Dallas, TX asked in Contracts for Louisiana

Q: A contract between two family members with two witness signatures is that legal paper without a notary stamp

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1 Lawyer Answer
D. Alex Onstott
D. Alex Onstott
  • Licensed in Louisiana

A: As with most legal questions, the devil is in the details when it comes to contract validity.

Most contracts don't require notarization or witnesses, nor do they need to be written, in order to have effect. Writing your agreement is almost always advisable, since it memorializes the intentions of the parties for later reference, and to settle any disputes about the agreement that may come up in the future. For that reason, most attorneys will advise you to get all agreements that you intend to have legal effect written, but it is not necessary. Most oral agreements are enforceable if you can prove that they exist.

However, some contracts do require certain formalities in order to be binding. For instance, a transfer of interest in real estate ("immovable property" in Louisiana), would not be valid without notarization, and other necessary formalities.

If the answer to this question will have an important impact on you or a loved one, you should consult an attorney who can review your particular document and give you specific legal advice.

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