Do I Need to Write Out 2020?

contract and penLast month the internet was awash with legal advice to be sure and write out 2020 on all of your checks and legal documents this year. Was all of that internet baloney? Or was this legit legal advice?

The idea is that if you only write “20” for the year when you date legal items, it allows someone to come behind you and insert two more digits to change the date of your legally binding item. So they could try to add “21” to the date on your check and try to cash it next year, or add “19” to the date on your contract and claim you didn’t pay for a year, are in default, and owe them interest.

To be honest, we can imagine more likely scams to hit you than someone trying to change the date on a legal document to 2019 or 2021. It would be pretty easy to defeat such a claim if you fought it.

But, and this is a big but, it could happen. It is not crazy to see this happening. You could successfully fight it, but why would you want to take the risk and leave yourself open to the extra hassle?

In the end, we think it is probably best to spend the little bit of extra effort write out “2020” on your legal documents this year. It costs you almost nothing to do it, and it will make sure nobody tries to take advantage of you due to sheer laziness.

And look on the bright side! It only lasts this one year. On New Year’s Eve you can take a much needed thousand year break from writing 4 whole digits until we get to 3030.

About Southern Maryland Law


Andrews, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Southern Maryland. We have been serving clients here for over 50 years. 


We have more attorneys and a larger staff than most other local law firms, so we can handle a wider variety of legal matters. Each attorney concentrates his or her practice in a few key areas, so you can be assured of the expertise you need.


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