Organize Your Life: Legal Documents
Oftentimes, the number of papers and legal documents we generate just by moving through the world can be overwhelming. A simple doctor’s visit leaves you with three handouts, a bill, and a new prescription. All this without even going through any kind of major life changes.
And if you do experience some major life transition such as getting a new job, it means a new W-2, another 401k to roll over, new health & life insurances. For many people, this information is simply tossed into a filing cabinet, in any order. Usually this is fine, but eventually, you find yourself frantically rifling through disorganized papers, looking for just that one document in the case of an emergency.
Luckily, the Jazmine Method is here to help. This week, we will be focusing on your legal documents.
What is a Legal Document?
Have you gotten married? Divorced?
Signed a prenup?
Been involved in a lawsuit?
Started a business? Been the beneficiary of an inheritance?
If the answer for any of the above questions is yes, you likely have legal documents that pertain to you. According to Wikipedia, Legal document is a legal term of art that is used for any formally executed written document that can be formally attributed to its author, records and formally expresses a legally enforceable act, process, or contractual duty, obligation, or right, and therefore evidences that act, process, or agreement.
Legal Document Examples include a certificate, deed, bond, contract, or a will.
Keeping hold of these important documents is important. In case of a marriage or a divorce, you may need to prove this when you get re-married or pay taxes the following year. You should hold on to prenups and other legal agreements indefinitely.
Legal Documents List
So what legal documents do I need to have?
Since legal documents are different than I.D.’s, everyone will have a different set of documents!
However, we’ve compiled a list below of the different kinds of legal documents you might encounter. You may find you don’t have all of these, or you have an entirely different set that we didn’t consider! The best thing about the Jazmine method is that it can be flexible and adapt to your individual needs!
Most of these legal documents can be categorized into 2 parts:
- Major Life Changes
Major Life Changes:
- Marriage License or Certificate. A critical piece of paperwork! Be sure to upload a copy to Jazmine.com. You should also include a Prenup or other pre- or post-marital agreement in your legal documents.
- Divorce Agreement. And the flip side of this coin. Keeping a separate folder for your divorce materials, including contact information for your lawyer, and any custody or asset division agreements is a good idea.
- Estate Planning Paperwork. Wills, Powers of Attorney, and other paperwork that comes into play in the case of your incapacitation or death is especially important to keep in a separate folder that is easily accessible to your loved ones. For bonus points, upload all of it to Jazmine.com as well, and ensure your family knows how to find it.
- Death Certificate. While this may not technically be “your” document, having a special file for information on a parent or loved one can be a way to ensure this paperwork stays at your fingertips.
- Contact Information. You might not think of your lawyer’s contact information as a piece of “legal paperwork,” but you’re likely to need the contact information of someone at the same time as you need your paperwork, so be sure to keep them together! Using Jazmine.com to store the contact info for lawyers you’ve used, along with notes, is a great way to ensure you’re prepared in a stressful situation.
- Contracts and NDAs. If you’ve signed contracts or nondisclosures for a job, you might want to just toss your fully executed versions. However, having the original contract on hand in the case of any disputes can prove invaluable.
- Leases. Whether you’re the landlord in question, or simply a renter, having your lease easily at hand is useful, for many of the same reasons as outlined in the point above.
Tell us what Legal Documents we might have missed in the above list by commenting down below!