A contract is defined as a set of promises or promise for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes a duty. In order to enter into a legally enforceable contract, you must be 18 years or older, have the mental capacity to have read it, understand it, and plan to abide by it. If you are entering into a contract, you cannot assume that the contract was written by an attorney or that the terms in it are legal.

In order for a contract to be valid there must be an offer, acceptance and consideration. Consideration is a legal concept that’s says that in order for a promise to be enforceable, it has to be supported by consideration. Consideration is a bargain of exchange, and relates to the thing being exchanged. Without consideration, there may not be an enforceable contract and the exchange may simply be a donative gift.

Some significant legal terms that you should know about and consult an attorney about are:

Waiving negligence

Hold Harmless/Indemnification

Prevailing Party Attorney’s fees

Lien rights





Some contracts that many consumers do not understand and wish they had never signed without consulting an attorney:

Construction Agreements with a general contractor sub-contractor

Moving Contracts

Storage Contracts

Water remediation and restoration contracts

Insurance subrogation contracts

Insurance settlements

Vender Agreements

Straightforward Contracts that typically are OK to sign without an attorney:

Car loan from an established bank or credit union 

Home loan/Refinance/HELOC

NWML Purchase and Sale Agreement with a competent Real Estate Agent

Brokerage Agreement

Credit Card Agreement (but you should read the fine print on those)

Homeowners and vehicle insurance coverage agreements