TOP 15 Legal Documents Everyone Should Have

Life is full of unpredictability.

Although we want to believe that we are in 100% control of everything, the reality is that all we have is the illusion of control. We can never predict such things as facing a severe illness, disability, or death or the legal issues resulting from not having a carefully drafted estate plan, for instance.

Taking the time to ask what legal documents everyone should have on hand will prepare you and your loved ones if you will be not able making your own medical decisions, for example. It is a reasonable long-term investment. Read the article to find out the most essential and popular legal documents that everyone might need at some point in this crazy life.

What Are Legal Documents, and Why Are They Important?

Legal documents are your bets to expanding and ensuring your rights and limiting your responsibilities. There’s a popular saying that until a contract is signed, nothing is real.

So, legal documents are agreements between one person and another party (person, business, or other entity) or parties that have been signed by mutual consent and can be relied upon in court. These documents all have a standard set of clauses or very specific provisions that relate to an important point of understanding between the parties, and each serves a particular purpose. For instance, a typical vendor agreement includes the scope, timing, price and payment, termination, and consequences.
Legal documents are vital because they: 

  • Reduce risks. Until the contract is signed, nothing is real. For instance, if you agreed on a deposit amount when renting an apartment, this money might not be returned to you without a written contract. Having a poorly drafted legal document that don’t comply with state law or none at all can threaten a person’s financial or personal security.
  • Guarantee safety in unanticipated circumstances. In much the same way passengers on airplanes must always put their own oxygen masks on before helping those around them, securing properly drafted and signed legal paperwork can help to ensure safety for one’s own interests in case something unexpected happens.
  • Ensure accuracy of every agreed term. The written word holds a great deal of power and accuracy. When negotiating terms with another party, the correct legal documents can help to ensure that no detail is left out in order to avoid future disagreements.
     
  • Provide proof to present to the court. Legal matters may end up in court. That’s true. Therefore, having carefully drafted and signed legal documents can work to your advantage.
  • Allow people to act on another’s behalf. A last will and testament, revocable trust, health care proxy, living will, and power of attorney all provide direction for a person’s loved ones to make health care decisions on his or her behalf or to carry out the person’s final wishes.

List of Important Documents to Keep Safe

The following personal legal documents checklist includes agreements every adult should consider having for specific situations that happen in life.

Top 15 Personal Legal Documents Everyone Should Have 

Following is more information about the documents listed above:

1. Bookkeeping Agreement

Bookkeeping can be stressful and boring. When you lack attention to detail and are not comfortable with numbers, hiring a professional bookkeeper is a good idea. If you start your own business, it even becomes a necessity. With bookkeeping agreement, you can secure the management of all financial operations, business and personal, to avoid potential costly risks.

2. Child Care Authorization Letter

Children are our most precious treasures, so we must be particularly careful when delegating responsibility for their care to another person. Parents often use this document to give someone else permission to temporarily look after their child. The document gives the named person the right to make decisions about what is best for the child’s welfare.

3. Commercial Lease Agreement

When renting a building for a business, a commercial lease, an enforceable agreement with the landlord, can help the parties avoid potential legal difficulties. The right to use the property for business or other commercial activity for a predetermined amount of time is granted to the tenant by the lease in exchange for the regular payment of rent.

4. Consulting Services Agreement

This agreement is designed to be used by clients who hire consultants to perform professional services in situations that are not considered employment. Whatever consultant services you might need in life, it’s better to stay on the safe side.

5. General Bill of Sale

If you have asked what legal documents do I need for this purchase, remember that many large transactions require a bill of sale. This legal record protects both parties by documenting the details of the transaction, including the purchased item, the amount paid, the names of the parties and their signatures, and the date. A bill of sale serves as evidence for the seller that the transferred item was accepted by the buyer in the stated condition.

6. Image Removal Request 

Did someone publish your photo without your permission? This legal form is a warning to unauthorized parties and a reliable protection for image creators in copyright ownership issues. Sending an image removal request is a legal step to prevent other parties from spreading pictures that do not belong to them.

7. Last Will and Testament and Affidavit

Death is inevitable. A last will and testament is one way to transfer your assets to your loved ones according to your wishes upon your death. The affidavit proves that the testator has signed the document under no pressure. Although usually this document is at the top of the list of important documents for seniors, it is very important at all times. Young people should also consider drafting it ahead to make everything right.

8. Letter to Neighbor about Nuisance 

When neighbors consistently disturb your peace, there may come a time when something must be done. A letter to a neighbor about nuisance problems can remind them about public peace. This legal document is a next step that may be available if talking doesn’t work. 

9. Non-Disclosure Agreement 

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) will help you ensure the confidentiality of your business’s sensitive information. This document gains legal force as soon as both parties sign it. 

10. Purchase and Sale Agreement

Buying and selling items can be a smoother process when both parties sign a purchase and sale agreement. With this legal document, even expensive merchandise can be delivered legally across the U.S. at the arranged date and time with reduced delay and stress. 

11. Residential Lease Agreement

A reliable landlord-tenant relationship is a key to successfully leasing a residence. The residential lease agreement defines that relationship, including specific terms, fees, and rules.

12. Restaurant Partnership Agreement 

Establishing a partnership in the restaurant business can provide endless potential for growth. A restaurant partnership agreement is used to create collaboration between two and more restaurants for new cuisine, full integration, or a joint event. 

13. Tenancy Termination Letter

Use a tenancy termination letter to help prevent unpleasant surprises and disputes. 

14. Termination Notice from Landlord

Do you need to vacate a lessee from your property prior to the end of his or her lease? Notify your tenant of lease termination with this termination notice. This legal formality is necessary to properly end the landlord-tenant relationship.

15. Wedding Photography Contract

Quality photographs are important for precious life moments like weddings. After signing this legal contract, photographers will do their best to catch the best pictures. The contract will include the location, guests, number of photos, post-editing, and prints to be provided.

Conclusions

Some of these documents can help you to live a better life. Others can help you to leave your assets to your loved ones according to your wishes. Prepare your legal documents as carefully as possible.

If you have a difficult time putting the words together for these kind of things or no time at all, Lawrina Personal Pack includes professionally drafted templates that are easy to edit and personalize. You don’t need to search for every single doc.

Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.

Article by Sofi Ostymchuk

Sofi Ostymchuk is a Content Lead and Legal Writer at Lawrina. Sofi manages the content on the blog, communicates with contributors, looks for interesting topics, and creates articles in cooperation with lawyers and law experts. If you would like to be a blogger for Lawrina, you can contact Sofi for all the details via email at s.ostymchuk@lawrina.com.

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