You want to get legal documents that are done properly, work effectively and won’t set you back much. It’s possible to get some free legal documents and templates, but what you don’t get is the expert help, or for that matter, any customisations for things relevant to your very specific situation. The legal document and template market is niche but ridden with low quality and incorrect work. Bad legal work and end up costing you more than paying for good legal work in the first place. Let’s take a look at 11 quality legal documents that can save you a fortune.
Our Top 11 Legal Documents
Perhaps the most important of the legal documents we will look at, a will, or also known as a last will and testament, is a document that you use to describe how you would like your property and possessions divided after your death, and to name guardians for any of your children who are under 18 years old.
It covers, amongst other things, details of the executor, details of your beneficiaries, details of your property, possessions, money and other items the beneficiaries will receive, any specific instructions or wishes, details of a guardian for minor childrem, a pet caretaker, and more.
You can create one at any time before death, but must be of sound mind, have your Will in writing (typed is fine), execute it voluntarily, and be over the age of 18.
General Power of Attorney
General power of attorney are legal documents that gives one or more people of your choosing the power/ authority to completely manage your finances and property. It covers, amongst other things, your details, the details of the party you are giving the power to and other formalities as governed by section 10 of the Power of Attorney Act 1971.
It provides complete power for one or more parties to control your finances and property in there entirety, including sales and management. You need one if you want to appoint someone to handle your documents or financial affairs in the event that you are absent or away from home or in any other specific situation when you need someone to act on your behalf. This could include executing documents when you are away or when you want to entrust a family member to manage your business whilst you are on holidays.
General Service Agreement
Vital written legal documents between a service provider and customer that outlines the terms of the particular service between the two parties and more. A general service agreement can cover a wide spectrum of common and custom terms, including service details such as description and duration, payment and compensation details, penalties, confidentiality, non-solicitation, non-competition, ownership of materials and more.
You should use a general service agreement if you are a service provider or a customer. If you are the service provider, you should use a service contract whenever you are hired by a customer to complete a service. As the customer, if the service provider does not supply the contract, you can use a service agreement to ensure that the terms of the service are clear.
A loan agreement is a comprehensive legal agreement that outlines the terms of a loan between a borrower and a lender, as well as set out a payment plan for the borrower to pay back the lender. It acts as an enforceable promise between the parties.
One of the most important legal documents you will need, a loan agreement covers, amongst other things, the loan amount, the purpose of the loan, when and how the borrower can withdraw funds, when and how the loan will be repaid, interest payable, early repayment, whether the loan is secured or unsecured, assurances or warranties given by the borrower, obligations and restrictions on the borrower to help ensure the lender will be repaid, circumstances in which the lender can demand immediate repayment of the loan and more.
You should use a loan agreement whenever you are lending or borrowing money.
Next on the list of legal documents, is a partnership agreement. This is a formal agreement between partners that establishes the rights and responsibilities for general partners, as well as the rules in a for-profit partnership and more.
A partnership agreement covers, amongst other things, the partnership start date, address, name, and purpose, contact information and duties for each general partner, description of partner capital contributions, profit and loss distribution (equal share or fixed per cent), rules regarding the admission of new partners, withdrawal of existing partners, and partnership dissolution, accounting methods, and annual report details, who is responsible for day-to-day management of the business, when meetings are held, voting rules, and how decisions will be made, including which decisions require unanimous consent from all partners, and more.
You should use a partnership agreement when you are going into business with partners and intend to share profits and losses, and avoid the formalities of an incorporated company.
Confidentiality Agreement / Non Disclosure
A confidentiality agreement preserves secrets and confidentiality when two parties share or exchange confidential information, and is one of the most underrated of our legal documents. This agreement offers protection for parties who want to share confidential information but ensure that it does not go any further, is not used by anyone else, or is not used for a restricted purpose.
This can be for only the duration of the agreement or indefinitely. A confidentiality agreement or non disclosure agreement covers the definition of the confidential information, protection of confidential information, who is allowed to receive confidential information, disclosures, ending of the agreement and remedies if there is a breach.
You should this agreement when you want to share or exchange confidential information with a business or individual, and maintain a high level of protection for its use and value.
Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup)
One of the more interesting legal documents, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement that sets out the current and future financial and property issues of a couple before marriage, including how things will be dealt with in the event of a breakup.
A prenuptial agreement covers property and money owned individually by those getting married or a civil partnership that are to remain theirs if the marriage breaks down, an agreement that neither party will have any claim against the other for maintenance or support if the marriage or partnership breaks down, property acquired after the marriage or partnership will be divided as the couple agree or as ordered by a court, confirmation that the couple have entered into the agreement freely, and have taken or had the opportunity to take independent legal advice, and more.
You should enter into a prenuptial agreement before you are married, and want to define how property and other assets will be dealt with in the event of a breakup.
A cohabitation agreement is an agreement between partners who live together and want to clarify their rights in relation to property and children, both during the course of the relationship and in the event that it should break down.
A cohabitation agreement covers current and future financial and property issues prior to cohabitation. In general, it sets out who the parties are, what their current assets and liabilities are, and how all current and prospective property will be dealt with in the event that the relationship should breakdown. It aims to provide both monetary and emotional security for each party.
This is one of the legal documents you should use if you are living with someone or are about to start living with someone, want to be clear about the ownership of assets and how bills will be paid, and want a formal agreement that could be considered by the courts if you split up.
A separation agreement is a legally binding contract used by spouses to set out their own terms of seperation, including specifiying shared and separate property and debt, spousal and child maintenance, and more. This is one our legal documents that is a legal requirement for many.
A separation agreement when a couple who wants to separate and formally divide their resonsibilities for things such as spousal maintenance payments, child custody and visitation schedules, child maintenance payments, health insurance coverage for children, possession or sale of the matrimonial home, division of physical assets includings items owned, and division of outstanding debts.
You should use a separation agreement if you are getting divorced or ending a civil partnership, if you are entering a trial separation where you will not be living with your spouse but want to remain married to them, or if you are permanently separating from your spouse, but wish to remain legally married.
An expertly drafted contract specifically for your business and employee that establishes the rights, expectations and oblogations of all parties in a working relationship.
An employment contract is one of the most important legal documents for both employers and employees. It covers a wide range of terms and details, including agreed hours and days of work, terms relating to holidays, terms dealing with sickness and injury of employees, the duties of the role, pay and benefits (whether full or part-time), place of work (address), disciplinary and grievance procedures, arrangements for ending employment (including employment for a fixed-term), information required by law about trade unions and pensions and more.
You can use an employment contract when an employer, or respresentative, has hired a new employee, if a new recruit’s place of employment does not offer contracts of employment, or for permanent full-time, part-time, or fixed employment terms.
Residential Tenancy Agreement
An agreement that creates and assured shorthold residential tenancy between a landlord and tenant and outlines the rights and responsibiltiies of each party. For landlords and tenants, this is an contract document on our list of legal documents.
A residential tenancy agreements covers the contact information for both parties, llowances, such as if pets, smoking, or home businesses will be allowed within the property, the responsibilities of each party, financial details, such as payment amounts and due dates, late fees, and if there will be a damage deposit, option to purchase details (if required), and more.
You should use a residential tenancy agreement when you own a home and wish to let part of or the whole property to a friend, family member, or tenant, you are a tenant looking for a home or space to let, or you are a property manager or run a tenant placement service.
For a more comprehensive list of legal documents, as well as legal contract and letters, take a look at our full list of legal services here.