Can a signatory be responsible even if not named as? 14 Answers as of March 24, 2014

We work in the wedding business, and it's common for a bride to be listed as the "Clients" at the top, and the terms throughout refer to "Client agrees." However, it's frequently the case that a parent or parent-in-law-to-be will sign the bottom of the agreement, which states, "I certify that I agree to all terms of the agreement, and am legally authorized to use the credit card account listed above (if card # is listed above). In the case of a cancellation, or need to otherwise enforce the agreement, is the person signing the agreement responsible for fulfilling the terms, or is the person named as "Client", or are they both "off the hook"?

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Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
I would change the terminology on your agreement to identify the person signing as the client and get rid of the reference to the bride. Even so, if a person signed the agreement, I think they are on the hook even if not the bride.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 3/24/2014
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
I would need to look at the contract to be sure, but generally speaking the person who signs the contract is liable. In a community property state like Nevada, the signer's spouse would also be liable.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/24/2014
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
It is the person signing the contract that is liable.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/24/2014
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
The person named as the ?client? should also sign the agreement. So, either add whoever signs or get the client to sign. If not they both could be off the hook?!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Need the details, normally it is the person who signs. You need to have an attorney look over your forms to be sure they are binding.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/24/2014
    Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
    It looks like the intent of your agreement is to make the person signing the form guarantee payment by the client. The better course of action would also be to arrange for the client to sign or add a signature line for the guarantor to sign on behalf of the client. Although you may not have a contract claim against the client without the client signing, you still would have a claim for the reasonable value of goods and services provided to the client. You may wish to consider having an attorney review your form of contract make sure it provides you with next protection, and contains additional information to facilitate any debt collection that may become necessary.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    It sounds like a re-write of the contract is required.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Lawyer for Independent Media
    Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
    If you have a contract that is not clear, if you need to enforce it, and if you need to go into court to do that, the judge will be deciding what the wording in the contract means. It would be best if you had a contract written that makes it crystal clear what it means. It would be best if you used a properly-written contract that spells out who is responsible. The person paying the bill should actually be the one that gives final approval on everything, unless that duty is delegated out in writing to the bride and groom. It sounds like it is time to have a contract written up in such a way that it actually reflects how your business works.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    You can sue both the bride and the person who signs the agreement. But ultimately, it's the responsibility of the person signing the agreement to pay the bill, especially if the bride is still a minor..
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Hugan Law | Christopher Hugan
    If the terms of the contract are unclear, courts will try to determine the intent of the parties. There are three possible outcomes: the parent is a client, the parent is a guarantor, or the parent's signature means nothing. I'd be surprised if the parent has no obligation, but that depends on the facts and perhaps the law in your jurisdiction. An easy fix would be to define client as anyone who signs the document, or make it clear that the parent is a guarantor of the client?s debt.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The person signing is the one you made the contract with. You should change your form to not call the bride the client.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Law Office of Richard Winkler | Richard Winkler
    The person signing is typically responsible but you have given them an out by not properly identifying them.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Typing or printing someone's name on a contract does not necessarily make them obligated on the contract. The person signing the contract would normally be obligated. I suggest the contract to be changed to make it clear that the contract is in relation to the wedding of "Mary Smith, bride" but have the client be the parents, if that's what's intended.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
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