Are You Legally Healthy?

Doctors recommend periodic checkups. Cars need regular exams. Is there a similar “checkup” for legal matters? Yes, a “legal checkup,” which is often called “preventive law.” Getting a legal checkup can keep you in good legal health and save you a lot of money by finding small legal problems before they get worse, solving them early and stopping other problems before they occur.

What is a legal checkup? It is a review, with your lawyer, of your most important legal matters and of areas where you can take steps to avoid problems. Like illnesses, many legal problems can be cured or even avoided if found early.

There are several steps in a legal checkup. The first is collecting important legal papers (see below for more information on which papers to keep). Just locating important papers can help prevent future trouble. So can discovering that one or more is missing. Reviewing papers can remind you of things you’ve forgotten to do or of questions to ask.

The next step in your legal checkup is analyzing your current legal situation in light of your goals. Some areas you will want to pay particular attention to are...

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