The next time you sign your name to a document that is not a check or a letter, stop to consider what you are doing.
In many cases, you are signing a contract, which is nothing more than an agreement between two parties.
It can sometimes have other names, such as a “lease” or a “mortgage” or a “Note,” or it is sometimes actually called a “contract,” such as a “Contract for Purchase of Real Estate.”
But they are all contracts.
And the best time to get legal advice is BEFORE you sign.
Once you sign, your legal rights have been settled, and it is very often not possible to modify what you signed—even if you change your mind or realize that the document did not say what you thought it did.
I always regret to have clients come into the office and tell me that they need my help to “get out of“ a lease or some other document which they have signed.
If it is important to you and involves more than $5000 in total, then you might want to consider asking a lawyer to review it.
If you think it is too long to read, then possibly you should ask your attorney to read it for you, and then let you know what all of the paragraphs are about.
But the next time you are confronted with a document, and someone says “just sign it, and we can work out the details later” or “it is just a standard contract” or “it is all just boiler plate,” I encourage you to stop what you are doing, put down the pen, and decide if the document deals with something that is important to you and involves more than a few thousand dollars.
If it does, then see an attorney, and let someone like the lawyers at Breen Olson & Trenton, LLP review the CONTRACT before you sign it.
The cost is usually not great, and then a professional can tell you what it means and if the terms seem reasonable for a matter of this sort. If so, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you did not act too quickly.
If your attorney tells you of problems with the contract or lease or mortgage or Note (or whatever it might be called), you may have saved yourself many times what you paid your attorney to review it.
If you have a contract you are considering signing but are not sure how it may implicate your rights, call Breen Olson & Trenton, LLP and we will guide you through the process and help you understand the agreement.