Top 10 contracts Brits sign without reading first
Have you ever signed a contract without reading it? If the answer is yes, you're far from alone. In fact, nearly a third of us have admitted to doing so, according to a survey from SagaLegal.co.uk.
Online terms and conditions (T&Cs) are most likely to have gone unread, with 41% of those surveyed stating they didn't bother to go through the document before agreeing to it. SagaLegal.co.uk pointed out that previous studies have shown that some online T&Cs have as many words as Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Meanwhile, 13% of those surveyed admitted they hadn't even read their mortgage or property rental agreement.
The most common reason cited (44%) for failing to read the full terms of an agreement was to dodge jargon and complicated legal issues; while 28% of survey respondents said they only read what they think are 'the important bits' of an agreement.
However, Emma Myers, head of wills, probate and lifetime planning at SagaLegal.co.uk, warned: "As mind-numbing as small print can be, signing a legally-binding document without fully reading and understanding can have serious legal implications later on.
"Now our lives are increasingly being lived online, it's particularly worrying that the number one document Britons don't read before signing is terms and conditions on websites."
Top 10 documents we sign without reading
1. Online terms and conditions (41%)
2. For a parcel (28%)
3. Contract for mobile phone/tablet (20%)
4. Direct debit agreement (16%)
5. Hire purchase agreement (15%)
6. Loan (15%)
7. Mortgage agreement or property rental (13%)
8. Car hire (10%)
9. Job contract (8%)
10. A will, power of attorney or other legal document (6%)
The process of applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s estate. If a person has left a will, they will usually have appointed a will executor. The executor then has to apply for a ‘grant of probate’ from the probate registry, which is a legal document that confirms the executor has the authority to deal with the affairs of the deceased. If a person dies without making a will, intestacy law applies (see intestate).
Hire purchase agreement
A hire purchase or ‘conditional sale’ agreement is generally used for buying cars or furniture whereby the debt of the goods belongs to the organisation they were bought from (the creditor) until such a time as the debt is paid off. Only then do they belong to the purchaser. Not to be confused with an ordinary credit agreement. With an HP agreement you can’t sell the goods until the debt is repaid. If repayments are missed, creditors can demand the return of the goods or can repossess them. However, if more than a third of the total debt has been repaid, creditors have to pursue payment through the county courts first. With an ordinary credit agreement the buyer owns the goods (and can sell them) and a creditor can demand repayment of the debt but has no legal right to repossess the goods.