From a young age, we are taught the importance of writing things down. In school, class notes help most of us get from grade to grade, while agendas organize our day. Later in life, we are encouraged to make lists to ensure we don’t forget something when we visit the grocery store and we write down directions before making a trip to a new destination (at least we do if we don’t have a GPS to guide us).
Legal counsel see the power of the written word on a daily basis. One example can be seen in the business world, where we encourage agreements be drafted to govern business relationships. Such agreements may include partnership agreements, shareholders agreements or employment contracts.A properly drafted agreement will hopefully define the relationship in such a way that it can help business owners and entrepreneurs approach problems and conflicts more effectively. When drafted by a lawyer, this is done through a variety of clauses which on the one hand outline the unique details of the transaction which have been agreed upon between the parties, and on the other hand take into consideration more standard considerations such as the handling of disputes, jurisdiction, and how events out of the parties’ control are to be dealt with.Another example can be see in estates law – specifically, in the area of estate planning. Proper estate planning (including the drafting of a will and powers of attorney) provides individuals with the opportunity to play a role in the handling of their personal property and personal care decisions at a time when they are no longer capable of making decisions on their own.Overall, every written document has its own purpose. Regardless of whether you are having a will or a contract drafted, you are forced to turn your mind to future events. Wills and powers of attorney allow you to consider how your end of life decisions should be made. With business contracts you are given the opportunity to consider how you would like certain matters to be handled before problems arise. In both instances, taking the time to consider “what if” and prepare a written document will hopefully help alleviate future difficulties faced by yourself and/or those near to you.