. Should that occur in order to determine exactly what was agreed upon will have to be determined by someone who was not there and did not hear what was said.

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Michael M. Lerner

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