Legal-Ease: How significant is the error in this document?

Simple, unintentional errors like writing the wrong date are common in documents. Fortunately, the law provides some ways to ignore or correct unintentional errors in important documents.

Errors in documents are typically characterized as either substantive or non-substantive. Non-substantive errors in documents make a document inaccurate, but wouldn’t change what the document does when corrected. Substantive errors in documents literally alter what a document does.

Monday begins my annual tradition of absentmindedly writing “2017” instead of “2018” on documents that I date over the next few months.

Often, unintentional errors (such as dates) are made in documents, including documents that have a great deal of legal significance. Fortunately, the law provides some methods to ignore or correct some unintentional errors in some documents, depending upon the character of the error and the nature of the document.

Read more about errors in documents in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: How significant is the error in this document?

Source:, “Legal-Ease: How significant is the error in this document?” by Lee R. Schroeder, December 30, 2017

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

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