I’m Not a Lawyer…

Nearly everyone has had to make use of legal documents at least once in their life. Tax forms, divorce documents, marriage and birth certificates are all common forms of legal documentation. You do not have to hire anyone to craft a contract or legal document for you, however if you ever have to take those documents to court, they do have to stand up in a court of law. It’s sometimes difficult to get your head around the ins and outs of legal contracts such as last wills and testaments, but there are ways to raise the odds that you only have to go to court with your documentation once.

Know the Laws

This should go without saying, but it’s the first and foremost important thing to know when you craft a legal document. Even if you and another party agree and consent to a contract, if that contract goes against federal or state laws then it will not be able to be upheld in court. No one reviews your documentation once it goes into the court system for accuracy.

Once you have filed documents the documents are considered unchangeable. A judge will look them over and notify you if you need to make any changes and when you will be allowed to resubmit your forms. If any part of your contract does not match up to the laws at both a state and federal level then you risk having the entire document thrown out of court. This will result in court fees, refiling fees, and lost time on your end. When in doubt, check, recheck and then look again.

Have Someone Else Look it Over

There are a lot of websites out there that you can run your contracts and documents through to see if they hold water. Most legal documents are in the realm of things that sites like LegalZoom reviews. The website checkers will return your document with a list of suggested changes, edits and questions. These services cost considerably less than an actual lawyer. Sometimes they are even free.

For most of your basic legal needs, online checkers will have forms and templates available as well. Last wills are one of the things that people tend to make the most use of online sites for. You can take your basic information, plug it into a form and it will return the documentation to you.

When in Doubt, Ask the Experts

In the long run, if you’re trying to do something that is very complex, it may just be in your best interest to retain a lawyer. The insurance that your documents will be submitted correctly and with limited need for review can be worth the money in both time, saved fees, and the headache that the court system can bring with it.

Make sure that you research and find a lawyer that has good reviews and is an expert in the field that you are needing a document for. Not all practices cover the same things, and not everyone has good customer service. Take your time to select the correct option to suit your needs.

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