Questions to Ask During Your Annual Legal Checkup

Questions to Ask During Your Annual Legal Checkup

by Heather R. Johnson, September 2016

Have you had your annual legal review yet? Sounds like fun, huh? But reviewing financial goals and planning a productive New Year should be on everyone’s calendar. Learn more about how to schedule a legal checkup.

Why Do I Need An Annual Legal Checkup?

A legal checkup isn’t much different than a medical checkup: a lawyer gives an overall assessment of your business or personal affairs to make sure you start the New Year “healthy,” or fully protected. Are your contracts up to date? Do you need to change your business structure? Do you need to establish a trust or revise a will? These are all questions a lawyer can answer during an end-of-year legal consultation.

Business Legal Plan Basics

During an annual lawyer consultation, a lawyer can review current contracts to make sure they include all necessary terms and reflect current prices. During this attorney consultation, the lawyer can also make sure you have filed all necessary state documents and secured necessary licenses and permits.

For corporations, a lawyer may also review minutes and stock status. If the corporation designed a new logo, a lawyer can make sure the company properly filed for protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Companies with employees should allow the lawyer to review employee confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements.

Personal Legal Plan Basics

Individuals can also benefit from an annual legal checkup. As with a business, a lawyer can review tax documents to make sure you have kept adequate records. The lawyer can also review any contracts you’ve signed to make sure all terms are appropriate.

A divorce, birth, or death in the family may necessitate revisions to a will or to beneficiary designations. Some lawyers offer financial planning services. A lawyer can run a “diagnostic check” to help ensure that all of your paperwork is in order.

Prepaid Legal Plans

Most companies already work with a lawyer in some capacity. Individuals may have more of a challenge finding legal help. Some employers offer prepaid legal services as part of their benefits package. For a low monthly fee, employees can receive document review and preparation services and advice on family law issues, financial and real estate matters, and estate planning.

Most of these legal plans have lawyers on call to answer a variety of legal questions. Prepaid legal service plans are a good way to receive legal advice and legal services without paying an exorbitant retainer fee.

If your employer doesn’t offer a prepaid legal plan, you have other affordable options for personal and business legal plans. With a little bit of research, you can find a plan that works for your needs and budget.

Whether you consult with a personal attorney, your in-house counsel, or take advantage of a prepaid plan, take the time at year’s end to get a comprehensive legal checkup. It may save you from a headache or two in the New Year.

Get your annual legal consultation started today with LegalZoom’s legal help plan. LegalZoom’s legal plan includes a one-hour legal checkup, as well as unlimited 30-minute telephone consultations throughout the year. Members of this legal plan can receive guidance on estate planning, document review, employment issues, and tax advice. For an affordable price, you get access to our network of attorneys, common legal forms, and more.