How to Ratify a Contract


Ratifying a contract means giving approval of and agreeing to everything in the contract. This is not always done solely by signing a contract. Some contracts are not necessary enforceable when signed and are considered voidable, such as contracts signed by minors. These contracts can be ratified either expressly in writing or implicitly by the actions of the parties. Ratification also occurs when a person authorizes an agent to enter into an agreement and then approves the contract signed by the agent. Unauthorized actions of an agent also can be ratified in this manner.

  • Consult an attorney if you're not sure whether ratification is necessary. Generally, ratification of a previously signed contract is only required if the original contract could be questioned or voided. If there is any reason to doubt the capacity or authority of the person who signed, ratification is beneficial to ensure that the contract is enforceable.

  • Draft any necessary approval of agency. If another person signed a contract on your behalf, draft a brief document confirming that the agent had your approval to sign the contract and that you accept the terms of the contract. Once this document is signed, the contract is ratified.

  • Acknowledge your age if you were a minor when signing a contract and are now over 18. A contract signed by a minor is voidable because the minor does not have the legal capacity to make commitments in a contract. After turning 18, however, a minor can re-sign the contract to ratify it, or sign a brief document confirming that he intends to be bound by the terms of the contract.

  • Sign the contract. If you are entering into an agreement with another person and will be signing for yourself, then signature by both parties is the only necessary step to ratify the contract. Ratification is a term frequently used with reference to contracts that have been signed by both parties for the purchase and sale of real estate.


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