Professionally created legal document templates are often the key to successful document drafting. They can help individuals and businesses save time and make sure their documents contain all the necessary details.
Using templates to create a document is just the beginning. If there are many parties involved in the document creation or signing, you need to be able to keep track of document changes.
However, let’s start with the basics. Why would you use a document template instead of writing one from scratch?
Here are some good reasons for using legal document templates.
When drafting a legal document, most of the work consists of repeating standardized formulations. When using a template, you can avoid all that manual and repetitive tasks and focus on more important parts of the document. Besides that, templates can help you with:
Legal document templates are most often designed by legal experts with a comprehensive understanding of various laws and regulations. As a result, these templates already include crucial stipulations necessary to maintain compliance with relevant legal frameworks.
Using legal templates can help minimize the chances of potential disputes or misunderstandings by providing a clear and organized framework. Pre-drafted templates are carefully structured to outline the rights and responsibilities that apply to each party, thereby leaving less room for confusion or ambiguity.
Developing a legally sound document can be a time-consuming and costly process, especially if you're starting from scratch. Templates can lighten some of this burden by providing foundational text which you customize to fit your organization’s specific requirements.
Whatever kind of legal document you need to write, there is probably a template available. We put together a list of resources where you can find different templates, depending on types of legal documents you are looking for.
Something to consider when drafting a legal document is a jurisdiction it is intended to operate in. When selecting a template for some types of documents (for instance, certain types of contracts or legal letters), you might be able to rely on templates from other jurisdictions, while with others you may not be able to do so due to specific legislative or regulatory requirements impacting the structure and content of the document.
Here are some of the most common document templates:
Legally binding documents usually follow a certain structure in order to outline the terms, rights, and responsibilities of the parties involved in the most comprehensible way. For example, an employment contract usually contains sections that define an employee's compensation, job duties, and duration of employment. Look for these types of templates here:
When it comes to legal letters as a means of formal communications, having a template helps an individual to draft the document in the most efficient way. Whether it is a cease and desist, a demand letter, or something else, using a template can save a lot of time.
Formulating wills and trusts can be tricky, with all the nuisances that must be considered. Still, there are parts that all standard documents of this type contain, such as identification of the testator, appointing an executor, naming the beneficiaries, and that’s where a template can help.
Documents like lease or purchase agreements need to outline the terms and conditions of renting or buying a property, including property descriptions, pricing, and closing conditions. Since most of the documents concerning real estate renting or buying are pretty standard, using a template makes the most sense.
Depending on the kind of intellectual property they are made to protect, these documents can have various forms. However, there are always some inevitable parts. For instance, patent applications will always define creator’s exclusive rights and set the time period during which they apply. While details can vary to a great extent, the templates are a great help for drafting bulletproof intellectual property protection.
From non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and shareholder agreements to corporate resolutions and annual reports, corporate documents can have various forms. Still, all of those forms follow standardized templates.
Finding a good professionally created template is often half of the work done. Many online sources offer various templates, but not all are of the same quality. If you don’t know where to start looking, here are a few suggestions.
Online legal services websites are platforms that provide various legal services and resources through the internet. These websites usually offer a wide range of legal document templates, assistance with creating customized legal documents, and access to legal advice and representation from licensed attorneys.
Some of these websites that offer free legal templates are:
Many government websites offer free legal document templates specific to their jurisdiction. For example, Victoria Legal Aid offers resources and legal document templates for various legal issues in Victoria, Australia.
Non-profit organizations that offer legal services may also provide access to legal document templates. They may vary from general ones to those made in accordance with specific jurisdictions, depending on whether the organisation operates globally or locally.
General template websites, such as PandaDoc or Template.net, also have legal document templates available. They offer fully customizable forms, though the accuracy and thoroughness of these templates should be carefully evaluated.
If you prefer using familiar platforms, you might wish to look for templates from Microsoft Office suit. You will find them under the “legal” category in the MS Word’s templates section and they include various forms, contracts, agreements, letters, and other documents commonly used in legal practice. There are also additional templates on Microsoft Office website.
Using templates to draft your legal documents is just the first step toward streamlining your process. Once the document is ready and you have your first draft created, it is time for collaboration, reviews, and even signing.
If you are not careful, this process can eat up all that time you saved by using templates, instead of drafting the documents from the scratch. That is why a quick and accurate automated legal document comparison tool is your go-to solution for this kind of issue.
It will allow you to track all the changes between your document versions in seconds.
Draftable Legal offers a simple way to compare files and is designed specifically for lawyers and legal teams. Based on the same state of the art technology as Draftable compare software, Draftable Legal for offers fast and accurate comparison and is adjusted for legal documents.
Draftable Legal works with various file formats and templates. That means whether you’re working on a contract, NDA, will, or some other PDF or Word file, the software will be able to analyse its content against the previous version of that document and show you all the changes.
You do a simple drag-and-drop with your two file versions, upload from your desktop, or even directly from your email attachment.
Draftable Legal will compare the two documents and produce customisable compare output, which you can view as a redline in PDF or MS Word in a side-by-side panel. The changes will be underlined and colour-coded, so you’ll be able to check what’s been omitted, changed, added, or moved.
You can export your side-by-side comparison as tracked changes in MS Word or redline in PDF. You can save your comparisons for personal use or share them with others.
Start with your template to speed up your drafting process, and finish strong with a final version of your legal documents. Use a proven legal document template to start with, then use Draftable Legal to keep track of all changes in the document when reviewing and collaborating and stay on top of version control. That’s a winning combination for all legal departments and law offices. You can try it today by starting your Draftable Legal trial.
This article is NOT purporting to provide legal advice;
We are NOT responsible for any of the third-party resources mentioned in this article.
In using any resources, you should solely rely on your own judgement and do so at your own risk.