Some contracts are required by law to be in writing. The Statute of Frauds, enacted in 1676, was the first great law to say what contracts should be in writing. It has been passed by the legislatures in almost all the States. The fourth section of the statute says that the following kinds of contracts must be in writing:

(a) Promises by executors or administrators to pay personally something due from the estates they are administering.

(b) Promises that another person will pay his debts (guaranty and suretyship).

(c) Promises to do anything, such as changing the ownership of property, in consideration of marriage; that is, where the marriage itself is the consideration for the promise as to the property.

(d) Contracts for the sale of lands or any interest in them must be in writing. Oral contracts for the sale of real estate are generally not worth anything. The phrase "interest in lands" includes such things as contracts for the sale of uncut timber, grass, minerals in the soil and growing crops of various kinds - before taken from the soil.

(e) Contracts not to be performed within one year from the time the contract is made must be in writing. But if it may be fully performed within one year it does not have to be in writing.

The seventeenth section of the statute provides that a contract for the sale of goods, wares and merchandise (that is, any personal property) worth $50 or more must be in writing unless the buyer (1) accepts part of the goods sold and has actually received them or (2) gives something in part payment. This amount, however, varies in the different States and in some States this section is not included in the Statute of Frauds.

Specimen Form Of Guaranty

Required To Be In Writing

I hereby guarantee to any person advancing money to Aleck Stewart not exceeding One Thousand ($1,000) Dollars, the payment therefor at the expiration of the credit which shall be given.

Perry Montague,

1521 Xerxes Avenue,

Toledo, Ohio. February 14, 1922.