Written by attorney, Susan Page

All the attorneys at LegalShield talk to members who signed legal documents before they called LegalShield.  Often we can clarify the meaning of a contract, or explain the member’s rights and obligations under the contract.   Many times, however, the opinion we give is an unexpected or unwelcome one.  (If you were unable to call us before signing, however, don’t despair.  Call us anyway, because there may still be a way out.) 


For this reason, we all want to say, “Please, next time call us before you sign it.”  That’s what we’re here for.  This is harder to remember than it used to be because now we often “sign” things by clicking a button on our screens.  But the principle still applies: call us first before you accept terms and conditions that may affect your rights or your money. 


Most people don’t call lawyers before they sign legal documents because they can’t afford either the money or the time to do it.  But LegalShield members already have lawyers on call and only have to wait a fairly short time before getting legal advice.


Here are a couple of stories from members who did call us first.  One of our LegalShield members was asked to co-sign on an apartment for a young relative who was in school in another state.  This can often result in the co-signer owing a significant amount in damages when the young person is unable to continue paying on the lease and leaves before it expires, and we often advise against it. But, after we reviewed our member’s financial situation and the likelihood of the relative defaulting on the rent, the member decided that this was a reasonable risk to take.  The member made that decision, however, after considering all the risks. 


A member from another state wanted to rent a home in New Mexico to tenants who are lawyers.  The potential tenants made some changes to a lease we had reviewed for the member a year or so ago, and he wanted to know if they were legal under New Mexico law.  We reviewed the lease for him and made a few suggestions about changes that will make this a win-win solution for both parties.


So remember that document review is one of our services, and we’d much rather review documents before you sign them.  Because, most of the time, if you sign it, you’re bound by it.  When you call us first, you’ll never need to ask if your situation gives you that kind of out.  You’ll get the benefit of legal advice when you need it, before you sign your rights or your money away.