All you need to know about DIY Legal Templates

Ashley Long
Last Updated:

13 Jan 2023

Published On:

4 Aug 2022

min read

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Protect your legal rights. Use proper legal documents that you can create yourself.


Read more to learn about what DIY legal templates are, why you should use them and how to find the right one for your needs.


What are DIY legal templates?


Individuals or businesses may generate legal documents with a do-it-yourself (or DIY) template. These templates are offered by various platforms, which are often online. Users are usually required to fill in details pertaining to their specific needs with a questionnaire, and can easily download a system-completed legal document ready for their every use. 


Why should you use a DIY legal template?



1. Save time and money



DIY legal templates offer inexpensive but holistic protection for individuals. Businesses do not have to spend a substantial sum in order to create a contract that fits their needs. Users receiving a DIY legal template will receive a detailed skeleton of a legal contract. Since it is not completed with the user’s relevant information and requires users to fill in the details on their own, DIY legal templates are often much less costly than completed legal contracts.


Not to mention, rolling up your sleeves and getting a legal document done by yourself is significantly less time-consuming than seeking assistance from legal professionals. Legal documents can be done on your own time and produced within the hour. 




2. Customisable and simple



One of the biggest advantages of DIY legal templates is the versatility of documents. As mentioned, a DIY template provides users with a skeleton of a legal contract. Hence, users can fill in the templates with information specific to their relevant needs and preferences. This is beneficial for individuals and businesses who perform unique business functions since they can customise a DIY legal template to accurately fit their requirements. 


Furthermore, DIY legal templates are easy to comprehend. Say goodbye to the hassle of wading through pages of dense legalese. Platforms offering DIY legal templates, such DocPro, simply require you to fill in a questionnaire with your details. Your details will be automatically transferred into the legal document you are creating by the system. 




3. Widely available



DIY legal templates are easily accessible. Since the templates are not intended to have already been completed for an individual user, many platforms offer a big selection of DIY legal templates for users to choose from.


DocPro’s database is well-equipped with a wide array of DIY legal templates for you to choose from. Simply search the name of the document you are looking for or related keywords to gain easy access to your desired DIY legal template.



4. Be well-prepared



Be well-prepared in all situations by having legal templates in your arsenal. With any business venture or transaction, unforeseen circumstances inevitably arise. It is useful to have different templates that can be used to your advantage so you can maintain the upper hand and protect your business interests.  



Who should use DIY legal templates (and when)?


Developing your business can be a challenging process. It may be pricey and time-consuming to even start up a business in the first instance. Businesses may find that using DIY legal templates will not place a dent in their resources, and they are given the fair opportunity to protect their legal interests. For small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) which do not possess substantial funding and may face multiple obstacles in taking out bank loans, the idea of seeking costly legal advice from professionals seems daunting. Therefore, using DIY legal templates is especially useful for SMEs. 


Every individual or business can benefit from using DIY legal templates. They may be useful in establishing business relationships and solidifying verbal agreements, or in the event of unforeseen circumstances where parties wish to protect their legal interests. 



How to find the right legal template?



1. Evaluate your specific needs



Each individual and business will have unique requirements. First, it is essential to identify what your business requires. DIY legal templates can take many shapes and forms to fit any business need and situation and you should pinpoint which specific template would best serve your needs. 


For example, employers can use an employment agreement to outline employment terms, benefits and restrictions, and detail the job description, period of employment and remuneration. Depending on whether the employer wishes to hire a junior-level or senior-level employee, employers can choose either an employment agreement for junior/mid-level staff or an employment agreement for senior employees.


Company directors can use a template for the board minutes of meetings of directors to state details of a specific board meeting and various resolutions that have been established. For instance, depending on whether the meeting was about the approval of a transaction, issuance of dividends or about the transfer of shares, directors can choose the template that matches their meeting to draft their board minutes. 


DocPro offers a thorough selection of DIY legal templates. See what the most popular contracts and documents of 2021 on DocPro are. 



2. Review the document you are about to use



Using a DIY legal template is a quick and inexpensive process, especially in the digitalised era, where DIY legal templates are easily accessible. However, when it comes to creating legal documents, relying on DIY legal templates blindly could be disastrous. No two persons or businesses are exactly alike. Different legal templates are applicable to different situations and there is no one size fits all solution to the legal requirements of your business. Therefore, it is crucial to review whether the DIY legal template covers the different nuances of your situation. 


For example, for non-disclosure agreements (or NDAs), be sure to differentiate between a unilateral NDA/Confidentiality Agreement for Employment, a unilateral NDA/Confidentiality Agreement for a Business, and a three-way Mutual NDA/Confidentiality Agreement for a Business.



Frequently Asked Questions



1. How customisable is a DIY legal template?



The extent to which a DIY legal template is customisable depends on the specific platform that is being used to generate the contract. Typically, the following items may be customised according to your needs:

    • Party details: the names of the parties involved with the transaction and their relevant details, such as their addresses and contact information.
    • Service fees: the agreed remuneration for the service or transaction that will be carried out and specific details of how such fees shall be paid, e.g. monthly payments via bank transfer.
    • Termination policy: whether each party may terminate the contract and how much advance notice should be provided to the other party before termination of the contract. 
    • Period of engagement: the time period which a party will be engaged in the service or transaction that is being carried out, e.g. the duration of time which a contractor for services has agreed to carry out the specific services for a client.
    • Obligations: the responsibilities and undertakings that have been agreed to. 


2. Is a DIY legal template legally binding?



In theory, a legal document that has been generated from customising a DIY legal template is legally binding as long as it has met the requirements for a legally binding contract. A valid contract typically contains six elements:

    • Intention to create legal relations: the presumption that contracting parties intended to create a legally binding contract.
    • Offer: the expression of readiness to do something. For instance, when a caterer states that it is willing and ready to attend an event and provide catering services.  
    • Acceptance: when the offer is accepted by the person to whom the offer is addressed. Some DIY legal templates provide a section for both parties to sign and express agreement to the stipulated terms.
    • Consideration: a benefit given to the other party, often taking the form of money, goods or services.
    • Capacity: the ability of a party to enter into a contract. 
    • Certainty: the completeness of the agreement, which generally means the contract must not be vague or ambiguous. 

Please note that this is a general summary of the position under common law and does not constitute legal advice. As the laws of each jurisdiction may be different, you may wish to consult your lawyer.

Ashley Long

Ashley is a Legal Writer at DocPro. Ashley is responsible for the optimization of the blogs, selection of the legal topics, and reaching out to lawyers for their contribution. Ashley is currently completing a law degree at a leading university. If you would like to become a blog contributor to DocPro, please click the link below:

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