Review and Update Your Legal Documents

February, 2018

Do you know who will handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated or who will make medical decisions for you should you become unable to make them for yourself? Have you designated who will inherit your assets if the unthinkable happens, and who will be named guardian if you have minor children?

Every adult over 18 years old should have certain legal documents in place to protect their family and their assets if anything should ever happen to them. The specific documents that apply to you will depend on your own circumstances, e.g., single, married, kids, no kids, etc., and may change over time as you experience life changes.

Periodically reviewing and updating your legal documents to make sure you have the applicable documents in place and that they are up to date and accurate is a good practice. Legal Club members receive free online forms and free document review by plan attorneys.

Following are descriptions of some of the most common legal documents to have in place and keep updated:

  • Last Will and Testament: Dying without a Will can be costly for your heirs and it gives you no say over your asset distribution. A Will documents how you want your assets distributed when you die. A Will names guardians for your children. Without a Will, a court will decide who gets your assets.
  • Bill of Sale: A Bill of Sale is a document that transfers ownership of an asset from a seller to the buyer, a basic agreement for sale of goods, and a sales receipt. It provides protection to both the buyer and seller should any disagreements occur after making a transaction. Most states require a bill of sale as proof of purchase when the transaction involves a motor vehicle or other high value item such as a home, car, boat, motorcycle, and even some animals, such as a horse.
  • Leases: Lease agreements define the rights and obligations of the lessor (property owner / landlord) and the lessee (tenant). It usually determines the price and lease term, how long the lessee will have the right to occupy the property, and specifics about responsibilities and restrictions that apply to the use of that property during the lease term, as well as payment terms and conditions.
  • Advance Health Care Directive/Living Will: A Living Will is a document that states your wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatments in the event that you become incapacitated and can no longer communicate. A Living Will can also be referred to as an advance directive, health care directive, or a physician's directive.
  • Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney assigns someone to manage your financial affairs should you become unable to do so. Your designated agent can legally sign your name. Most often, people elect a “Durable Power of Attorney” which goes into effect immediately upon you becoming incapacitated.

Online Legal Forms from Legal Club

Legal Club maintains law firms in all 50 states comprised of pre-qualified seasoned attorneys with an average of 17 years of experience who are available to assist members with their legal needs. To supplement personalized legal referrals, Legal Club also offers its millions of members access to a selection of over 85,000 free and discounted self-service forms that can be downloaded and completed to create legally valid documents. These forms are state specific and most are ready-to-use without additional review by an attorney.

Navigation of the Legal Forms catalog is straightforward – simply select a category and the form that meets your needs. A brief description and instructions for completing the form are provided. Once the document is downloaded and completed, it should be stored in a safe location. Forms are available in Word (.doc or .rtf) formats and are available to members online when logged in to this website.

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