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REVIEW of Focus 33
Get it in Writing
a hand-shake is not legally binding

There was a time when a person's word was their bond and a simple handshake would seal a deal - not anymore. These days, relying on a gentleman's agreement is naive to say the least. Unless it's down in black and white and appropriately signed, the legal system will generally disregard it. There are exceptions, especially when there are witnesses able to relate details of what was said and agreed to; but inaccurate recall is often an issue, and some present may be averse to testifying should the matter go to court. Even a last will and testament documented by professionals in a legally binding way can be contested and may be overturned in favour of someone who believes and can prove that they were undeservedly left out.

In most cases, legal transactions are bound by accepted conditions, usually listed on a standard document which both parties are required to read and understand before signing. All-too often, these are only vaguely glanced over, the fine print being completely ignored. Anyone presented with such owes it to themself to read each and every word; because, should something adverse occur later after signing, they have no legal leg to stand on and will probably have to bear the unfortunate consequences.

The full article deals with issues like lease and rental agreements, insurance policies, repairs and renovations, and even buying a second-hand car. Anyone in the market for these and more should have a read, definitely before signing on the dotted line.

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Focus 33 click here

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