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Contracts, Their Elements, and Statute of Fraud Essay

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Updated: Aug 16th, 2020

The elements of a contract which includes the intent of the offeror and the acceptance of the offeree

A contract is a form of arrangement between two parties as a result of establishing a juridical constraint to do or to abstain from doing a certain deed. The primary target of the contract is to enact the arrangement where the entities are forced to compose and settle their obligations in consonance with that arrangement. The judicial system has to administer a credible and compelling contract as it is set, except the cases where there are restrictions that prohibit its imposition.

In cases, where the contract has an impact on a general community, the limits of this contract are defined and inhibited by the statutes. The terms of the coverage contract that protects a common bearer are established by the statute to defend the public by the means of assuring the monetary assets accessible in cases of calamities. The judicial systems are not obliged to devise a contract for the entities. In cases where the entities have no explicit or implicit arrangement on the fundamental terms of the contract, no arrangement will be established.

The judicial system has the power to implement the contract for the entities; it cannot be the author of the contract. To recognize the contract as legitimate, it has to be compelling. The capacity of the judicial system lies in the enforcement of the arrangements in cases when they already created. “It is the policy of the law to encourage the formation of contracts between competent parties for lawful objectives. As a general rule, contracts by competent persons, equitably made, are valid and enforceable. Parties to a contract are bound by the terms to which they have agreed, usually, even if the contract appears to be improvident or a bad bargain, as long as it did not result from Fraud, Duress, or Undue Influence” (“Contracts” par. 5).

There are four fundamental elements of the contract: offer, acceptance, an objective of contractual results, and discussion. Without these elements, the arrangement will not be considered a contract. If the contract does not include every one of these four elements, the arrangement will not be legitimately confining. There has to be a definitive, distinctly declared offer towards implementing or prohibiting something. “An offer does not include ballpark estimates, requests for proposals, expressions of interest, or letters of intent” (Eisenberg 118). The acceptance takes place only after something is offered. The offer should not change and be accepted as it is. However, the contract can include numerous suggestions and opposing suggestions before the arrangement is reached. The entity can express acceptance orally or in a written form.

Statute of Fraud

The Statute of Fraud applies to the demand that particular types of contracts are commemorated in a written form, confirmed by the entity to be arraigned, with the satisfactory subject matter to evince the contract. Generally, the Statute of Fraud demands the written documents with the signatures, not in every case. The assets where the written documents with the signatures are needed are Contracts in consideration of marriage, contracts that cannot be performed within one year, contracts for the transfer of an interest in land, contracts by the executor of a will to pay a debt of the estate with his own money, contracts for the sale of goods totaling $500 or more, and contracts in which one party becomes a surety (acts as guarantor) for another party’s debt or other obligation (Klauss 31).

Contracts in consideration of marriage

This category of the Contracts in consideration of marriage is not covering the assurance of a merger, which is usually performed in an oral form by the means of a well-known ritual when a groom stands on one knee and proposes to his bride. For example, if a man asks to marry his woman in a restaurant while the music is playing, and even there are no witnesses and the woman said ‘yes,’ the new husband and wife had concluded a marital contract among themselves, being the two entities.

This ritual is not officially obligated by the law. This division is dedicated to the contract in consideration of marriage, where the potential husband and wife comply with the marital arrangement of the monetary compensations that are connected to the fact of marriage. Moreover, it includes the agreement from the third entity (for example, a relative of the future husband or wife) that agrees to establish a particular real estate or capital upon the future husband and wife about their marriage.

Contracts that cannot be performed within one year

“Any contract, irrespective of its subject matter, must comply with the statute if it cannot be performed within a year of its execution. Note that the rule is not confined to contractors in which the performance itself will take over a year but includes any contract – however short the period of performance may be – in which the performance will not be completed within a year of contracting” (Blum 326). For that reason, even in a case where a client decides to establish a contract with a fashionable vacation place in the middle of June 2015 for several days, the contract still fits the Statute of Frauds, even though it is concluded for a few days. The reason for implementing the one-year contract most likely lies in the intention of ensuring the testimony of the long-term contracts.

Contracts for the transfer of an interest in land

Alike to the numerous statutes and rules that were acquired from the older English law, this contract depicts the significance of the ownable land property in the context of paramount measures of wealth and affluence in the community in Old England at the time of its existence. The statute of the transfer of an interest in land administers an arrangement to perform the auction of the property as well as the variety of other contracts that imply the disposition of the owned land property. These contracts include a transfer of an interest in land that lacks complete possession of property or a concession of a mortgage.

Moreover, a lease also belongs to this type of contract and requires an affirmation in a written form; however, the Statute of Frauds generally exonerates short-term sublets from its domain (Farnsworth 78).

Contracts by the executor of a will to pay a debt of the estate with his own money

According to Blum, this contract “is one in which the executor or administrator of an estate assumes personal liability to a creditor of the decedent for a debt or obligation incurred by the decedent before his death” (324). This means that in the case of the insufficient monetary funds of the estate to cover the indebtedness, the administrator obliges himself to cover the expenses out of his pocket. Furthermore, the statute is relevant exclusively only for the damage that was ensured by the decedent, not the estate of not the recent damage.

Contracts for the sale of goods totaling $500 or more

Contracts for the sale of goods totaling $500 or more are covered by the Uniform Commercial Code (the Code). “A supplier faced with increasing input costs may consider arguing that under the Code, the contract has become commercially impracticable. In short, the distressed supplier can argue that it has become impracticable to perform under a contract because the inputs have become too expensive.

In Michigan, however, the fact that a contract has become unprofitable is generally not the equivalent of the impracticability of performance. A rise in expenses due to the increased price of raw materials or the increased cost of construction does not typically amount to impracticability since that is the very type of risk a long-term fixed-price contract is intended to address” (“Suppliers: When A Long-Term Contract Is More Of An Anchor Than A Windfall” par. 7)

Contracts in which one party becomes a surety (acts as guarantor) for another party’s debt or other obligation

This contract almost repeats the terms of the ‘Contracts by the executor of a will to pay a debt of the estate with his own money’; however, there are some dissimilarities in the implementation of the contract, as no real estate is involved. The entity of the contract is obliged to establish an agreement in the written form, where he or she plays the role of an insurer that another entity undertakes to perform his or her duties or to pay debts mentioned in the contract.

Works Cited

Blum, Brian. Contracts: Examples & Explanations, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Aspen Publishers Online, 2007. Print.

. 2008. Web.

Eisenberg, Melvin. Contracts, New York, New York: Barbri Groups. 1993. Print.

Farnsworth, Edward. Contracts, New York, New York: Little, Brown, 1982. Print.

Klauss, Gregory. Contract Law in the USA, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. Print.

2005. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 16). Contracts, Their Elements, and Statute of Fraud. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/contracts-their-elements-and-statute-of-fraud/

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"Contracts, Their Elements, and Statute of Fraud." IvyPanda, 16 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/contracts-their-elements-and-statute-of-fraud/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Contracts, Their Elements, and Statute of Fraud." August 16, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/contracts-their-elements-and-statute-of-fraud/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Contracts, Their Elements, and Statute of Fraud'. 16 August.

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