Have you ever wondered when something becomes legally binding? Ever as a joke jotted something down on paper then signed your name to it? Well did you know that piece of paper just became a legally binding contract?
Take the Lucy v. Zehmer case for instance.
In 1952, Zehmer and Lucy who he thought was a friend were drinking in Zehmer’s bar. From my understanding on this case, Zehmer’s joking around jotted down he would sell his 471 acres of land to Lucy for $50,000. Lucy didn’t take this as a joke since Zehmer’s and he had spoke of this issue before. So Lucy took it to his lawyer to see if it was legal, and then they took it to court.
Zehmer’s defense was simple, he was drunk and wasn’t in his right state of mind at the time, however, the judge felt he did in fact know what he was doing at the time he wrote out that paper. So Lucy was able to purchase the 471 acres of land for $50,000.
Can you imagine joking around about selling your property for cheap, and then it going to court and you losing everything? I think I would die right there when the judge says the contract is legal. Use Zehmer’s huge mistake as a learning lesson to you, NEVER put anything in writing unless it is meant to be there.
Just remember once your name goes on any document it could be later used against you, so be careful what you sign.