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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Dear sir/madam: If a person of sound mind signs a notarized

Resolved Question:

Dear sir/madam:

If a person of sound mind signs a notarized contract with a company to release certain information upon their demise, such as work documents and other personal intellectual property, and grants the company power of attorney in that contract to release specific documents or all documents in a certain location (such as within a cloud storage folder), but the contract is not classified as a will or codicil, is the contract still valid upon the person's demise? Does the company still have power of attorney, even if the contract is not mentioned in the will?

If not, would it be valid if the contract was mentioned in the will, given the same parameters above?

Thank you,

Ben
Submitted: 10 months ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

Yes, this sort of contract would be valid, if the other required elements for a supportable contract are present (i.e., valid consideration, a meeting of the minds, and no ambiguity).

Where the will conflicts with the power of attorney granted in the contract, the power of attorney would supersede the will unless there is a specific revocation of the power of attorney. However, given the parameters of the contract as outlined by you, this would likely be a breach of the contract and could result in the person being sued by the company.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited 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.

Kind regards,
Zachary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hi Zachary,


 


Thank you for the prompt reply.


 


What exactly constitutes a "meeting of the minds?" Must it be in person?


 


If the grantor were to approach the company online (much like I did on this website) to view the company's services and the contract (offer), and the company sent the grantor the physical contract through snail mail in writing and gave them the option, but not the obligation, to review the contract with an attorney (consideration), and required that it be signed and sealed in the presence of a notary public (acceptance), would that constitute due consideration and a "meeting of the minds?"


 


Should the company offer the grantor the option to respond to any concerns within the contract first?


 


Thanks,


 


Ben

Expert:  Zachary replied 10 months ago.
Hi Ben,

A meeting of the minds is present where the contract states a clear agreement for both parties to act under the agreement. In other words, as long as the intent of both parties is specifically spelled out in the contract, then a meeting of the minds is present.

In this case, the grantor was sent a contract and asked to sign. This is what is considered an "offer" which can be "accepted" by signing the contract. The law does not require the company here to tell the grantor that it has the right to reject the offer or to send a counter-offer which has different terms in the contract. The law considers that the grantor is fully aware of his rights before entering into a contract, such as this, generally.

Thus, the contract is likely binding. To get out of the contract, one would have to sue the company for any damage that was incurred and claim that the contract was unconscionable under the California consumer protection laws.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3820
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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