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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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can an amendment be made to a stipulation agreement, initialed

Customer Question

can an amendment be made to a stipulation agreement, initialed and signed by both plaintiff and defendant without attorney being involved, and still remain legal and hold up in court of law?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
What is the subject matter of the agreement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

there is a property co-owned by beneficiaries of an estate. this property has a contract for purchase that will expire at midnight. The stipulation was drawn up by one owner to have the other owner who was also trustee of estate provide all accounting related to rental of property for previous 3 years prior to contract being signed. the agreement basically stated that all funds would be held in escrow at closing until this documentation was received, the amendment would allow for $10000 each to be disbursed at closing with remainder to remain in escrow until audit was completed

Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
I see. Then yes. Such an amendment can be made but all the parties to the original agreement need to sign off on it (i.e., they need to execute a signature on the amendment).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so if i make the change since i initiated the stipulation as plaintiff, initial and sign the amended line in addition to signing the agreement, fax to defendant who also initials and signs the amended part and agreement then it would be legal?

Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
I wouldn't do it that way.

I would have a separate sheet of paper which states:

This document is an Amendment to ____________________(the name of the Stipulation Agreement) which was entered into between the parties on ________ (date you signed the agreement). The parties wish to amend the agreement as follows:

The parties agree that section ____ will be amended to read__________

Agreed to by:

________________(signature) _________
Your Printed Name Date

________________(signature) _____________
Their Printed Name date

You sign it, fax it over to him, he signs it, and then you've got yourself an amendment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what if original stipulation has never been signed, would you still do it the same way?

Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
No. If the original stipulation has never been signed, then it is not amendment because the original stipulation is not binding.

In that case, you would use the cross out method and have everyone initial by the cross out and addition, then you execute the document on the original spots.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

and it would still be a legally binding document? thank you

Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
You are confusing me. Why do you think the document is binding as it stands when neither of you have signed it?

Was this document something which was issued by the court that you are trying to change, or is it an agreement which you and the other party are negotiating?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no we are negotiating it, she didn't want to sign original, sorry for any confusion. The changes were made, initialed and signed by both parties as you suggested. I hope that was correct, appreciate your advice.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 3 years ago.
Ok then. That is correct and it will be legally binding. I'm glad I was able to help.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,