Free Legal Contract Templates: When to Use Them

lawtrades free contract templates usage

Great American author Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed that “Money often costs too much.” Many things in modern life seem to cost too much. And perhaps this is why it is so tempting to seek out any offer that promises something for free. But cost is not merely financial in nature. Individuals and businesses often pay for things with time, energy and other resources upfront or pay for things by incurring negative consequences once a decision has been made.

It is for this reason that you should be careful when utilizing free legal resources, including legal contract templates. While these legal contract templates may not cost money to access, if you use untrustworthy or inadequate templates, you may risk time, energy, resources and/or any number of challenging consequences in the end. If you do choose to utilize free legal contract templates, it is best to download them from a trustworthy source and have a contract attorney look over your work before you sign them.

When to Use Free Contract Templates

A number of companies offer free legal contract templates on their websites or in printed form. Before you fill out free legal contract templates of any kind, even the most basic, make sure you have done your research on the company offering the legal templates. Is the company well-established, experienced, trustworthy and meticulous? If not or if you cannot tell, it is best to steer clear. Contracts are legally binding documents that may obligate you to take action, limit your ability to take action, impose potential liabilities or limit the liability of other parties to the legal agreement. As a result, legal contracts are not to be filled out, signed and entered into lightly. If you are not absolutely sure that the company providing the legal templates is completely legitimate,please don’t use the legal templates.

But if after your research is complete you determine that the legal templates are legally sound, as is the company providing them, you may proceed cautiously under certain circumstances. If you have filled out similar legal contract forms numerous times and know exactly what you’re looking for, it may be worth the risk to go with free legal templates. It may also be a fiscally sound idea to fill out the free legal templates and then to have your attorney check over your work. That way, you will not be charged for the time it would take your attorney to draft the contract and negotiate any base terms, but you will be able to trust that you are entering into a fair and legally sound agreement after your attorney has taken minimal time to review the contract itself.

When Not to Use Free Contract Templates

As previously mentioned, the consequences of entering into a legally binding agreement, without first ensuring that it is fair and complete, can lead to devastating consequences. As a result, it is generally a good idea to avoid free contract templates completely, unless you have your work reviewed by your attorney. Whether you are entering into a freelance employment position or buying a house, signing a contract binds you to a legal agreement that can generally be enforced in court. Complex or straightforward, please consider having any free legal template you ultimately choose to use reviewed by an attorney.

Legal Assistance that Doesn’t Break the Bank

LawTrades offers free contract templates that you can trust. And if the contract you need to execute is too complex for a free legal template, we also offer legal contract services. The contract-related services at LawTrades may not be free, but they are affordable, efficient and effective. If you have either filled out a legal template and would like it reviewed, are unsure whether you should use a legal template or would like contract services “from scratch,” please reach out to our team for your legal needs. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that you either entered into a fair agreement or avoided an unfair one cannot be underestimated.