Law: Put It in Writing

Love's fine, says a lawyer, but it's better with a contract

If you think the law is already too much with us, brace yourself. In a new book called Oh Promise Me But Put It in Writing (McGraw-Hill; $10.50), Seattle Attorney Paul P. Ashley, 81, argues that most voluntary human relationships could benefit from written contracts—naturally drawn up by a good lawyer.

"What astute person," asks Ashley, "would consider it sensible to decide on an important business transaction while parked romantically beside a moonlit lake?" Because the answer is "practically everybody," Ashley suggests prenuptial contracts, agreements during marriage,...

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