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