What does About to mean in American Law?
An expression used to indicate extreme imminence; an occurrence just on the point of happening. Its use leads to ambiguity when the indicated occurrence itself is too complex a happening to be instantaneously accomplished. Someone “about to” contract, for instance, may be actually in the precontractual bargaining phases of a relationship, or already on the point of eliciting the magic “I accept your offer.” Someone about to “remove property” may have just decided to do so, or just hired a truck, or just lifted up the first item for loading, or just completed loading, or just started the loaded truck-and so on. Thus “about to” must be taken to mean little
more than “very soon,” with legal significance dependent upon its specific context.