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Five Essential Elements of a Contract

Please identify and define the five essential elements required in a valid contract. Is it possible to create a contract without one of these elements?

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RESPONSE:

1. Please identify and define the five essential elements required in a valid contract.

It's important to know not all contracts have to be in writing. In California, for instance, certain agreements can be oral and still be legally enforceable. Either way, a contract must include the following: parties capable of contracting, consent of the parties, a lawful object, and consideration.

(1) Parties. Anyone can enter into a contract, except minors, certain felons and people of unsound mind. The contract must identify who the parties are; usually names are sufficient, but sometimes addresses or titles may be used. In sales agreements, for example, in addition to names, "seller" and "buyer" are sometimes used to further describe the parties.

(2) Agreement or Consent. A valid contract also requires the parties' consent, which must be free, mutual and communicated to each other. Consent is not free when obtained through duress, menace, fraud, ...

Solution Summary

This solution identifies and defines the five essential elements required in a valid contract. Through example, it also discuses if it is possible to create a contract without one of these elements.

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