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6th edition
101 Law
Forms for
Personal Use
By Attorneys Ralph Warner & Robin Leonard
with the editors of Nolo
Sixth Edition
november 2007
Editor
emily doskow
Cover Design
susan putney
Production
margaret livingston
Proofreader
emily k. wolman
CD-ROM Preparation
Ellen Bitter
Index
ellen sherron
Printing
Delta printing solutions, inc.
Warner, Ralph E.
101 law forms for personal use / by Ralph Warner & Robin Leonard ; with the
editors of Nolo. -- 6th ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4133-0712-2 (pbk.)
ISBN-10: 1-4133-0712-4 (pbk.)
1. Forms (Law)--United States--Popular works. I. Leonard, Robin. II. Title. III.
Title: One hundred one law forms for ­personal use. IV. Title: One hundred and
one law forms for personal use.
KF170.L46 2007
347.73'55--dc22
2207018036
Copyright © 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2007 by Nolo.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Printed in the u.s.a.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission.
Reproduction prohibitions do not apply to the forms ­contained in this product when reproduced for personal use.
Quantity sales: For information on bulk purchases or corporate premium sales, please contact the Special Sales
Department. For academic sales or textbook adoptions, ask for Academic Sales. Call 800-955-4775 or write to
Nolo, 950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.
Acknowledgments
This book is a compilation and modification of some of the forms that exist in several
other Nolo publications, plus several new ones. It couldn’t have been written without the
editorial assistance and support of Nolo’s editorial department, particularly: Ilona Bray,
Cathy Caputo, Amy DelPo, Emily Doskow, Steve Elias, Diana Fitzpatrick, Lisa Guerin,
Ella Hirst, Shae Irving, Beth McKenna, Shannon Miehe, Janet Portman, Mary Randolph,
Barbara Kate Repa, Alayna Schroeder, Betsy Simmons, and Marcia Stewart. Thanks to
Teresa Bruns for her research assistance. Terri Hearsh labored long and hard to make the
book both attractive and functional. Mari Stein provided the wonderful artwork.
For the Fifth Edition, many thanks are due to John Lamb, whose work on Chapters
7, 8, 10, and 11 was invaluable. For the Sixth Edition as well as all previous editions,
Nolo’s Applications Development Department, represented by André Zivkovich and Ellen
Bitter, did a great job making the forms in this book consistent and sensible.
Table of Contents
to Use This Book
I How
Filling in the Contracts and Forms.....................................................................................3
Editing the Forms........................................................................................................................4
Describing People, Property, and Events........................................................................5
Signing the Forms........................................................................................................................7
Resolving Disputes......................................................................................................................8
Do You Need a Lawyer?........................................................................................................ 10
Authority to Care for Children, Pets, and Property
1 Delegating
Form 1: Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor................12
Form 2: Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment...................................... 13
Form 3: Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor........................................ 14
Form 4: Housesitting Instructions................................................................................... 14
Form 5: Children’s Carpool Agreement........................................................................ 15
Form 6: Pet Care Agreement.............................................................................................. 16
Form 7: Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle.................................................... 16
Form 8: Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)................................. 17
Form 9: Power of Attorney for Real Estate................................................................. 21
Form 10: Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney.......................................... 25
Estate Planning
2 Basic
Form 11: Property Worksheet........................................................................................... 28
Form 12: Beneficiary Worksheet...................................................................................... 29
Forms 13 and 14: Basic Wills............................................................................................... 30
Form 13: Will for Adult With No Child(ren)............................................................. 32
Form 14: Will for Adult With Child(ren)..................................................................... 32
to Do After a Death: Documents for Executors
3 Things
Form 16: Request for Death Certificate........................................................................ 36
Form 17: Notice to Creditor of Death........................................................................... 37
Form 18: Executor’s Checklist............................................................................................ 38
Form 19: General Notice of Death ................................................................................ 38
Form 20: Obituary Information Fact Sheet................................................................ 39
Form 21: Notice to Deceased’s Homeowners’ Insurance Company ........... 40
Form 22: Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company .......................... 40
a Place to Live
4 Renting
Form 23: Apartment-Finding Service Checklist....................................................... 44
Form 24: Rental Application.............................................................................................. 45
Form 25: Fixed-Term Residential Lease and
Form 26: Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement......................... 46
Form 27: Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease.............................. 48
Form 28: Consent to Assignment of Lease................................................................. 49
Form 29: Landlord-Tenant Checklist.............................................................................. 49
Form 30: Notice of Needed Repairs................................................................................ 50
Form 31: Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out................................................... 51
Form 32: Demand for Return of Security Deposit................................................. 51
or Lending Money
5 Borrowing
Form 33: Loan Comparison Worksheet....................................................................... 54
Form 34: Authorization to Check Credit and Employee References........... 54
Form 35: Monthly Payment Record............................................................................... 56
Forms 36–40: Promissory Notes...................................................................................... 56
Form 36: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest............... 58
Form 37: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With
Interest and Balloon Payment...................................................................................... 59
Form 38: Promissory Note—Installment Payments Without Interest........ 60
Form 39: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment With Interest.................. 60
Form 40: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment Without Interest........... 61
Form 41: Cosigner Provision............................................................................................... 61
Forms 42–45: Security Agreements............................................................................... 61
Form 42: Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note......................... 62
Form 43: Security Agreement............................................................................................ 63
Form 44: U.C.C. Financing Statement............................................................................ 63
Form 45: Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement.................................................... 64
Form 46: Agreement to Modify Promissory Note................................................. 64
Form 47: Overdue Payment Demand........................................................................... 65
Form 48: Demand to Make Good on Bad Check................................................... 65
a House
6 Buying
Form 49: Ideal House Profile.............................................................................................. 68
Form 50: House Priorities Worksheet........................................................................... 69
Form 51: House Comparison Worksheet.................................................................... 70
Form 52: Family Financial Statement............................................................................ 70
Form 53: Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet.......................................................... 73
Form 54: Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet................................................... 74
Form 55: Moving Checklist................................................................................................. 78
or Selling a Car, Dog, or Other Personal Property
7 Buying
Form 56: Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale................................................................................ 80
Form 57: Boat Bill of Sale...................................................................................................... 81
Form 58: Computer System Bill of Sale........................................................................ 82
Form 59: General Bill of Sale............................................................................................... 82
Form 60: Bill of Sale for Dog............................................................................................... 83
Personal Property and Storing Goods
8 Renting
Form 61: Personal Property Rental Agreement....................................................... 86
Form 62: Notice of Termination of Personal Property
Rental Agreement............................................................................................................... 87
Form 63: Storage Contract.................................................................................................. 87
Repairs and Maintenance
9 Home
Form 64: Home Maintenance Agreement.................................................................. 91
Form 65: Home Repairs Agreement............................................................................... 92
Form 66: Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet.................................................................... 92
Personal Finances
10 Handling
Form 67: Daily Expenses....................................................................................................... 96
Form 68: Monthly Income................................................................................................... 97
Form 69: Monthly Budget.................................................................................................... 97
Form 70: Statement of Assets and Liabilities............................................................ 98
Form 71: Assignment of Rights......................................................................................... 98
Form 72: Notice to Terminate Joint Account........................................................... 99
Form 73: Notice to Stop Payment of Check............................................................100
Form 74: Request for Credit Report.............................................................................101
Form 75: Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry...................................................102
Form 76: Dispute Credit Card Charge.........................................................................103
Form 77: Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact........................................104
With Junk Mail and Telemarketing Calls
11 Dealing
Form 78: Notice to Remove Name From List..........................................................107
Form 79: Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It...............109
Form 80: Telemarketing Phone Call Log....................................................................109
Form 81: Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List.................110
Form 82: Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls.............................................111
Child Care, Elder Care, or Household Help
12 Hiring
Form 83: Child Care Agreement.....................................................................................116
Form 84: Child Care Instructions...................................................................................118
Form 85: Elder Care Agreement.....................................................................................119
Form 86: Housekeeping Services Agreement..........................................................119
Together
13 Living
Form 87: Agreement to Keep Property Separate..................................................122
Form 88: Agreement for a Joint Purchase.................................................................123
Form 89: Agreement to Share Property.....................................................................124
Form 90: Declaration of Legal Name Change.........................................................125
Legal Disputes
14 Settling
Form 91: Demand Letter....................................................................................................128
Form 92: Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter...................................................129
Form 93: Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty...........130
Form 94: Accident Claim Worksheet..........................................................................132
Forms 95–100: Releases......................................................................................................132
Form 95: General Release...................................................................................................134
Form 96: General Mutual Release..................................................................................135
Form 97: Release for Damage to Real Estate............................................................135
Form 98: Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident...............................135
Form 99: Release for Personal Injury............................................................................135
Form 100: Mutual Release of Contract Claims.......................................................136
Forms for Personal Use
15 Miscellaneous
Form 101: Complaint Letter.............................................................................................138
Form 102: Notice of Insurance Claim..........................................................................139
Form 103: Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts......................................................140
Form 104: Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice....................................141
Form 105: Request to Begin Special Education Process....................................142
Form 106: Identity Theft Worksheet...........................................................................143
A: How to Use the CD-ROM
A Appendix
Installing the Form Files Onto Your Computer.....................................................148
Using the Word Processing Files to Create Documents....................................148
List of Files Included on the CD-ROM........................................................................151
B Appendix B: Tear-Out Forms..............................................................................155
Index...........................................................................................................................................355
I
introduction
How to Use This Book
Filling in the Contracts and Forms......................................................................................................3
Editing the Forms..........................................................................................................................................4
Selecting From Several Choices.......................................................................................................4
Deleting Clauses or Phrases...............................................................................................................4
Adding Clauses or Language.............................................................................................................5
Describing People, Property, and Events.........................................................................................5
Signing the Forms.........................................................................................................................................7
Notarization...............................................................................................................................................7
Spouse’s Signature..................................................................................................................................7
Resolving Disputes.......................................................................................................................................8
Do You Need a Lawyer?.......................................................................................................................... 10
2 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
his book provides more than 100
ready-to-use forms and contracts for a
variety of everyday legal and practical
transactions that most Americans can safely
handle without formal legal help. Among the
forms included are those necessary to write a
simple will, settle minor legal disputes, prepare
a power of attorney document, lend or borrow
money, rent a place to live, request your credit
report, and sell a used car. Forms are also
included to hire someone to do home repairs, to
care for your c­ hildren, and for a variety of other
purposes.
Many of the forms in this book are ­primarily
­designed for your personal use, such as the
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist or Loan
Comparison Worksheet. But other forms, such
as the Elder Care Agreement, are contracts,
designed for two or more parties to create a
legally enforceable agreement. Unlike com­
mercial contracts used to buy a house or sign up
with a health maintenance organization, which
almost always consist of pages full of hyped-up
legalese, the ­contracts in this book are written
in everyday (but legal) language. They are
designed to describe and define a transaction,
such as designating a temporary guardian
for your child, with a reasonable level of
­specificity—without sacrificing the important
virtues of clarity and ­simplicity.
Don’t worry that because our contracts are
jargon-free, they might be less valid than others.
In general, as long as two parties—business
entities or people—exchange promises to each
do something of benefit for the other, a valid
contract is formed. A ­contract will usually
be enforced as long as all of the following
requirements are met:
• The terms are specific enough. The contract
must be clear and detailed enough so that
an arbitrator or judge can sensibly decide
who is right. For example, a house painting
agreement that says “John the Painter
The Importance of Getting Contracts in Writing
The most important rule when making any
business agreement or transaction is this: Get it
in writing. In a few situations—such as a contract
to buy or sell real estate—you must have a
written agreement for it to be legally enforceable.
Similarly, a contract that can’t be performed
within one year of when it’s made must be
written.
But even when an oral contract is legal, there
are many practical reasons why you want to write
it down. Two years from now, you and the other
people involved in any transaction are likely to
have significantly different recollections about what
you agreed to. So putting your agreement into
black and white is an important memory aid.
And a well-drafted contract has several other
­important benefits. For one, it serves as a
framework for ­settling disputes. If this proves
impossible and a court contest ensues, it will be
far easier to prove the terms of a written contract
than an oral one.
Another important benefit of drafting a written
agreement is that the act of putting a contract
­together can help you and the other parties
focus on all key legal and practical issues, some of
which might otherwise be overlooked. By starting
this process with a well-designed form—like
those in this book—you increase your chances of
creating a thorough and useful document.
introduction | how to use this book | 3
shall paint Sally the Home­owner’s house”
provides so little guidance that it is next
to worthless and probably would not be
enforced. At the very least, to be enforceable
the contract should state how much John
is to be paid for his work. Of course, you’ll
want to go beyond creating a contract that
defines who and what is involved to create
one that anticipates problems likely to
arise under it. To be of real value, it should
include key details such as the type and
color of paint to be used, the work schedule,
how and when payment is to be made, and
what happens if John and Sally disagree
about a key issue.
• The contract is for a legal purpose. A ­contract
formed to accomplish something that the
law prohibits is not enforceable in a court.
For instance, if two people who sign a
contract to transfer an illegal gambling
operation later have a falling out, the
agreement will not be enforced by a judge.
• Enforcement would not be grossly unfair.
The ­contracts you make using the forms
in this book are u
­ nlikely to be challenged
on the grounds of fairness. But in extreme
situations, if a contract is both unfair and
the result of one party’s superior bargaining
position (such as a one-sided premarital
agreement between a ­millionaire and an
unsophisticated recent ­immigrant), a court
might not enforce it. If you keep in mind
that the best contracts substantially benefit
both parties, you will have no problems.
Filling in the
Contracts and Forms
The forms in this book are designed to be used
as needed; we don’t expect you to read the book
from start to finish. But we do ask one thing:
Read this introduction, all of the introductory
material at the beginning of any c­ hapter from
which you will use a form, and the instructions
for completing the form itself.
You can use the forms provided in this book
in at least three ways:
1. Use the Forms CD-ROM. All the forms are
c­ ontained on the accompanying disk. If
you have access to a computer, the most
efficient approach is to fill in and print a
desired form using the computer’s wordprocessing program, customizing the form
as needed.
2. Use the tear-out form. You can certainly get
the job done the old-fashioned way—by
­photocopying a form out of the book and
­filling it in with a typewriter or pen. Don’t,
however, use the original tear-out form
from the book, or you’ll be left without a
clean copy. Although you’ll be fine filling
in some forms for your personal use by
hand, such as the Property Worksheet,
we suggest that you type the agreements
whenever possible. While ­typing is not
legally required, a printed ­document
usually carries more weight than a
handwritten one and is more legible. But
if convenience or cost dictates that you fill
a c­ ontract or form in by hand, do it neatly
and you should be fine.
caution
You must retype the tear-out will. As
explained in Chapter 2, you cannot just tear out the
will form, fill it in, and sign it. Instead, use the disk
that comes with this book (or a typewriter if you
don’t have access to a computer) to prepare a fresh
will that contains only the clauses you want. If you
are writing a will, be sure to read the instructions
in Chapter 2 carefully, including how wills must be
signed and witnessed.
4 | 101 LAW FORMS FOR PERSONAL USE
3. Usetheformsinthisbooktoevaluate
similarformsandcontracts.if someone
drafts a contract and presents it to you to
sign, you can use a corresponding form
in this book as a checklist to make sure
that the proposed contract has all the
recommended ingredients. if it doesn’t,
use the form in this book as a model to
suggest modifications or additions.
Editing the Forms
many of the forms in this book may meet your
needs perfectly. all you will need to do is fill in
a few blanks and sign it. but for some forms,
you’ll want to make some changes—such as
adding or deleting language or clauses. here’s
how.
Selecting From Several Choices
many of our forms contain one or more clauses
requiring that you choose among several
options, such as the method of payment for
the work being performed under a home
repairs agreement or Child Care agreement
(see sample below). when you see a clause like
this, simply check the correct box on the tearout form and provide any requested additional
information.
on several of our forms, you may encounter
some slightly awkward language, such as
yes no or “his/hers.” in either case,
you can easily clean the form up by deleting
words that don’t apply or substituting more
appropriate language (assuming you’re using
the forms on disk). if you’re filling in a tear-out
form, leaving the unneeded words in will not
affect the validity of the contract. if you prefer,
however, you can ink out the portion that does
not apply.
Deleting Clauses or Phrases
Some individual clauses or phrases in our
forms and agreements may not apply to your
situation. if you are using the forms on the disk,
making changes is easy—simply delete those
clauses and renumber the remaining clauses as
appropriate.
Example of Clause With Several Options (Clause 2 of Home Repairs Agreement)
2. Payment
In exchange for the work specified in Clause 1, Homeowner agrees to pay Contractor as follows
[choose one and check appropriate boxes]:
$________________, payable upon completion of the specified work by
$________________, payable by
cash
cash
check.
check as follows:
________________% payable when the following occurs: _______________________________
________________% payable when the following occurs: _______________________________
________________% payable when the following occurs: _______________________________ .
$ _______________per hour for each hour of work performed, up to a maximum of $ _________ ,
payable at the following times and in the following manner: _______________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________ .
InTRODUCTIOn | HOW TO USE THIS BOOK | 5
if you are using the tear-out forms, draw
lines through the clause you want to delete and
have all parties put their initials next to it. if
you are deleting a complete clause, you’ll need
to renumber the clauses to avoid confusion.
For example, if you do not want your lease to
include a clause on extended absences of tenants
(Clause 16 of Form 25, Fixed-term residential
lease), make the modifications as shown below.
Adding Clauses or Language
adding extra terms to a contract is easy if you’re
using the forms on disk: Simply add the new
language or clauses and renumber the remaining
clauses as appropriate.
if you are using the tear-out forms, and want
to add words to a clause, use the space provided.
if we didn’t leave enough room, or if you
want to add a new clause, you should prepare
a separate addendum sheet or attachment. See
“how to prepare an attachment page,” below,
for details.
CAUTIOn
Be sure your changes are clear, easy to
understand,andlegal. If you add a list of property
or work specifications to a contract, your contract
should still be fine. But if you delete one of our
clauses and substitute your own, make sure your
language is easy to understand, free of ambiguity,
and consistent with the rest of the contract. Also,
if you have any doubt about the legal validity of
language you want to add or delete—especially if
significant amounts of money or property, or the
personal rights of the other person are involved—
have the changes checked by a lawyer.
DescribingPeople,
Property, and Events
Some forms ask you to name people or describe
events or property. here’s the best way to do
this.
People.where you are asked to insert the
name, address, and other identifying information for a person, use that person’s legal name—
the name on a driver’s license—and home street
Example of How to Delete a Clause (Clause 16 of Form 25, Fixed-Term Residential Lease)
6 | 101 law forms for personal use
How to Prepare an Attachment Page
If you need to add anything to a tear-out copy of
one of the forms or agreements in this book, take
the following steps.
1.If you want to add words to a clause and there
is not enough space to insert the new language
into the specific clause of the agreement, you
can refer to it as an attachment by adding
the words: “Clause [number] continued on
Attachment A [or B or C and so on] of [name
agreement or form]”.
Example: Clause 1 of the General Bill of Sale
provides space for you to list the items you’re
selling. If there is not enough room to list all
these items on the tear-out, write the words
“Clause 1 Continued on Attachment A of the
General Bill of Sale.”
Similarly, if you want to add a new clause,
insert the words “Agreement Continued on
­Attachment A of [name agreement or form]”
after the last clause of the agreement and before
the place where the agreement gets signed.
address. If a person ­commonly uses two names
(not including a nickname), include both, for
example, “Alison Johnson, aka Alison WalkerJohnson.”
Property. To identify property, such as a
defective computer you’re returning with a
Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under
Warranty (Form 93), be as specific as you
can. There are no magic words. Your goal is
simply to identify the property clearly so that
no misunderstanding will arise later. Normally,
this means listing the make, model, type, color,
identifying number if the item has one, and any
Use a ­separate attachment each time you
need more room.
2.Make your own Attachment form, using a
sheet of blank white 8½” by 11” paper. At the
top of the form, write “Attachment A [or B
or C and so on] to [name agreement or form]
between [insert names of all parties]” for the
first attachment, and so on. Then add the
words “a continuation of [name clause]” if
you’re continuing a clause, or “an addition to,” if
you’re adding a new clause.
Example: “Attachment A to General Bill of
Sale between Beth Spencer and Rich Portman.
A continuation of Clause 1.”
3.Type or print the additional information on the
attachment.
4.Have both parties sign or initial the ­attachment
at the bottom of each page.
5.Staple all attachments to the end of the main
agreement or form.
other identifying characteristics that come to
mind. For instance, if you are requesting repair
of a computer under ­warranty, you might say
“Dell Inspiron 5500 laptop, ID # 445556, 30
GB hard disk.”
Events. Take a similar approach when describ­
ing events, such as payment for a house­cleaner
(Form 86). As long as you identify the date,
time (if appropriate), and location, and include
a clear description of what happened or what is
supposed to happen, your description should
be adequate.
introduction | how to use this book | 7
Signing the Forms
Each form has specific signing instructions,
including who must sign, how many copies to
make, whether or not notarization is required or
recommended, and any requirements for a spouse
to sign or for witnesses.
caution
Always keep your signed copy in a
safe place, along with any related documents
or correspondence. You may need this at some
point—for ­example, if you end up in court over a
dispute ­concerning an agreement or contract.
Notarization
Where we suggest that you have the document
­notarized, we have included a notary certificate
at the end of the form. Notarization means that
a person ­authorized as a notary public certifies
in writing that:
•You’re the person you claim to be, and
•You’ve acknowledged under oath signing the
document.
Very few legal documents need to be
notarized or witnessed. Notarization and
witnessing are usually limited to documents,
such as a power of attorney involving real
estate, that are going to be recorded at a public
office charged with keeping such records
—for example, a county land records office
or ­registrar of deeds. Occasionally—but very
rarely—state laws require witnesses or notaries
to sign other types of documents.
If you want to have a form notarized,
everyone who has to sign the form must appear
together in front of the notary. The notary will
want proof of your identity, such as a driver’s
license that bears your photo and signature. The
notary will watch each of you sign (or, in some
circumstances, you can simply acknowledge
that you signed the document already) and
then will complete an acknowledgment,
including a notarial seal. A few states have
special requirements for notarization language.
For example, Alaska uses the term “Judicial
District” instead of “County,” and Montana
requires notaries to include their place of
residence when they acknowledge a document.
Notaries in your state will know the rules and
can provide a different certificate, if necessary.
A sample of typical notarization language (used
in California and included on the power of
attorney forms in Chapter 1) is shown below.
You can often find a notary at a bank, lawyer’s
office, real estate office, or title insurance
office. Most charge under $20 for notarizing a
document. In some states, if you are notarizing
a document that relates to real estate, you
will have to allow the notary to take your
thumbprint.
tip
Notarization is always an option. If there
is no mention of notarization in the signing instructions
for a form, it is not required or recommended.
However, even if we don’t suggest you have a form
notarized, you may choose to—simply because it
adds a measure of legal credibility.
Spouse’s Signature
If you’ll be asked to sign a contract, such as a
promissory note, that makes you liable for a
debt, the other person may ask that your spouse
sign as well. This is most likely to happen,
for example, if you’re borrowing money to
buy property that both spouses will use or to
help ­finance a new business venture. For more
details, see the discussion of promissory notes in
Chapter 5.
8 | 101 LAW FORMS FOR PERSONAL USE
Sample notarization Language
CertificateofAcknowledgmentofNotaryPublic
State of ________________________________________
ss
County of _____________________________________
On
,
, before me, ___________________________________ ,
personally appeared
, personally known to me (or proved to me on
the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument,
and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies) and that by
his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument, the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted,
executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _________________________________
My commission expires ______________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
Resolving Disputes
Sadly, at some point you may have a legal
dispute involving one of the forms or contracts
in this book. For example, maybe your partner
reneges on an agreement to share property
(Form 85) when you split up, or you’re upset
because your dogsitter acted contrary to your
pet care agreement (Form 4). one way to
resolve a dispute is through a court fight. This
is usually a bad way, given that lawsuits and
trials are typically expensive, prolonged, and
emotionally draining. it usually makes far more
sense to attempt to resolve disputes through
other means, including the following:
Informalnegotiation. The parties to the dispute
try to voluntarily work out their differences
through open discussions, which often result in
each compromising a little to put the matter to
rest. it may make sense to have a trusted mutual
friend informally negotiate an agreement.
Mediation.The parties try to achieve a
voluntary settlement with the help of a neutral
third party, a mediator. with mediation, the
two of you get together to talk face to face
about your disagreements, with the mediator
working to help you communicate so that you
can craft your own solution. no one has the
power to impose a solution with mediation—
rather, you must work out your own agreement
voluntarily. mediation is inexpensive, quick,
confidential, and effective the majority of
the time. depending on your situation, you
may want to contact a community mediation
agency that offers mediation, usually by trained
community volunteers.
InTRODUCTIOn | HOW TO USE THIS BOOK | 9
Arbitration. if mediation fails to resolve a
dispute, arbitration is the next best choice.
with arbitration, the parties allow a neutral
third party, an arbitrator, to arrive at a binding
decision in order to resolve the dispute.
normally, the decision is solely up to the
arbitrator and the parties agree beforehand
to abide by the arbitrator’s decision. in some
situations, however, the parties establish certain
rules in advance of the arbitration—for
example, a limit on the amount of money
that can be awarded. where limits are set by
the parties, the arbitrator is bound by them.
arbitration is almost always speedier and
usually much less expensive than litigation.
ideally, you’d like to be able to settle disputes
informally. unfortunately, however, even when
everyone tries in good faith, they don’t always
reach a compromise. Therefore, a dispute
resolution clause (see the one shown below)
lets you agree in advance on a framework
mandating mediation and arbitration for
resolving disputes. This dispute resolution clause
is already in several of the forms in this book.
if it’s not on a particular form, and you want
to add it, you can find it in the Cd-rom file
DISPUTE. to add the dispute clause, simply
follow the directions in “Editing the Forms,”
above, about adding a clause.
Dispute Clause
Disputes
[choose one]
Litigation. If a dispute arises, any party may take the matter to court.
MediationandPossibleLitigation. If a dispute arises, the parties will try in good faith to settle it
through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
_______________________________________________ [name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
The parties will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days
after it is referred to the mediator, any party may take the matter to court.
MediationandPossibleArbitration. If a dispute arises, the parties will try in good faith to settle it
through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
_______________________________________________ [name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
The parties will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days
after it is referred to the mediator, it will be arbitrated by [choose one].
_______________________________________________ [name of arbitrator].
an arbitrator to be mutually selected.
The arbitrator’s decision will be binding and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any
court that has jurisdiction over the matter. Costs of arbitration, including lawyers’ fees, will be allocated
by the arbitrator.
10 | 101 law forms for personal use
This dispute resolution clause allows the
parties to make one of three choices:
• Litigation. You go to court and let a judge or
jury resolve the dispute.
• Mediation and possible litigation. You agree
to let a mediator help you reach a voluntary
settlement of the dispute. If mediation
doesn’t accomplish this goal, either of you
can take the dispute to court. You can name
the ­mediator when you prepare the form or
agree on one when the need arises.
• Mediation and possible arbitration. You start
by submitting the dispute to mediation.
If ­mediation doesn’t lead to a settlement,
you submit the dispute to arbitration. The
arbitrator makes a final decision that will
be enforced by a court, if necessary. You can
name the ­arbitrator when you prepare the
form or agree on one when the need arises.
resource
Information on mediation and other
methods of resolving disputes is available online
at www.nolo.com, under the heading “Rights &
Disputes.” An excellent source for more thorough
information is Mediate, Don’t Litigate, by Peter
Lovenheim and Lisa Guerin, available as an eBook
from www.nolo.com. If you do end up fighting a
case in court, read Represent Yourself in Court, by
Paul Bergman and Sara Berman-Barrett. If your
case is worth less than a few thousand dollars, you
may choose small claims court. In that case, see
Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court, by Ralph
Warner. All titles are published by Nolo.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Most of the contracts used in this book involve
­relatively straightforward transactions. Just as
you routinely negotiate deals to lend money to
a friend or hire someone to paint your kitchen
without formal legal help, you can just as safely
complete the basic legal paperwork needed to
record your understanding.
But like most generalizations, this one
isn’t ­always true. Creating a solid written
agreement—especially where a lot of money
or property is at stake—will occasionally mean
obtaining the advice of a lawyer. Fortunately,
even when you seek a lawyer’s help, the forms
and information included here will let you keep
a tight rein on legal fees. You’ll have gotten a
running start by learning about the legal issues
and perhaps drawing up a rough draft of the
needed document, allowing you and your
lawyer to focus on the few points that may not
be routine.
Ideally, you should find a lawyer who comes
highly recommended from personal referrals.
Look for someone who’s willing to answer a few
questions, or possibly to review a completed
contract draft, but who respects your ability
to prepare the routine paperwork. Adopting
this approach should keep the lawyer’s fee to
a minimum. For more advice on finding and
working with a lawyer, see the “Working With
a Lawyer” section under “Go to Court or
Mediate” in Nolo’s online Legal Encyclopedia
at www.nolo.com. ●
1
C H APT E R
Delegating Authority to Care for
Children, Pets, and Property
Form 1: Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor.................................12
Form 2: Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment....................................................... 13
Form 3: Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor.......................................................... 14
Form 4: Housesitting Instructions.................................................................................................... 14
Form 5: Children’s Carpool Agreement......................................................................................... 15
Form 6: Pet Care Agreement............................................................................................................... 16
Form 7: Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle..................................................................... 16
Form 8: Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)................................................... 17
Form 9: Power of Attorney for Real Estate................................................................................... 21
Form 10: Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney........................................................... 25
12 | 101 law forms for personal use
H
uman beings can be distinguished
from the rest of the animal kingdom
in one fundamental way: the ability
to reason or make decisions. Many of the
key decisions adults make affect the care of
their children, finances, and property. And
sometimes, when we know we won’t be
available to make these decisions, we appoint a
person we trust to do so. This chapter includes a
temporary guardianship authorization, a power
of attorney for finances, and several forms you
can use to delegate decision making to others in
a few ­common situations. It also includes forms
where you can provide instructions for the care
of your home and pets.
tip
When it comes to care of your children,
be sure you choose the right person. While
it’s important to prepare a sound agreement
authorizing someone to care for your children when
you can’t, your children’s interests aren’t served if you
don’t choose a good caretaker. So be sure you pick
someone you trust completely to follow your wishes
for your child’s care.
Form 1: Temporary
Guardianship Authorization
for Care of Minor
You may find it necessary to leave your child in
the care of another adult for a few days, weeks,
or months. If so, you should give the caretaker
permission to authorize medical care and make
other important decisions for your child. This
includes school-related decisions—for example,
if your child needs approval to go on a field
trip, or becomes ill and needs to be picked up
from school.
When you complete a temporary guardian­
ship authorization, you are establishing what
the law calls an “informal guardianship.” By
contrast, a f­ ormal guardianship requires court
approval and is used most often when a child
will be in a guardian’s care for a long period of
time—for example, when a young child moves
in with her grandparents because her parents
have died. A formal guardianship ­permits the
guardian to make more extensive ­decisions for a
child, such as taking the child out of one school
and registering her at another.
An informal or temporary guardianship is
most often used in these two situations:
•You will be traveling or otherwise
unavailable for a relatively short period of
time—for ­example, due to a hospital stay—
and will leave your child in another adult’s
care.
•Your child lives with you and a stepparent
who has not legally adopted your child.
­Because you travel frequently, the stepparent
commonly functions as the primary
caregiver.
If you have more than one child, you should
­prepare a separate temporary guardianship
authorization for each child.
cross reference
Authorizing medical care. When you make
a temporary guardianship authorization, you should
also consider making an “Authorization for Minor’s
Medical Treatment,“ discussed below (Form 2).
Although the temporary guardianship form gives the
temporary guardian explicit permission to authorize
medical examinations, X-rays, hospital care, and
other necessary treatments, the medical treatment
authorization form allows you to spell out your
child’s medical history and needs in more detail. The
two forms work well together. Whichever forms you
­complete, you should speak with the pediatrician’s
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 13
office so that they know that the person you name
as temporary guardian has your permission to make
health care ­decisions for your child.
Signing Instructions
The parent(s) and the temporary guardian
must sign the Temporary Guardianship
Authorization for Care of Minor before it will
be valid. Print out two copies of the form (or
enough for each person who will be signing the
form to have their own copy). The parent(s)
and the temporary guardian should sign and
date all copies of the authorization form. Give
one of the signed documents to the temporary
guardian. Keep the other signed document for
your own records and store it in a safe place.
form
This form contains a space for the
acknowledgment of a notary public. To have a
form ­notarized, you must go to the notary before
signing it. (See the introduction for general advice
on having a form notarized.) Notarization will
add a measure of legal credibility, but it isn’t always
necessary. For example, you probably don’t need to
have your temporary guardianship authorization
form notarized if you will be leaving your child with
a grandparent for a few days. But if you will be away
from your child for a long time—especially if your
child stays with a nonrelative—it’s a good idea to
visit a notary. Practically speaking, a notarized form
is likely to be more readily accepted by others.
Form 2: Authorization for
Minor’s Medical Treatment
A medical care authorization permits an adult
that you name to authorize necessary medical
or dental care for your child. This can help
you rest easier when your child is participating
in sports or other organized activity outside
of your supervision. You should provide this
authorization to any adult who will be caring
for your child when you are away, including
babysitters and temporary guardians. This form
provides details on your child’s doctor, dentist,
insurance, allergies, and ongoing medical
conditions such as diabetes or asthma, as well
as information on how to reach you while your
child is in another’s care.
If your child is participating in a specified
activity, such as a basketball league or dance
lessons, the sponsoring organization will most
likely give you its own medical authorization to
fill out. But if the ­organization doesn’t give you
a form, you should take the time to complete
this one.
Signing Instructions
You (the parent[s]) must sign the Authorization
for Minor’s Medical Treatment document for
it to be valid. Make two copies of the form
and sign and date both. Give one of the signed
documents to the person who has permission
to authorize medical treatment for your child.
Keep the other signed document for your own
records and store it in a safe place.
form
This form contains a space for the
acknowledgment of a notary public. To have a form
­notarized, you must go to the notary before signing
it. (See the introduction for general advice on having
a form notarized.) Notarization will add a measure of
legal credibility, but it isn’t always necessary. Practically
speaking, a notarized form is likely to be more readily
accepted by others.
14 | 101 law forms for personal use
Form 3: Authorization for
Foreign Travel With Minor
Your child is unlikely to be permitted to travel
outside the United States with someone other
than a ­parent or legal guardian unless the travel
companion has documentation showing the
person’s legal relationship to your child and
his authority to travel with your child. If you
are planning such a journey for your child, you
should p
­ repare an authorization for foreign
travel. This form provides necessary proof that
you have given consent for your child to leave
the country with ­another adult. It also provides
information about the child’s travel plans and
contact information for you (the parents).
If you have more than one child who
will be traveling outside the country with
another adult, you should prepare a separate
authorization form for each child.
Before your child departs for a trip with
another adult, you should check travel rules
carefully. Start by calling the embassy or
consulate for the foreign country to which your
child will be traveling. Ask whether the country
has any rules or regulations governing adults
traveling in their country with an unrelated
minor. Chances are good that the country does
not, but it’s always good to ask. If there are
special requirements, you and the child’s adult
­traveling companion can prepare for them in
­advance.
cross reference
Authorizing medical care. This form does
not permit the person traveling with your child to
authorize medical care for him or her. To ensure that
your child receives any necessary medical treatment
while traveling, you should also complete the
Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment (Form 2),
discussed just above.
Signing Instructions
You (the parent[s]) must sign the Authorization
for Foreign Travel With Minor for it to be
valid. Make two copies of the form. You and
your child’s other parent (if any) should sign
and date both ­copies of the document. If you
and your child’s other parent are divorced or
separated, you must still ­obtain the signature
of the second parent before authorizing your
child to leave the country with ­another adult.
This will eliminate the possibility that foreign
authorities will detain the travelers, suspecting a
violation of child custody laws.
Give one of the signed documents to the
person who has permission to travel with your
child. Keep the other signed document for your
own records and store it in a safe place.
form
Your foreign travel authorization should
be notarized. To have a form notarized, you must go
to the notary before signing it. (See the introduction
for general advice on having a form n
­ otarized.) The
acknowledgment of a notary public will give the
form a greater degree of legitimacy, e­ specially in
the eyes of a foreign government. This could help if
problems arise during the trip.
Form 4: Housesitting
Instructions
Many people arrange to have a relative, a friend,
or even a friend of a friend housesit while
they are away on vacation or for an extended
period of time. Even if your housesitter is quite
familiar with your home, it’s always a good idea
to provide written information about the care
and maintenance of your house. Use this form
to specify details such as what to do about mail,
newspapers, garbage, and recycling; gardening
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 15
and yard maintenance; operation of appliances,
locks, and security systems; and where you keep
supplies. Write down everything you think the
housesitter should know, including the location
of emergency gas and water shut-off valves, and
any special house rules you have, such as no
smoking. Your housesitting instructions should
also provide details on how to reach you while
you’re away as well as the names and phone
numbers of local contacts who can help with
any problems or questions, such as a neighbor
who has an extra key, your plumber, and your
insurance agent. Preparing detailed housesitting
instructions will greatly reduce the chances
of problems happening and give you peace of
mind while you’re lying in the sun many miles
from home.
cross reference
Pets, cars, and kids. If your housesitter will
be taking care of your pet or driving your car, be sure
to complete the Pet Care Agreement (Form 6) and
the Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle (Form 7).
And if your child will be staying at home, complete
Form 1, Temporary Guardianship Authorization for
Care of Minor.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the
Housesitting Instructions. Simply fill it out
and leave it with your housesitter. It’s probably
a good idea to give an extra copy to a friend or
neighbor.
Form 5: Children’s
Carpool Agreement
It’s a rare family these days that doesn’t rely
to some extent on carpooling. Whether it’s
a trip to school, lessons, clubs, or part-time
jobs, carpools make it possible for parents to
share transportation hassles and—no small
matter—have some time for their own jobs,
commitments, and even themselves.
But as any carpool-savvy parent can tell you,
there are good arrangements and there are those
that don’t work. While we can’t guarantee that
using our form will result in smooth sailing,
we can help all carpool members get off on
the right foot by getting them to record their
agreements on issues that should be discussed
and settled at the outset. In addition, our
form gives you a place to record important
information that may come in handy. Before
sharing the form with members of your pool,
think about the following issues and talk them
out; then record your conclusions on the form:
•Who will be the drivers, and are you all
satisfied that the drivers are qualified to drive
and do so safely? Is each vehicle adequately
insured?
•How will you handle the problem of
children who aren’t ready when the carpool
arrives? How long will the carpool wait? Do
you need to discuss what to do in the event
that there is no one home at the drop-off
site?
•Identify two people who can care for your
child in an emergency, as you do when
asked by your school for their records.
•Identify any special considerations that
need to be kept in mind, such as a child’s
dietary restrictions (watch those carpool
snacks), items that must be brought along
(don’t forget to check that the trumpet
comes home from the music lesson), and
personal quirks (with small children, seating
arrangements can assume monumental
importance).
16 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
After you and the other parents have made
your decisions about how to resolve the issues
raised in the Carpool Agreement, record your
conclusions in the spaces provided. Then have
each parent sign and date the document. Give
a copy of the signed agreement to each parent
and keep a copy for yourself.
caution
Unlike many of the forms in this book,
your Carpool Agreement is not a legally binding
document. If a member doesn’t live up to it, your
only recourse is to talk it over and come to a
consensus about what to do.
Form 6: Pet Care Agreement
If you’re going on a trip or will be otherwise
unable to care for your pet for a period of time,
you might leave your animal in the care of a
neighbor or friend. If you do, it’s a good idea
to make a w
­ ritten agreement describing the
arrangement and setting out clear instructions
for your pet’s care.
With this form, you can specify your pet’s
needs (including food, medication, exercise,
and grooming), veterinarian contact informa­
tion, special instructions such as vaccination
due dates, how you can be reached, how you
will reimburse the caregiver for any expenses
involved in caring for your pet, and more.
Having an agreement will greatly reduce the
chances of a ­misunderstanding that might
hurt your pet—or your relationship with the
caregiver.
If you do find yourselves involved in a
dispute, this agreement states that you and the
pet care­giver will select a mutually agreeable
third party to help you mediate the dispute
and that you will share equally any costs of
mediation. Mediation and other dispute
resolution procedures are discussed in the
introduction.
tip
Payment for pet food and vet bills.
When a friend cares for your pet, you may think it
unnecessary to pay for a few dollars’ worth of pet
food. Think again—you are already asking for a big
favor, one that is likely to be extended again only if
you are scrupulous about the ­details. Even if your
friend has several animals already and ten bags of pet
food in the garage, bring along more than enough
chow to feed your pet while you will be away, plus
some cash for unexpected e­ xpenses. Also, if your
pet is prone to illness or is recovering from an illness
or injury, arrange for payment of your vet bills in
advance or ask to be billed. Otherwise, leave your
credit card number with your vet in case your pet
needs care while you are away. Finally, make sure you
notify your vet, in writing, that your friend has the
authority to make any necessary care decisions while
you are away. Your vet may have an authorization
form for you to fill out, or may ask you to write a
simple letter authorizing the caregiver to make any
necessary decisions.
Signing Instructions
You and the caregiver must sign the Pet Care
Agreement for it to be valid. Make two copies
of the agreement. You should each sign and date
both copies. Give the caregiver one of the signed
documents and keep the other one for your own
records.
Form 7: Authorization to
Drive a Motor Vehicle
Lending your vehicle to a friend or even a
relative isn’t always as simple as handing over
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 17
the keys. If the person who borrows your car
is pulled over by the police or is involved in
an accident, it will be important to be able
to prove quickly that you agreed to lend out
your car. If the borrower can’t show that you
gave permission, there may be a delay while
police investigate whether the vehicle is stolen.
Completing this authorization form provides
the ­important legal proof that you’ve given
someone else permission to drive your vehicle.
This form provides a place to list important
­information, such as your insurance policy
number, that will help ensure that your guest
driver (and car) are taken care of in the event of
an accident or other mishap. If you want to set
any restrictions on when or where the car may
be used—for example, limiting driving to a
specific geographic area—you can do so.
This motor vehicle authorization form is
designed for a car, but it will work fine for a
motorcycle, truck, or other motor vehicle, such
as a motorboat.
Signing Instructions
You (the vehicle owner) must sign your
Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle form
to make it valid. Make two copies of the
authorization document. Sign and date both
copies. Give one of the signed originals to the
person who will be driving your car or other
vehicle. Keep the other for your own records.
Form 8: Power of Attorney
for Finances (Limited Power)
A power of attorney is a legal document in
which you give another person legal authority to
act on your behalf. In legal jargon, you’re called
“the ­principal,” and the person to whom you
give this authority is called your “attorney-in-
fact” or “agent.” In this context, “attorney” refers
to anyone authorized to act on another’s behalf;
it’s most definitely not restricted to lawyers.
Your attorney-in-fact (including any alternates
you choose to name) should be someone you
trust completely to act in your best interests—
such as a spouse, relative, or close friend—who
has enough common sense and experience to
carry out the tasks you assign.
A limited power of attorney for finances lets
you appoint an attorney-in-fact to help you
with one or more specific, clearly defined tasks
involving your finances. For example, you
may want to name a relative or close friend to
monitor certain investments—and sell them, if
necessary—while you are on vacation or in the
hospital for a short period of time. Or you may
need someone to sign business or legal papers
for you while you are unavailable.
caution
Don’t use this power of attorney to give
someone control over real estate transactions. If
you need an attorney-in-fact to sell, buy, or manage
real property for you, use Form 9, Power of Attorney
for Real Estate.
To create your limited power of attorney,
you’ll enter some basic information about you
(the “principal”) and your attorney-in-fact,
followed by the exact powers you want to
grant—such as selling your car, signing loan
papers while you’re out of town, or monitoring
your investments. Be as specific as possible—for
example, if you want someone to sell your car
for a minimum of $15,000 cash only, spell this
out. Include relevant bank account numbers
and complete descriptions of any property the
attorney-in-fact may deal with.
The power of attorney form gives your
attorney-in-fact the authority to act for you in
18 | 101 law forms for personal use
When the Power of Attorney
Begins and Ends
Your power of attorney takes effect on a date
you specify in your document. It ends under the
circumstances described below.
The termination date. When you prepare your
document, you can specify the date on which it
will expire. You can enter a specific day, such as
the day you expect to return from a trip. Or, you
can make an open-ended ­document. If you don’t
specify an ending date, your attorney-in-fact is
legally permitted to act for you until you revoke
the power of attorney in writing.
You revoke the power of attorney. You can
revoke your power of attorney at any time,
as long as you are of sound mind. (And if you
aren’t of sound mind, the document t­ erminates
automatically, so you don’t have to worry about
revoking it.) To revoke your document, all you
need to do is fill out a simple form, sign it in
front of a notary public, and give copies to the
attorney-in-fact and to people or institutions
all matters that you list. No matter what the
attorney-in-fact does, however, he or she has a
legal obligation to take only those actions that
are in your best interests, and to represent you
honestly and carefully.
This power of attorney form includes
language designed to reassure third parties that
they can accept the document without risk of
the attorney-in-fact has been dealing with. Form
10 is a revocation form you can use.
After a divorce. In a number of states, if your
spouse is your attorney-in-fact and you divorce,
your ex-spouse’s authority is immediately
terminated. Regardless of state law, however, if
you’ve named your spouse as attorney-in-fact
and you get divorced, you should revoke your
power of attorney and make a new one.
No attorney-in-fact is available. Your power of
attorney will automatically end if your attorneyin-fact dies, resigns, or becomes u
­ nable to
represent you for any other reason.
You become incapacitated or die. Your power
of attorney will automatically end if you become
incapacitated or die. In most states, however,
if the attorney-in-fact doesn’t know of your
incapacity or death and continues to act on your
behalf, his or her actions are still valid.
legal liability. This “indemnification” clause
clearly states that a third party may rely on the
document without worry—in other words,
that he or she may conduct business with your
attorney-in-fact as you have ­instructed—unless
the third party knows that you have revoked
the document.
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 19
Conventional Versus Durable
Power of Attorney
This form is typically referred to as a
“conventional” power of attorney. As you
may know, there is another type of power of
­attorney, called a durable power of attorney,
that remains in effect even if you become
incapacitated and can no longer make decisions
for yourself. Durable powers of attorney are
commonly signed in advance of need by older
and ill people who realize that at some point
they may require help managing their ­affairs.
In contrast, conventional powers of attorney
like Form 8 are used when you want someone
to handle specific transactions for you at a
set time. Because state laws vary in this area,
if you want a durable power of attorney, you
will need more extensive information. One
excellent resource is Quicken Willmaker Plus
software, which lets you create a valid will, living
trust, durable power of ­attorney for finances,
health care directive, and final arrangements
document, using your computer. If you live in
California, you can use the book Living Wills &
Powers of Attorney for California, by Shae Irving
(Nolo). It contains all the forms and instructions
California residents need to prepare a durable
power of attorney for finances and health care
directive.
tip
Financial institutions may have their
own power of attorney forms. If you’re giving
your attorney-in-fact authority to deal with a bank,
­brokerage firm, or other financial institution, find out
whether it has its own power of attorney form. If it
does, you’ll probably want to use that form instead
of this one. Doing so will reduce hassles for your
attorney-in-fact, because a fi­ nancial institution will
know what powers its own form grants and will have
no need to quibble with your document.
Signing Instructions
A Power of Attorney for Finances is a serious
document. To make it legally valid and effective,
you must observe certain formalities when
you sign it. Specifically, you must have your
power of attorney form notarized, and, in some
states, you may need to sign your document
in front of witnesses. (See “States That Require
Witnesses for a Power of ­Attorney,” below.)
In a few states, your attorney-in-fact must sign
the power of attorney before taking action under
the document. In other states, the attorneyin-fact’s signature is not required, but it’s a
fine idea to ­include it anyway. The attorneyin-fact’s signature acts as assurance that the
attorney-in-fact has read and fully understands
the document, and is willing to assume the
responsibility of acting prudently and honestly
on your behalf. For this reason this power of
attorney form includes a blank for the attorneyin-fact to sign.
form
You must sign your power of attorney in
the presence of a notary public for your state. In
some states, notarization is required by law to make
the power of attorney valid. But even where law
doesn’t require it, custom does. A power of attorney
that isn’t notarized may not be accepted by people
your attorney-in-fact needs to deal with.
If you will have your form witnessed (see “States
That Require Witnesses for a Power of Attorney,”
­below), everyone who has to sign the form must
­appear together in front of the notary. The notary
will watch each of you sign and then he or she will
complete an acknowledgment, including a notarial
seal.
For more information on finding and using a notary, see the introduction.
Give the original, signed, and notarized docu­
ment to the attorney-in-fact. He or she will
need it as proof of authority to act on your
20 | 101 law forms for personal use
States That Require Witnesses for a Power of Attorney
Most states don’t require a power of attorney
to be signed in front of witnesses. The few states
that do and the number of witnesses required
are listed below. Witness requirements normally
consist of the following:
• Witnesses must be present when you sign the
document in front of the notary.
State
Number of
Witnesses
• Witnesses must be mentally competent adults.
• The person who will serve as your attorneyin-fact can’t be a witness.
Choose witnesses who will be easily available
if they are ever needed. It’s obviously a good
idea to choose witnesses who live nearby and
will be easy to contact.
Number of
Witnesses
Other Requirements
State
Michigan
Other Requirements
2
Witnesses are necessary
only if your power of
attorney is to be recorded.
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
Arizona
1
Witness may not be
your attorney-in-fact,
the spouse or child of
your attorney-in-fact,
or the notary public
who acknowledges your
document.
Connecticut
2
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
Oklahoma
2
Witnesses may not be your
attorney-in-fact or anyone
who is related by blood or
marriage to you or your
attorney-in-fact.
District of
Columbia
2
Witnesses are necessary
only if your power of
attorney is to be recorded.
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
Pennsylvania
2
Witnesses are necessary only
if the power of attorney is
finalized with a mark (rather
than a signature) or if you
direct another person to sign
on your behalf. Witnesses
may not be your attorney-infact or the person who signs
your document for you.
Florida
2
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
South
Carolina
2
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
Georgia
2
Neither witness may be
your attorney-in-fact.
In addition, one of your
witnesses may not be your
spouse or blood relative.
Vermont
1
Witness may not be
your attorney-in-fact
or the notary public
who acknowledges your
document.
Illinois
1
Witness may not be your
attorney-in-fact.
Wisconsin
2
Witnesses may not be your
attorney-in-fact, anyone
who is related to you by
blood or marriage, or
anyone entitled to inherit
a portion of your estate
under your will.
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 21
behalf. Make a copy for yourself and store it in
a safe place. If you wish, you can give copies
of your power of attorney to the people your
attorney-in-fact will need to deal with—for
example, banks or government offices. If your
financial power of attorney is already in their
records, it may eliminate hassles for your
attorney-in-fact later. Be sure to keep a list of
everyone to whom you give a copy.
caution
Revoking a power of attorney. If you later
revoke your power of attorney, you must notify each
institution of the revocation. We include a formal
notice of revocation form below (Form 10).
Form 9: Power of
Attorney for Real Estate
A power of attorney for real estate allows you
to give someone the authority to buy or sell a
piece of real estate for you, or to conduct any
other business concerning real estate that you
own. A power of attorney for real estate is a
“conventional” power of attorney, meaning
that it automatically ­expires if you become
incapacitated or die. (If you want a document
that will stay in effect even if you become
incapacitated, you need a “durable” power of
­attorney—see “Conventional Versus Durable
Power of Attorney,” above.)
A power of attorney for real estate may be
useful in a number of situations. Here are a few
common ones:
•You will be out of town or otherwise
unavailable when important real estate
documents need to be signed.
•You will not be available to look after your
real estate for a limited period of time.
•You live far away from property that you
own and you want to authorize someone to
­manage it in your absence.
Example 1:
Alan is purchasing a condominium. Escrow
has been opened at a title company, but the
closing is delayed for several weeks. Because
of the delay, the closing is now scheduled
for the middle of Alan’s long-planned trip
to Greece. To solve this problem, Alan
prepares a power of attorney for real estate,
authorizing his sister Jennifer to sign any
documents necessary to complete the closing
and to withdraw any amounts of money
(from an identified bank account) necessary
to pay expenses and costs incurred because
of the closing. Alan specifies that Jennifer’s
authority expires on the date he is to return
from Greece.
Alan discusses his plans with his bank
and the title company before he leaves, to
be sure they’ll accept the power of attorney
and the a­ uthority of his attorney-in-fact.
Both organizations assure him they’ll accept
a valid power of attorney for real estate. He
has copies of his power of attorney placed in
the bank’s records and in his file at the title
company. He leaves the original document
with Jennifer, his ­attorney-in-fact.
Example 2:
Ann owns a summer cottage. Her friend
June lives in the next cottage as her
permanent home. Ann and June agree that
­because June is on the spot she’ll take care
of renting Ann’s cottage, collecting rent,
and paying all house bills and costs. Ann
prepares a power of attorney for real estate
giving June authority to represent Ann for
22 | 101 law forms for personal use
all transactions concerning her property at
20 Heron Lake Road. Ann specifies that the
power of attorney will continue indefinitely.
She also provides that June has no authority
to sell the cottage nor to represent her in any
transaction that doesn’t concern the cottage.
tip
Make sure your power of attorney will
be accepted. The most important thing you can do
to ensure that financial institutions, such as your
mortgage lender or title company, will accept your
power of attorney is talk with them in advance. Be
sure that they’re willing to accept the document
and the ­authority of your attorney-in-fact. Your
financial i­nstitution may ask you to include certain
language in your form or even to use its own
power of ­attorney form. If so, you should comply
with its wishes. (If you’re working with more than
one ­financial institution, you may end up using
more than one form.) Even though you can make
a ­perfectly valid, legal document with this form,
your financial institution may balk at accepting any
form other than its own. Following your financial
institution’s recommendations will save time and
trouble for you and your attorney-in-fact.
Instructions for Preparing Your
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
Here are instructions for filling in the Power of
Attorney for Real Estate form.
Step 1. Principal and
Attorney-in-Fact
In the first four blanks on the form, fill in your
name and the city, county, and state where you
live. Enter your name as it appears on official
documents such as your driver’s license, bank
accounts, and real estate deeds. This may or
may not be the name on your birth certificate.
Example:
Your birth certificate lists your name as Rose
Mary Green. But you’ve always gone by
Mary, and always sign documents as Mary
McNee, your married name. You would use
Mary McNee on your power of attorney.
Be sure to enter all names in which you hold
bank accounts or other property your attorneyin-fact will be dealing with. This will make his
or her job far easier. If you’re including more
than one name, enter your full legal name first,
followed by “aka” (also known as). Then enter
your other names.
If during the course of a year you live in more
than one state, use the address in the state
where you vote, register vehicles, own valuable
property, have bank accounts, or run a business.
If you’ve made your will, health care directives,
or a living trust, be consistent: Use the address
in the state you declared as your residence in
those documents.
Next, type in the name of the person who has
agreed to serve as your attorney-in-fact. Then
enter the city, county, and state where your
attorney-in-fact lives.
Step 2. Description of
Your Real Property
There is a large blank space following the first
­paragraph of the form. In it, you should type
a ­description of the real estate your power of
attorney will govern. Enter the exact street
address, if your property has one. Then, attach
a copy of the deed to your power of attorney
form to avoid the trouble of retyping the
lengthy and often confusing legal d
­ escription
contained in the deed.
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 23
Example:
9 Lotus Lane, Danville, CA 94558, Contra
Costa County, California, as further
described in the ­attached deed.
If you’re up for it, you can type in the legal
­description instead. But be sure to type the
entire description, exactly as it appears on the
deed.
Example:
LOT 195, as shown upon that ­certain map
­entitled, “Map of Greenbrae Sub. No. One,
Marin Co. Calif.,” filed May 2, 1946, in
Book 6 of Maps, at Page 7, Marin County
Records.
Step 3. Limiting the Powers
Granted to the Attorney-in-Fact
Read through the powers described in the
second paragraph of the document. If you don’t
want to grant one or more of the numbered
powers, you can delete or type a string of x’s
through those that you don’t need. If you just
want to limit the numbered powers in some
way, include your instructions in the blank
space following the list of powers. For example,
you might want to forbid your attorney-in-fact
from selling your property; you can type that
limitation in the blank space.
If you don’t want to limit the powers in any
way, delete or type a string of x’s through the
phrase “However, my attorney-in-fact shall not
have the power to:”
Step 4. Additional Powers
In the fourth paragraph of the form, you can
authorize your attorney-in-fact to carry out
any additional powers related to the real estate
powers you’ve granted. For example, you may
want to authorize your attorney-in-fact to
withdraw funds from a named bank account
to cover any costs that arise in relation to his or
her duties.
Sample Clause:
I further grant to my attorney-in-fact
full authority to act in any manner both
proper and necessary to the exercise of the
foregoing powers, ­including withdrawing
funds from my checking account, #4482
478 880, Anderson Valley Savings and Loan,
Booneville, CA, and I ratify every act that
my attorney-in-fact may lawfully perform in
­exercising those powers.
If you don’t want to add any powers to the
document, delete or type a string of x’s through
the word ­“including.”
Step 5. Termination Date
In the last paragraph of the form, you can type
in a specific date on which you want the power
of ­attorney to expire. See “When the Power of
Attorney Begins and Ends,” in the instructions
for Form 8, above.
If you want the power of attorney to continue
indefinitely, delete or type a string of x’s
through “or until _____________, whichever
comes first.” If you do so, and you later want
to terminate the power of attorney, you must
revoke it in writing.
Signing Instructions
A power of attorney is a serious document, and
to make it effective you must observe certain
formalities when you sign it. Fortunately, these
requirements aren’t difficult to meet.
You must sign your power of attorney in the
presence of a notary public for your state. See
the introduction for instructions on having a
document notarized.
24 | 101 law forms for personal use
Witnesses
The Attorney-in-Fact’s Signature
Most states don’t require the power of
attorney to be signed in front of witnesses.
(See “States That Require Witnesses for a
Power of Attorney,” in the instructions for
Form 8, above.) Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt
to have a witness or two watch you sign, and
sign the document themselves. Witnesses’
signatures may make the power of attorney
more acceptable to lawyers, banks, ­insurance
companies, and other entities the attorney-infact may have to deal with.
If you’re giving your attorney-in-fact authority
to handle real estate in a state other than the
state where you live, be sure the document
has at least the number of witnesses required
by the state where the real property is located.
Otherwise, you may not be able to record the
power of attorney in that state.
In a few states, your attorney-in-fact must sign
the power of attorney before taking action
under the document. In other states, the
attorney-in-fact’s signature is not required,
but it’s a fine idea to include it anyway. The
attorney-in-fact’s signature acts as assurance
that the attorney-in-fact has read and fully
understands the document, and is willing to
assume the responsibility of acting prudently
and honestly on your behalf. For this reason,
the form includes a blank for the attorney-infact to sign.
skip ahead
If you will be using the CD-ROM to create
your Power of Attorney for Real Estate, you don’t
need to read the cautionary instructions that
follow. You can skip to the section on the attorneyin-fact’s signature just below. The form on the CDROM contains instructions to help you print the
right number of signature lines.
caution
The Power of Attorney for Real Estate
tear-out form in the back of the book has multiple
last pages that may, at first glance, appear to be
duplicates. Each of these pages is slightly different,
however. Choose only the last page that has room
for the number of witnesses your state requires—
none, one, or two. (You can find the number of
witnesses required by your state in “States that
Require Witnesses for a Power of Attorney,” in the
instructions for Form 8, above.) Then, check the
page numbers of your document to make sure
everything’s in proper order and you aren’t missing
pages or including any extras.
Putting Your Power of Attorney
on Public Record
You must put a copy of your power of attorney
on file in the county land records office, called
the county recorder’s or land registry office
in most states. This is called “recording” or
“registration” in some states. If you don’t record
the power of ­attorney, your attorney-in-fact
may not be permitted to handle real estate
transactions for you.
Recording makes it clear to all interested
parties that the attorney-in-fact has power over
the ­property at issue. County land records are
checked whenever real estate changes hands or
is mortgaged. If, for example, your attorneyin-fact is supposed to sell or mortgage a piece
of property for you, there must be something
in the public records that proves he or she has
authority to do so.
If you put your power of attorney on public
record and then later revoke it in writing, you
must also record the notice of revocation,
Form 10.
Where to Record Your Power of Attorney
In most states, each county has its own county
recorder’s (or registry of deeds) office. Take the
power of attorney to the office in the county
chapter 1 | delegating authority to care for children, pets, and property | 25
where the real estate is located. If you are
granting your attorney-in-fact authority over
more than one parcel of real estate, record the
power of attorney in each county where you
own property.
How to Record a Document
Recording a document is easy. You may even
be able to do it by mail, but it’s safer to go in
person. The clerk will make a copy (usually on
microfilm these days) for the public records. It
will be assigned a reference number, often in
terms of books and pages—for example, “Book
14, Page 1932 of the Contra Costa County,
California records.” In most places, it costs just
a few dollars per page to record a document.
What to Do With the Signed Document
Give the original, signed, and notarized
document to the attorney-in-fact. He or she
will need it as proof of authority to act on your
behalf.
Making and Distributing Copies
You should give copies of your power of
attorney to the people your attorney-in-fact will
need to deal with—banks or title companies,
for example. If your power of attorney is in
their records, it may eliminate hassles for your
attorney-in-fact later.
Be sure to keep a list of everyone to whom
you give a copy. If you later revoke your power
of attorney, notify each institution of the
revocation.
Keeping Your Document Up to Date
If you’ve made a power of attorney without
a specific termination date, you should redo
it every year or so. Banks and other financial
institutions may be reluctant to accept a
power of attorney that’s more than a couple
of years old, even though the document is still
technically valid. You should destroy any copies
of the old power of attorney document and
notify the people and institutions with copies
of the former document that you have revoked
your old power of attorney and made a new
one.
Form 10: Notice of
Revocation of
Power of Attorney
You can use a Notice of Revocation of Power of
­Attorney form in two situations:
•You want to revoke your power of attorney
before the termination date set out in the
document.
•Your power of attorney has ended as
specified in the document, but you want
to be absolutely sure that all institutions
(such as banks, stockbrokers, and insurance
companies) and people (such as your
attorney or accountant) who have received it
know that it is no longer in force.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date the Notice of Revocation in front
of a notary public for your state as explained in
the ­discussion of Form 8, Power of Attorney for
Finances (Limited Power).
caution
If you recorded your power of attorney,
record the Notice of Revocation. If you put your
power of attorney on file in the public records office
and it hasn’t expired on its own, you should also
record your Notice of Revocation. Otherwise, people
who don’t actually know of your revocation are
­entitled to continue to deal with your attorney-infact on your behalf. ●
2
C H APT E R
Basic Estate Planning
Form 11: Property Worksheet............................................................................................................ 28
Form 12: Beneficiary Worksheet....................................................................................................... 29
Forms 13 and 14: Basic Wills................................................................................................................ 30
Form 13: Will for Adult With No Child(ren).............................................................................. 32
Form 14: Will for Adult With Child(ren)...................................................................................... 32
28 | 101 law forms for personal use
M
aking arrangements for what will
happen to your property after
you die is called estate planning.
Generally, if you die without a will or other
legal means for transferring property, your
property will be distributed to certain close
relatives—your spouse or domestic partner,
children, parents, or siblings—under state
“intestacy” laws.
Making a will is an important part of estate
planning. For many people, a will, coupled
with naming ­beneficiaries for retirement plans,
insurance policies, and other investments,
is the only estate plan they need. Whether
or not that is true for you ­depends on your
circumstances. Generally speaking, the more
wealth you possess, the more you’ll want to
consider legal issues beyond the scope of a will,
such as avoiding probate—the court-supervised
process of gathering and distributing a deceased
person’s assets—and reducing estate taxes. And,
­depending on your situation, you may want to
­provide for a disabled child, establish a fund for
grandchildren, or make charitable gifts.
This chapter introduces the concept of estate
planning and provides some useful worksheets
and some basic will forms. Resources listed
here explain where to go for more detailed
­information.
Form 11: Property Worksheet
Before you write a will or other estate planning
document, you may find it helpful to make
an ­inventory of your property, including
real estate, cash, securities, cars, household
goods, and business personal property, such
as a company you own or the right to receive
royalties. Filling out the Property Worksheet
can jog your memory to make sure you don’t
overlook­ ­important items.
Describe each asset on the Property Work­
sheet under the appropriate section of the
“Property” ­column. If an asset such as a house
or car is jointly owned, specify the percentage
you own.
Even if you haven’t made a will, you may
have already named someone to get some of your
property at your death. For example, if you have
an IRA, 401(k) retirement plan, or insurance
policy, you have probably named a beneficiary
and alternate beneficiary on a form provided
by the account custodian company. If you own
real estate, you may hold it in joint tenancy
with right of survivorship, meaning that the
other joint owner will automatically inherit
your share at your death. If you’ve already
named someone to inherit an asset after your
death, write down the beneficiary’s name on
the Property Worksheet under “Name of Any
Existing Beneficiary.”
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Property Worksheet.
Simply fill it out and use it when preparing
your will or other estate planning document.
resource
Nolo publishes a couple of products that
can help you make sure your family can find all the
information they’ll need to wrap up your estate
planning. Get It Together, by Melanie Cullen with
Shae Irving, is a book and CD-ROM package. It lets
you leave survivors a clear record of all important
documents and information they’ll need, including
secured places and passwords, retirement accounts,
insurance policies, real estate records, and much
more. Personal RecordKeeper is a comprehensive
software program designed to keep track of all your
property (investments, memorabilia), key addresses
(friends, business contacts), and the location of
important items (safe deposit box key, family
chapter 2 | basic estate planning | 29
pictures, old tax returns). It can help to o
­ rganize your
life and provide a road map to the arrangements you
have made for after your death.
Form 12: Beneficiary
Worksheet
Like the Property Worksheet, the Beneficiary
Work­sheet is a tool that can help you get
ready to draft estate planning documents.
On the Beneficiary Worksheet, list each
item of property and then list the people or
organizations to whom you want to leave
the property. If you name more than one
beneficiary to share a specific gift, state the
percentage share each is to receive.
It is also highly advisable to name an alternate
beneficiary or beneficiaries for each gift, in case
your first choice dies before you do.
You can also list people who owe you money,
if you want to forgive these debts at your death.
For example, if you loaned your best friend
$10,000 and he pays you back with interest
$100 a month, it will take him many years to
pay off the debt. If he still owes you money
when you die, you can forgive or waive the
balance due. This means that your heirs cannot
go after your friend for the rest.
Finally, list a “residuary” beneficiary or benef­
iciaries. This is one or more people or organi­
zations who will get everything you don’t leave
to a specific beneficiary. Do this even if you are
sure you have identified all your property and
named a beneficiary to receive it; there is always
a chance that you’ll acquire additional property
between the date you make your will and your
death.
Common Property That May
Already Have Beneficiaries
You may have already planned the eventual
disposition of much of your property before
you prepare a will. Here are some examples
of property for which you may have already
named a beneficiary:
• bank accounts, naming (on a form provided
by the bank) a payable-on-death beneficiary
• real estate, holding it with someone else in
joint tenancy, in tenancy by the entirety, or (in
community property states) as community
property with right of survivorship with your
spouse
• securities, registering them in transfer-ondeath form if your state law allows it
• retirement accounts, naming a beneficiary
(on a form provided by the account
custodian) to take whatever is still in the
account at your death, and
• life insurance policies, naming a beneficiary
(on a form provided by the company) to
­receive the proceeds at your death.
tip
Do you need to use the Beneficiary
Worksheet? If you plan to leave all your property to
one or a very few people (for example, “all property to
my spouse, or if she predeceases me, to my children
in equal shares”), there is no need to complete the
Beneficiary Worksheet. You already know who will
get your p
­ roperty at your death, and you can turn to
the will forms that follow.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Beneficiary Work­
sheet. Simply fill it out and use it when
pre­paring your will or other estate planning
documents.
30 | 101 law forms for personal use
Nolo Resources on Estate Planning
Nolo publishes several books and software
products containing more sophisticated—but
still easy-to-use—information on wills and living
trusts. A living trust is the document used most
often to avoid probate, the process of distributing
a person’s property under court supervision.
• Plan Your Estate, by Denis Clifford and Cora
Jordan, is a comprehensive estate planning
book, covering everything from basic estate
planning (wills and living trusts) to sophisticated
tax-saving strategies (AB trusts and much
more). If you haven’t yet decided how to
approach your estate planning tasks, this is
Nolo’s best resource.
• Quicken WillMaker Plus interactive software
lets you make a more sophisticated will than
the ones offered here. For example, you can
choose among three ways to provide property
management for children should you die
before they are competent to handle property
themselves. In addition, with Quicken WillMaker
Plus you can create a separate document to
express your wishes for your funeral and burial. It
also contains a health care directive (living will),
a durable power of attorney for finances, a
Forms 13 and 14: Basic Wills
A basic will is easy to make. It’s also easy to
change or revoke; you won’t be stuck with it
if you change your mind later. With the will
forms in this book, you can:
•leave your property to anyone you wish
•name a guardian to raise young children if
you can’t, and
•appoint an executor to carry out your will’s
terms.
basic living trust to avoid probate, and a more
complex AB trust, to save on federal estate
taxes.
• Nolo’s Simple Will Book, by Denis Clifford,
provides step-by-step instructions and forms to
create a detailed will. Its will is similar in scope
to the will that’s included in Quicken WillMaker
Plus. The book comes with a CD-ROM, which
you can use with any standard word-processing
program to make drafting and printing out the
will easy.
• 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, by Mary Randolph,
explains important and often overlooked ways
to avoid probate. It is now possible to avoid
probate for many kinds of property without
­creating a living trust. If you vaguely know
you should be paying attention to probate
avoidance, but dread thinking about it, start
with this small but thorough book.
• Special Needs Trusts: Protect Your Child’s
­Financial Future, by Stephen Elias, explains how
you can leave money to a loved one who has a
disability, without interfering with eligibility for
SSI or Medicaid benefits.
This section gives an overview of making a
basic will. Next come two bare-bones forms,
which can be used by residents of all states
except Louisiana.
These wills are a good choice if you want a
will quickly on the eve of a long trip or don’t
want to spend much time on estate planning
right now. ­You’ll probably want to draft a
more extensive will for the long term. Precisely
because these forms are short, simple, and easy
to use, they do not include a lot of options. For
example, they do not let you create a trust to
chapter 2 | basic estate planning | 31
hold property that may be left to children or
young adults.
If you have children, use Form 14, the
Will for Adult With Child(ren). Otherwise,
use Form 13, the Will for Adult With No
Child(ren).
Anyone who is of legal age (18 years old in
most states) and of sound mind can make a
valid will. You have to be very far gone before
your will can be invalidated on the grounds
that you were mentally incompetent. If you’re
reading and understanding this book, your
mind is sound enough to make a will.
caution
Do not just fill in and sign a will form.
You must retype it. Unlike the forms in the rest
of this book, will forms cannot just be torn out,
filled in, and signed. A will cannot contain a mix
of handwritten and machine-printed material. To
prepare a legally valid will, you must use the CDROM that comes with this book (or a typewriter
if you don’t have access to a computer) to print
out a fresh will that eliminates all the clauses you
don’t need. Then sign this will in front of witnesses
following the instructions below. If you simply fill in
the blanks and sign it, your will won’t be valid.
Leaving specific items. If you want to list
specific items of property you’re leaving
through your will, you’ll use the “Specific Gifts”
section (Clause 3 of Form 13, Clause 4 of Form
14). When you list items, describe them so that
your ­executor—and anyone else—will know
exactly what you meant. There is no need to use
formal legal ­descriptions unless they are really
necessary to identify the property. Here are
some examples of good property descriptions:
•“my house at 435 76th Avenue, Chicago,
Illinois”
•“all household furnishings and possessions
in my house at 435 76th Avenue, Chicago,
Illinois,” and
•“$10,000 from my savings account, No.
44444, at First National Bank, Chicago,
Illinois.”
Then you’ll need to say what you want to
happen to the rest of your property, which
is called your “residuary.” For example, say
you make a few small specific gifts and want
everything else to go to your three children.
You would use Clause 3 (Form 13) or Clause 4
(Form 14) to make your specific gifts and the
“Residuary Estate” clause (Clause 4 of Form 13,
Clause 5 of Form 14) to leave everything else to
your children.
Leaving Everything. If you want to leave every­
thing to just one ­beneficiary, or a group of
them—your spouse or your three children,
for example—don’t use the “Specific Gifts”
part of the will. Instead, use the “Residuary
Estate” clause (Clause 4 of Form 13, Clause 5
of Form 14). Since “residuary” simply refers to
the rest of your estate and you have made no
specific gifts, everything will go to the person
or persons you name as your residuary bene­
ficiary(ies).
Property with debt. When you leave property,
any encumbrances on it—for example, a
mortgage—pass with the property. In other
words, the beneficiary takes the debt as well as
the property.
Naming your executor. In your will, you must
name someone to be in charge of winding
up your affairs after your death. This person
is called your executor (the term “personal
representative” is used in some states). The
executor must shepherd your property through
probate—the court process of distributing the
property of a deceased person—if it’s necessary,
and must see that your property is distributed
according to the wishes ­expressed in your will.
Many people name their spouse or a grown
child as executor. The executor usually doesn’t
need special financial or legal expertise. The
32 | 101 law forms for personal use
important thing is that the person you choose is
completely trustworthy and will deal fairly with
other beneficiaries.
Typing up your will. After you’ve created a
rough draft of your will using the forms in this
book, you must use either the will documents
on the CD-ROM or a typewriter to create your
final draft.
Remove any clauses that you do not need—
for example, remove the specific bequest clauses
if you’re leaving everything to your spouse or
partner. Then renumber the remaining clauses.
When you’re done, read your will carefully to
make sure you understand and agree with every
word.
If you do not agree with something in the
will, do not reword the will language yourself.
Doing so could risk your will’s validity. Instead,
you may need to use a more complex will that
can be more carefully tailored to your situation.
See the resources listed above.
Signing Instructions
Your signature on your will must be witnessed.
When you are ready to sign it, gather together
two adults who aren’t beneficiaries of your will.
Your witnesses do not need to read your will.
You simply tell them, “This is my will.” Then
you sign and date your will while the witnesses
watch. Finally, each witness signs while the
other witnesses watch. Be sure to store your will
in a safe place.
caution
If you’re married or in a registered
domestic partnership, your spouse may be able
to claim a share of your estate. In most states (all
except Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada,
New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin,
which follow the community property system), a
­surviving spouse has the right to reject what the
will says and instead claim a share of the deceased
spouse’s entire estate. In many states, that share is
about one-third of the estate. The details get tricky
fast. As long as you plan to leave your spouse or
partner at least half of your property, you don’t need
to worry about it. But if you plan to leave less than
half of your property to your spouse or partner, see a
lawyer and don’t try to use the forms in this book.
Form 13: Will for Adult
With No Child(ren)
This is the will to use if you don’t have children.
Use Form 14 if you do. Remember, these forms
can be used by residents of all states except
Louisiana.
Read the introduction to Basic Wills (above)
for brief but important instructions on filling
out the form correctly, so that you will create
a legally valid will that accomplishes what you
want.
Form 14: Will for Adult
With Child(ren)
First, read the material on Basic Wills, above,
for brief but important instructions on filling
out the form correctly, so that you will create
a legally valid will that accomplishes what you
want. Because you have children, you also have
some special issues to consider before you make
your will.
Heading off claims. You should mention each
of your children in your will, even if you don’t
leave them any property through the will. That’s
because, although children are not usually
entitled to claim any property from a parent’s
estate, they do have certain rights if it appears
that they were unintentionally overlooked. By
listing all of your offspring, you head off any
argument that you forgot any of them.
chapter 2 | basic estate planning | 33
Custody of minor children. If you have ­children
under age 18, use Clause 8 to name the ­person
you want to raise the children if you die and
the other parent is unavailable to raise them.
This person is called their “personal guardian.”
It is also wise to nominate an alternate personal
guardian, in case the first choice can’t serve.
If a guardian is ever needed, a judge will
review your choice. If no one objects, the
person you name will be routinely appointed.
But in an unusual situation, a judge who is
convinced that naming a different personal
guardian is in the best interests of the child has
the authority to do so.
caution
With this will form, you cannot name
different guardians for different kids. This will form
requires that you name the same personal guardian
for all of your minor children. If for some reason
you want to name different people as guardians for
different children, use Nolo’s Simple Will Book or
Quicken WillMaker Plus software.
Property left to children. Minors cannot legally
own property outright, free of supervision,
beyond a minimal amount—up to about
$3,000 in most states. By law, an adult must be
legally responsible for managing any significant
amount of property owned by a minor child.
So if your children might inherit property
through your will—even if they’re only
alternate beneficiaries—you should a­ rrange for
an adult to supervise it. You can do this easily
in your will.
Form 12 gives you a choice of two methods
to provide for adult supervision for gifts to your
children:
• Name a custodian for each child. The custo­
dian will manage any property slated for
the child until the child turns 21 (in most
states). A ­custodian is authorized under
your state’s ­Uniform Transfers to Minors Act
(UTMA). (See Clause 10 of the will.)
• Name a property guardian. You should always
name a property guardian and successor
property guardian in your will, even if you
appoint a custodian under the ­Uniform
Transfers to ­Minors Act. The property
guardian will be ­formally appointed by a
court and will manage any property not left
through your will (and so not covered by
the UTMA custodianship)—for example,
property the ­minor gets from someone else.
Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. All states
except South Carolina and Vermont have adopted
the ­Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA).
This law authorizes you to appoint an adult
custodian and successor custodian in your will
to supervise ­property you leave to a minor.
The custodianship ends, and any remaining
property must be turned over to the child
outright, at the age the UTMA specifies. In
most states, this is 21, but a few (for example,
California and Alaska) allow you to choose up
to age 25. Our form sets the ending age at the
oldest age ­allowed in your state, which in the
­majority of states is 21.
Because the custodian has almost complete
­discretion over management of the property,
it is essential that you name someone who
is both ­totally honest and has good financial
management skills. The custodian also has a
legal duty to act prudently in the best interests
of the child. Normally, no court supervision is
required.
You can name UTMA custodians for as
many children as you wish. In addition, you
can name a different custodian for each child.
When preparing your will, you’ll first list all
gifts you leave, including gifts to your minor or
young adult children. Then you’ll complete a
separate UTMA clause for each child.
34 | 101 law forms for personal use
Other Property Management Options
The Will for Adult With Child(ren) does not
offer two other fairly common—but legally
more complicated—ways to arrange for a
minor’s property to be managed by an adult:
• A family pot trust that will hold property left
to all your minor children, allowing the trustee
you name to spend it as needed. For example,
if one child had an expensive medical problem,
the trustee could spend more for that child
and less for others.
• A trust for each child. This option is primarily
of value for people with larger estates who
do not want adult children to take control of
money outright until they are in their middle
or late twenties. It gets around the fact that in
most states a custodianship under the terms
of the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act ends
at age 21.
These options are available in Quicken
WillMaker Plus software and in Nolo’s Simple
Will Book.
Form 15:Will Codicil
A codicil is sort of a legal “P.S.” to a will. In a
codicil, you can revoke a clause in your will and
then s­ ubstitute a new clause. Or you can simply
add a new provision, such as a new gift of an
item of property.
A codicil must be signed and witnessed
just like a will. The form must be retyped or
computer printed (start with “First Codicil
to the Will of
,” leaving off our
title), then dated and signed by you in front of
two witnesses. You don’t have to use the same
witnesses who signed your will, but in many
states the witnesses cannot be people named as
beneficiaries in your will or codicil.
Today, codicils are less commonly used than
they were in the days when wills were laboriously
copied by hand or typed on a typewriter. With
almost ­universal access to computers, it’s usually
easier—and less likely to confuse—to prepare
a whole new will, revoking the previous one.
Nevertheless, codicils can still be sensibly used
to make limited changes to a will—for example,
when you want to change who receives one
item. ●
3
C H APT E R
Things to Do After a Death:
Documents for Executors
Form 16: Request for Death Certificate......................................................................................... 36
Form 17: Notice to Creditor of Death............................................................................................ 37
Form 18: Executor’s Checklist............................................................................................................. 38
Form 19: General Notice of Death................................................................................................... 38
Form 20: Obituary Information Fact Sheet................................................................................. 39
Form 21: Notice to Deceased’s Homeowners’ Insurance Company.............................. 39
Form 22: Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company............................................. 40
36 | 101 law forms for personal use
A
fter a death, someone must step in
and wind up the deceased person’s
affairs. An executor—sometimes called
personal representative or administrator—is the
person named in the will, or appointed by the
probate court, who has legal ­responsibility for
safeguarding and handling the ­deceased person’s
property, seeing that debts and taxes are paid,
and distributing what is left to beneficiaries as
directed by the will. This chapter contains a
number of simple forms and ­letters you can use
if you are named as someone’s executor, as well
as a checklist to help you be sure you are taking
care of all that needs to be done.
resource
Nolo has books that can help you. How
to Probate an Estate in California, by Julia Nissley,
gives California residents step-by-step instructions
for handling an estate after someone has died. The
Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust,
by Mary Randolph, covers the legal and financial
matters that crop up after a death, helping the
surviving family through what is often a difficult and
confusing time.
caution
These forms are not applicable in all
situations. The forms in this chapter cannot be
used to claim ­benefits under an insurance policy
or retirement plan. You will need to contact the
appropriate companies and complete their forms.
Form 16: Request for
Death Certificate
As the executor or personal representative of
the estate of someone who has died, you will
need to handle many tasks, such as terminating
leases and credit cards, notifying banks and the
post office, and so forth. No matter what your
specific duties, if you will be contacting agencies,
businesses, or organizations about the death,
you will need certified copies of the death
certificate. Typically, the mortuary you deal
with will get copies of a death certificate (and
add the cost to the bill). If you need to order
copies yourself, there are two ways to do it. In
many states, you can use the form in this book
to request copies of a death certificate by mail.
These days, however, it’s often easiest to order
online. Many county websites offer request
forms that you can print out and send; others
allow you to submit your request electronically
and pay by credit card. To find out your options
for ordering online, go to the official website
of the county where the death occurred. You
can usually find it by using this formula,
substituting the state postal abbreviation for
“XX” in www.co.[county_NAME].[XX].us.
Example:
You can find the website for King County,
Washington, at www.co.king.wa.us.
If you want to use the form in this book to
order copies of a death certificate, carefully
follow the rest of the instructions in this
section.
caution
Check state rules on providing death
certificates. Some states restrict access to death
records to those who are related to the deceased,
or to people who have a legal role in the deceased’s
­affairs, such as the executor. If you are requesting
the death certificate for any reason other than
taking care of a deceased’s estate—for example,
genealogical research—do not use this form.
There may be other requirements as well. For
example, several states now require you to send in
a photocopy of your driver’s license or other photo
identification with the request. Before you mail in
your request, check with your state’s office of vital
statistics about any special rules you must follow.
chapter 3 | things to do after a death: documents for executors | 37
Where to send the request for death certificate
form. Before you send in a request, call the
local vital statistics office or county health
department in the county where the decedent
died and ask where to send your request. Also
find out the cost of a certified copy of a death
certificate.
If at least several weeks have passed since the
death, you can also obtain copies by writing
to your state’s vital statistics office. To find out
where to write in your state and how much the
copies cost (about $5 to $15 each, depending
on the state), go to the website of the National
Center for Health Certificates at www.cdc.gov/
nchs and click “Find a birth, death, marriage,
or divorce certificate.”
Information to include in your request. You
will need the name of the deceased and place
of death. The deceased person’s place of birth
and Social ­Security number are optional,
but they can be very helpful for identification
purposes. Be sure to ­state your relationship to
the deceased person whose death certificate you
are requesting, such as a spouse.
Reason for the request. Most states now
require you to include the reason why you are
requesting the death certificate. This form tells
the vital records office that you need the death
certificate in order to wind up the affairs of
the deceased’s estate. Be sure to indicate the
number of copies you want. Most executors
need at least ten copies.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date your Request for Death
Certificate. Mail it to the appropriate agency,
along with a check for the proper amount and a
stamped self-addressed envelope (use a businesssize envelope). Keep a copy of the form for your
records.
Form 17: Notice
to Creditor of Death
After someone dies, the executor needs to notify
creditors of the death and close the deceased
person’s credit accounts. That’s the purpose of
this form. You can send it to credit card issuers,
department stores, banks, mortgage ­companies,
and other businesses from which the ­deceased
bought on credit or had an account (such as a
local pharmacy or furniture store).
You will need to put the date of death
and the appropriate account number on this
notice. You may also need to attach a document
showing your appointment as executor or
­administrator.
caution
If a formal probate court proceeding is
conducted, you’ll also have to follow ­special rules
for notifying creditors—such as mailing a notice to
creditors you know about and publishing a notice in
a local newspaper to alert those you’re not aware of.
Check with the lawyer who is handling the probate
proceedings, or, if you are handling probate on your
own, ask the probate clerk at the county courthouse
for the rules.
Signing Instructions
Sign the notice and mail two copies to each
of the deceased’s creditors. The creditor who
receives this notice should sign and date
it—and mail a copy to you in the stamped,
self-addressed envelope you enclose. Keep the
completed copy you receive for your records.
You may later need it as proof that you notified
the creditor of the death.
38 | 101 law forms for personal use
tip
Reconcile the deceased person’s records.
This notice asks the creditor to forward information
to you about any remaining balance owed by the
­deceased. Once you hear back from the creditor,
check the information sent by the creditor against
the deceased person’s records.
Form 18: Executor’s Checklist
In addition to the tasks described in Forms
16 and 17, the executor of an estate has
many small and large tasks to complete. The
Executor’s Checklist contains a list of tasks
that an executor must typically complete when
winding up the affairs of someone who has
died. Keep in mind, however, that an executor’s
specific duties depend on the needs of the
estate and the requirements of state law. An
executor’s tasks vary based on the size of the
estate, the kind of assets in the estate and other,
more personal factors, such as the needs and
expectations of the family. Use the Executor’s
Checklist as a guide, tailoring it to your
situation.
One of the tasks in the Executor’s Checklist
is to decide whether or not you want to work
with a lawyer. You can hire a lawyer to act as a
“coach,” answering your legal questions as they
come up and possibly doing research for you or
looking over documents before you file them.
Or, you can hire a lawyer to do everything.
Finding a competent lawyer who charges a
reasonable fee may not be easy. Talk to friends
who have small businesses to see if they have
a good relationship with a lawyer. That lawyer
can probably recommend an attorney who
has estate planning and probate experience. In
addition, local senior centers often have a list
of recommended estate planning lawyers. And
Nolo’s lawyer directory, active in certain states,
has detailed profiles of attorneys who practice
estate planning and probate. Check www.
lawyers.nolo.com to see whether the directory is
available in your state.
Signing Instructions
There’s no need to sign or fill in any part of the
Executor’s Checklist. Simply use it as a guide to
ensure that you are taking care of all the tasks
required of you as the executor of an estate.
Form 19: General
Notice of Death
If you are named in a will or appointed by the
court to handle the estate of someone who has
died, you may want to notify businesses and
organizations that aren’t creditors—that is,
they aren’t owed any money—of the death. For
example, you might want to send a simple notice
communicating the fact that someone has died
to charities to which the deceased person has
donated regularly, magazine publishers, and mail­order businesses that frequently send ­catalogs.
cross reference
If you want to get the deceased’s name
deleted from junk mail lists, use Form 78, Notice to
­Remove Name From List.
It’s easier to send a form than to write
individual letters to each organization or
business. You can also send this form to
individuals who need to be notified of the
death—unless they are friends or relatives who
merit a personal call or note.
caution
Do not use this general notice of death
form for creditors and government agencies. Many
need specific information about the deceased, such
as the accounts owing or type of benefits received.
chapter 3 | things to do after a death: documents for executors | 39
caution
To notify creditors, use Form 17, above.
To stop Social Security payments, follow the tip just
below. For other government agencies, it’s a good
idea to call and find out what type of notice they
require.
tip
How to stop Social Security payments
after a death. If a deceased person was receiving
Social Security benefits, the executor or personal
representative must notify the Social Security
Administration (SSA) of the death. There is no form
for this purpose. To stop payments, call the SSA at
800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY).
Signing Instructions
Sign and date your General Notice of Death
and mail it to the business or organization you
wish to notify. Keep a copy of the ­notice for
your records or, if you are sending many copies,
keep a record of everyone on your mailing list,
rather than copies of every notice sent.
Form 20: Obituary
Information Fact Sheet
When a family member or friend dies, it’s
always a challenge to focus on the many details
that need your attention. This form will help
you with one of those tasks: organizing informa­
tion for your loved one’s obituary.
Most of the time, local newspapers obtain
obituary information from the funeral home.
On some occasions, the newspaper may obtain
this information directly from the family—for
example, when the death occurred away from
home or when a funeral home is not handling
arrangements.
Regardless of who speaks to the newspaper’s
obituary writer, there’s less chance of error if
you complete a fact sheet providing relevant
information. Be sure to spell all names
accurately, and include any business or personal
information of interest or for which the person
attained prominence. For example, “He
founded the Carverville Barbershop Quartet”
or “She was widely traveled and a frequent
visitor to Nairobi and the Serengeti.” When
listing survivors, include surviving spouses and
children of previous marriages.
The amount of detail that’s included in a
newspaper obituary and the placement of the
obituary in the newspaper (some obituaries are
published in the news section, not the obituary
section) depend on the prominence of the
deceased in the community. It’s possible that
space limitations will preclude the newspaper
from including some or all of the information
that you submit.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Obituary
Information Fact Sheet Form. Simply fill it out
and mail it to local newspapers you think will
be likely to publish the obituary. The mortuary
will have a list of contacts for local obituary
columns.
Form 21: Notice to
Deceased’s Homeowners’
Insurance Company
Use this form if the deceased person owned
a home and insured it. The form notifies the
insurance company of the death and asks
that you, the executor, be added as a “named
insured” to the homeowners’ insurance policy.
40 | 101 law forms for personal use
caution
If you are a co-owner of the home, do not
use this form. Instead, call the insurance company to
report the death.
As the executor, you will want to be added
as a named insured to that policy as soon
as possible. This status will give you all the
protections and rights that the deceased person
had under the policy. This means that you will
be covered if you or anyone is injured on the
premises due to your carelessness. And you will
be able to make claims for property damage,
if necessary. As a named ­insured, you also have
the right to increase coverage or change policy
limitations. For example, if you discover that
the home and its contents are under­insured,
you can make changes in the coverage. ­Finally,
if the insurance company makes a payment
after a claim has been made under the
policy—for example, paying for the results of
a wind-damaged roof—you will be a co-payee
on the check. This is important because these
payments are part of the estate, and you will
need to receive and account for them.
After you are added as a named insured, you’ll
want to discuss with the insurance agent or
broker how best to continue insurance coverage
for the deceased’s home. You may want to add
coverage or increase coverage limits, particularly
if you discover that the home was underinsured.
You may also want to add riders for jewelry or
other special items.
To complete this form, you will need the
following information:
•the deceased person’s full name (if the
deceased’s name is ­different on the
insurance policy, be sure to note that)
•the date of death
•the name of the insurance company that
issued the policy and the complete address
of its home office
•the homeowners’ policy number, and
•a certified copy of the death certificate (see
Form 16 to request a death certificate).
Signing Instructions
Sign and date the Notice to Deceased’s
Homeowner’s Insurance Company. Make two
copies of the signed notice. Mail the original
and one copy to the insurance company office,
along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope
and a certified copy of the death certificate.
Keep the second copy of the notice for your
records.
Form 22: Notice to
Deceased’s Vehicle
Insurance Company
Use this form if the deceased person owned and
insured any automobiles, trucks, motorcycles,
motor homes, or trailers. The notice informs
the insurance company of the death of the
insured person and asks them to add you, the
executor, to the insurance policy.
You will want to be added as a “named
insured” to that policy so you will have all the
protections and rights that the deceased person
had under the policy. Most important, you will
be permitted to add or delete coverage or adjust
policy limits, if ­appropriate. Also, you will be
named as a co-payee (along with others insured
under the policy) in any payment from the
company. Since these payments are part of the
estate, you must receive and ­account for them.
Many people own more than one vehicle, and
they may be insured under separate policies.
Even if the deceased person used the same
company for multiple policies, you should send
a separate notice for each policy.
chapter 3 | things to do after a death: documents for executors | 41
After you are added as a named insured,
talk to the insurance agent or broker about
how best to continue insurance coverage for
the deceased’s vehicles. You may want to add
coverage or increase coverage limits; and if the
deceased was rated a poor risk, you may even
want to ask for a reduction in premiums.
Even if you do not expect that the vehicle
will be used, you must insure it in case of a
fire or other calamity. A parked car in a home
garage, for example, will not be covered by the
homeowner’s policy if there is a fire—you need
an auto policy or other insurance coverage.
When the vehicle is distributed or sold and
is no longer part of the estate, you can easily
cancel the insurance you have purchased.
To complete this form, you will need the
following information:
•the deceased person’s full name (if the
deceased’s name is ­different on the
insurance policy, be sure to note that)
•the date of death (if you don’t know it, look
on the death ­certificate)
•vehicle year, make, and model
•the name of the insurance company that
issued the policy and the complete address
of its home office
•the vehicle insurance policy number
•the latest billing statement from the
insurance company
•a certified death certificate for the person
who has died (see Form 16 to request a
death c­ ertificate), and
•in some cases, a certified copy of your
driving record (available from your state’s
department of motor ­vehicles).
tip
Document your role as executor. The
insurance company may require proof of your status
as the executor. Be prepared to send a copy of the
court order that names you as the executor. If you
do not have a court order by the time the insurance
company calls you, ask what other proof it will
accept.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date the Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle­
­Insurance Company. Make two copies of the
signed notice. Mail the original and one copy
to the insurance company office, along with a
stamped, self-addressed envelope. Remember to
enclose a certified copy of the deceased person’s
death ­certificate. Keep the second copy of the
notice for your records. ●
4
C H APT E R
Renting a Place to Live
Form 23: Apartment-Finding Service Checklist........................................................................ 44
Form 24: Rental Application................................................................................................................ 45
Form 25: Fixed-Term Residential Lease and
Form 26: Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement............................................ 46
Form 27: Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease................................................ 48
Form 28: Consent to Assignment of Lease.................................................................................. 49
Form 29: Landlord-Tenant Checklist............................................................................................... 49
Form 30: Notice of Needed Repairs................................................................................................. 50
Form 31: Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out..................................................................... 51
Form 32: Demand for Return of Security Deposit................................................................... 51
44 | 101 law forms for personal use
W
hether you rent or own property,
you probably understand just
how bad a failed landlord-tenant
relationship can be. But there is an excellent
way to get any landlord-tenant relationship off
to a good start and minimize the possibility of
future misunderstandings and legal problems:
Put all agreements in writing. This chapter
includes a rental agreement, a lease, and the
principal forms you’ll need to do this, plus a
few forms that will be helpful at move-out time.
resource
To learn more details of landlord-tenant
law, see the following Nolo books and software:
From the landlord’s point of view:
• Every Landlord’s Legal Guide, by Marcia Stewart,
Ralph Warner, and Janet Portman. This 50-state
book provides extensive legal and practical
information on leases, tenant screening, rent,
security deposits, privacy, repairs, property
managers, ­discrimination, roommates, liability,
tenancy ­termination, and much more. It includes
more than 30 legal forms and agreements as
tear-outs and on CD-ROM.
• LeaseWriter Plus. This software program generates
a customized legal residential lease or rental
agreement, plus more than a dozen key documents
and forms every landlord or property manager
needs. It includes instant access to state-specific
landlord-tenant information and extensive ­online
legal help.
From the tenant’s point of view:
• Every Tenant’s Legal Guide, by Janet Portman and
Marcia Stewart. This book gives tenants in all 50
states the legal and practical information they
need to deal with their landlords and p
­ rotect
their rights when things go wrong. It covers all
important issues of ­renting, including signing a
lease, getting a landlord to make needed repairs,
fighting ­illegal discrimination, protecting privacy
rights, ­dealing with roommates, getting the
security ­deposit ­returned fairly, moving out, and
much more.
Form 23: Apartment-Finding
Service Checklist
Many landlords list their rental property with a
homefinders’ service that provides a centralized
listing of rental units for a particular geographic
area. Using one of these services, many of
which are online, can be an efficient way for a
tenant to search for a place to live, especially
in metropolitan areas. Prices of “brick and
mortar” apartment-finding services vary, but
typically tenants pay a flat fee, such as $50 to
$100 for a one-month membership. In some
tight rental markets, you may also have to pay
the service a percentage of your monthly rent if
you find an apartment through them. Online
services such as Rent.com are typically free.
Check n
­ ewspaper ads or look in the yellow
pages under “Apartment Finding and Rental
Services.” To find an online service (national or
regional), type “apartment finding” into your
brower’s Search box.
tip
Do a little investigating. Many home­
finding services do a good job of helping people
to find a place to rent, but some are sloppy and a
few are ­actually crooked. Unscrupulous companies
have been caught selling either outdated rental
lists—most or all of the apartments have ­already
been rented—or lists no different from what is in a
newspaper. So before you sign up with and pay an
apartment-finding service, check with the Better
Business Bureau and local ­consumer organizations
to be sure the service is reputable and worth the
money. Also, especially in urban areas, pay close
attention to the geographical scope of any service
you are considering. Some may be excellent in one
area but not others.
chapter 4 | renting a place to live | 45
Form 23, the Apartment-Finding Service
Checklist, offers you a good way to organize
and collect the information you need before
pulling out your checkbook and signing up
with a service. Use it to jot down the type,
number, and locations of listings typically
available, membership costs, and additional
services such as roommate referrals
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist. Simply
fill one out each time you start collecting
information on a different homefinding service.
Keep a copy and make it the first entry in your
rental file, where you’ll put all important papers
relating to your rental.
Form 24: Rental Application
Landlords routinely use rental applications to
screen potential tenants and select those who
are likely to pay the rent on time, keep the unit
in good condition, and not cause problems.
Form 24 calls for a wide variety of information,
including the applicant’s rental, employment,
credit history, and personal references.
Conscientious landlords will insist on verifying
this information before signing a lease or rental
agreement.
If you own or manage rental property, you
can use this rental application to help screen
potential tenants. Be sure to ask all serious
applicants to fill out an application, not just
those whom you think need special scrutiny.
Ask all applicants to sign the rental ­application
authorizing you to verify the information
and references and to run a credit check. Also,
use the “Notes” section at the end of the
­application to write down legal reasons for
refusing an individual—for example, negative
credit history, insufficient ­income, or your
inability to verify information. You will want
this kind of record in order to survive a fair
housing challenge if a disappointed applicant
files a discrimination complaint.
caution
Make sure you understand how discrimination laws work. Many types of discrimination are
illegal, including race, religion, national origin, sex,
familial status, disability, and, in some states, sexual
orientation or marital status. For more i­nformation
on legal and illegal reasons to reject a tenant, see the
­resources listed at the beginning of this chapter.
Savvy tenants will also find Form 24 useful
when looking for a new place to live. If you’re
a tenant, we suggest you complete this rental
application in advance of apartment-hunting—
providing information about your employment,
income, credit background, and rental
housing history. Take a copy of the completed
application with you when you see a potential
rental unit. This is almost guaranteed to impress
a landlord or rental agent.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the Rental
­Application. If you’re a landlord, give a copy to
each tenant applying for your rental property.
Be sure the tenant fills it in completely and
signs it ­before you call references or run a credit
check.
If you’re a tenant, complete the application
in advance of apartment-hunting. You can
either give your application to prospective
landlords or use the information you’ve pulled
together on Form 24 to complete the landlord’s
application.
46 | 101 law forms for personal use
Form 25: Fixed-Term
Residential Lease
and
Form 26: Month-to-Month
Residential Rental Agreement
Leases and rental agreements often look so
similar they can be hard to tell apart. That’s
because both cover nitty-gritty issues such as the
amount of rent and deposits tenants must pay,
and the number of people who can live in the
rental unit. The big ­difference is the length of
the tenancy. A rental agreement typically lasts
only from one month to the next (although
week-to-week agreements are possible in many
states). The agreement automatically self-renews
unless t­ erminated by either the landlord or
tenant, by giving the proper amount of written
notice (typically 30 days). By ­contrast, a lease
almost always covers a longer, fixed term, such
as one year. With a lease, the landlord can’t raise
the rent or change other terms of the tenancy
until the lease runs out (unless the lease itself
allows future changes or the tenant agrees in
writing). In addition, a landlord can’t terminate
the tenancy before the lease expires, unless the
tenant fails to pay the rent or violates another
significant term of the lease or the law.
Form 25 is a fixed-term lease. Form 26 is
a month-to-month rental agreement. We
believe both are fair and balanced from both
landlord and tenant viewpoints. Each clause
is important, but there are three that merit
mention here:
Clause 8, Security Deposit. The laws of several
states require that landlords give tenants written
information on various aspects of the security
deposit, including where the deposit is being
held, interest payments, and the terms and
conditions under which the security deposit
may be withheld. Check with your state
consumer protection agency or research the law
to find out whether this is required.
Clause 15, Landlord’s Right to Access. This
provision tries to balance the tenant’s right of
privacy against the landlord’s right to enter the
rental unit to make ­repairs or for other legitimate
reasons. A landlord always has the right to enter
a rental unit in case of a genuine emergency,
such as fire. But to show the unit to prospective
tenants or to make repairs, many states require 24
hours’ written notice. Some states have no notice
requirements or simply require the landlord
to give the tenant “reasonable notice.” Others
require two days, 24 hours, or other specified
times. As with the security deposit details, you’ll
want to find out what your state requires before
filling in this clause.
Clause 19, Payment of Court Costs and Attorney
Fees in a Lawsuit. Our clause provides that if
the landlord and tenant have a dispute about
the meaning or implementation of the lease
or rental agreement, and if the disagreement
results in a lawsuit that involves lawyers, the
prevailing (victorious) party will be entitled to
have the loser pay the winner’s attorney fees
and court costs. Unlike many fees and costs
clauses that would compensate only a victorious
landlord, ours is even-handed (in many states, a
one-sided clause will be interpreted by a judge
to run both ways anyway).
For tenants, an attorney fees clause ­often
makes it easier to find a lawyer willing to take
a case that does not have the potential for a
hefty money judgment. That’s because with
an attorney fees clause, a winning tenant’s
lawyer will get paid by the landlord, rather
than having to rely on the tenant’s pocketbook.
On the other hand, tenants who are confident
about representing themselves may prefer not
to have an attorney fees clause, reasoning that
chapter 4 | renting a place to live | 47
a landlord who can’t recover attorney fees in a
lawsuit may be more willing to compromise,
rather than go to court.
Landlords usually prefer to include an
attorney fees clause unless they intend to do
all or most of their own legal work in any
potential eviction or other lawsuit concerning
the meaning or implementation of the rental
agreement or lease. When there’s no costs and
fees clause, each side typically pays their own
expenses regardless of who wins.
Signing Instructions
Print out two copies of the lease (or rental
agreement)—one for the landlord and one for
the tenant(s). The landlord and every tenant
should sign and date both originals in the
spaces indicated. The landlord should keep
one signed original and the tenant(s) the other.
(Co-tenants, if any, may make their own ­copies
of the tenants’ signed document.) Store your
document in a safe place.
State Laws Vary Concerning
Many Key Issues
All states have laws regulating residen­tial
landlord-tenant relationships. Typically, these
laws include establishing the maximum amount
allowed for a security deposit and the deadline
for returning it, the amount of notice ­required
to change or end a month-to-month ­tenancy,
­tenants’ privacy rights, late rent charges, a
tenant’s right to install locks, and disclosures
­regarding the condition of property. For details,
see the Nolo resources listed at the beginning of
the chapter.
Some states require that leases include
certain language. Many states require land­
lords to give tenants written information on
various aspects of the ­security deposit, such
as where it is held, interest payments, and
when the deposit may be withheld. Even if it’s
not required, you may want to provide details
on security deposits in the space provided in
Clause 8 of Forms 25 and 26.
Also, local rent control ordinances may
­require that your lease include specific
language, such as the address of the local rent
control board. Check your local ordinance for
more information.
Federal law requires landlords to disclose
known lead-based paint hazards in the rental
­premises. In addition, some states require
land­lords to make other disclosures about
the property, such as flood hazards, before a
new ­tenant signs a lease or rental agreement.
Clause 20 is the place to make these kinds of
disclosures.
48 | 101 law forms for personal use
Form 27: Landlord-Tenant
Agreement to
Terminate Lease
If you’re a tenant with a long-term lease, ideally
you’ll have a lease for just the amount of time you
need the rental. But despite your best efforts to
plan ahead, you may want to move before your
lease is up.
One option is to simply move out early.
Leaving before a fixed-term lease expires,
without paying the remainder of the rent
due under the lease, is called breaking the
lease. With a little luck, it may not cost you
much—in most states, the landlord is required
to take reasonable steps to re-rent the property.
If the landlord does so (and doesn’t attempt to
hide the fact that there’s now a new rent-paying
tenant), your financial liability will be limited
to paying the rent for the brief time the unit
was vacant.
Nevertheless, if you plan to leave early, you
don’t just have to move out and hope your
landlord plays fair and gets a new tenant
quickly. For a ­variety of reasons, the landlord
may procrastinate, claim an inability to find a
new tenant, or rent the unit to a t­ enant who
pays less rent than you did—meaning you’re
liable for the difference. Fortunately, there are
steps you can take to minimize your financial
responsibility—as well as help avoid receiving a
bad reference from the landlord next time you’re
apartment hunting.
First, consider simply asking the landlord to
­cancel the lease, using Form 27. If you and the
landlord both sign and date this form, your
obligations for rent beyond the termination
date end. (You are still responsible for unpaid
back rent and any ­damage you’ve caused
beyond normal wear and tear.) Why would
a landlord voluntarily agree to let you off the
hook? If you have been a steady and considerate
tenant, it’s possible that you’ll be treated in
kind, especially if the market is tight or the
landlord has a new tenant standing by who
will pay a higher rent. If the landlord­initially
balks at canceling the lease, you might prevail
by offering to pay an extra month’s rent in
exchange for the lease cancellation.
In some states, landlords must allow early
termination of a lease under certain conditions.
For example, in Delaware you need give only
30 days’ notice to end a long-term lease if you
must move because your present employer has
relocated or because of health problems—yours
or a family member’s. In New Jersey, a tenant
who has suffered a disabling illness or accident
can break a lease and leave after 40 days’
notice. Federal law allows military and other
personnel to terminate a lease early when called
to active duty, and some states, such as Georgia,
allow members of the military to break a lease
because of a change in orders. If you have a
good reason for a sudden move, check your
state’s law.
If you can’t get the landlord to cancel the lease
outright, your best approach is usually to find
a new tenant who will be ready to move in as
soon as you leave and who will sign a new lease
at the same or higher rent. If you follow this
approach, you should owe nothing additional
since the landlord won’t be able to argue that a
suitable replacement tenant couldn’t be found.
tip
When the landlord won’t accept
the tenant you find. Keep careful records of all
prospective ­tenants you find, especially their credit
histories—you can use the Rental Application (Form
24). If the landlord sues you for back rent, present
these records to the judge as proof the landlord
failed to limit (mitigate) damages by accepting a
suitable replacement tenant.
chapter 4 | renting a place to live | 49
If the landlord accepts the new tenant, you
and the landlord should cancel your lease by
completing Form 27. The landlord and the new
­tenant can sign their own lease, and you will no
longer be in the picture.
Signing Instructions
Print out two copies of the Landlord-Tenant
Agreement to Terminate Lease form—one for
the landlord and one for the tenant(s). The
landlord and every tenant should sign and date
both originals. The landlord should keep one
signed original and the tenant(s) the other. (Cotenants, if any, may make their own copies of
the tenants’ signed document.)
Form 28: Consent to
Assignment of Lease
If you are a tenant who wants to move out
permanently, but the landlord won’t cancel
your lease or sign a new lease with a tenant you
find, your next best option may be to “assign”
your lease to a new ­tenant (called an “assignee”)
who is acceptable to the landlord. With an
assignment, you turn over the remainder of
your lease to someone else. You can do this with
Form 28. Unless the landlord agrees otherwise,
you remain in the picture as a guarantor of
rent payments in case the new occupant (the
­assignee) fails to pay. Having a second source
for the rent is one reason a savvy landlord might
agree to an assignment but not a cancellation.
Landlords can voluntarily waive their rights
to look to you as the guarantor of the assignee’s
rent, something that is not uncommon when
the new tenant has excellent credit. Clause 4
of Form 28 releases you from this worrisome
obligation, essentially ­putting you in the
position of someone who has terminated the
lease. If the landlord balks at the ­release, and
you are reasonably sure of your replace­ment’s
ability to pay the rent, you may not be risking
much if you cross out Clause 4 and ­remain
theoretically responsible for the rent.
Signing Instructions
Print out three copies of the Consent to
Assignment of Lease form—one for the
landlord, one for the tenant and one for the
assignee. Each person should sign and date all
originals in the spaces indicated. The landlord
should keep one signed original and the ­tenant
and assignee the others.
Form 29: Landlord-Tenant
Checklist
Legal disputes between tenants and landlords
have justly gained a reputation for having the
potential to be almost as nasty as a bad divorce.
And like a failed marriage, disputes often
continue after the legal r­ elationship is over. This
is most likely to ­occur when a landlord keeps
all or part of a tenant’s security deposit, claiming
the place was left filthy or damaged.
Fortunately, using Form 29, a landlord and
tenant can work together to minimize depositrelated ­disputes by jointly inspecting the rental
unit at both the start and end of the tenancy.
The idea is to identify damage, dirt, mildew,
and obvious wear and tear before the tenant
moves in (use column 1) and inspect the
unit again in the company of the landlord or
property manager just before the tenant moves
out (use columns 2 and 3).
In the “additional explanation” section
at the end of the form, note any areas of
disagreement. ­(Incidentally, to avoid a court
battle over security deposit deductions, many
wise landlords and ­tenants try to compromise
any disputed damage claims when doing the
50 | 101 law forms for personal use
final inspection.) Tenants should read and
check the box on the bottom of the third page
of the form regarding smoke detectors and fire
extinguishers.
Signing Instructions
After completing the Landlord-Tenant
Checklist at move-in time, make two copies.
The landlord and tenant should sign and date
both originals and each keep one original.
Review the checklist again at move-out time.
tip
Take photos or a video at move-in and
move-out to avoid disputes. Having photos lets you
compare “before” and “after” pictures, rather than
dealing with competing versions of the condition
of the property. If you end up in court fighting over
the security deposit, photos will be invaluable visual
proof. ­Tenants should consider taking along a friend
or ­colleague as a potential witness to the condition
of the rental unit at move-in and move-out time—
someone who will be available to testify in court on
your behalf if necessary.
Form 30: Notice
of Needed Repairs
Landlords are legally required to offer their
tenants livable premises when they offer a unit
for rent, and to maintain their rental property
in decent ­condition throughout the rental term.
In most states, the legal jargon used to describe
this obligation is the “landlord’s legal duty to
fulfill the implied warranty of habitability.”
Tenants have the right to a decent place to
live even if they move into a place that’s clearly
substandard (below reasonable habitability
standards), or even if the lease comes right
out and says that the landlord doesn’t have
to provide a habitable unit. Or put another
way, almost all courts have ­rejected the sleazy
argument that tenants waive the right to a
livable place when they accept a substandard
rental unit.
If there’s a problem with the physical
condition of your rental unit, you’ll want
to notify your landlord or manager as soon
as possible so that it can be promptly fixed.
The best approach is to put ­every repair and
maintenance request in writing, using Form
30, keeping a copy for yourself. You may find
it easier to call your landlord first, particularly
in ­urgent cases, but be sure to follow up with a
written repair request.
Be as specific as possible regarding the problem
—whether it’s plumbing, heating, security,
weatherproofing, or other defects. Note the
effects of the problem on you, what you want
done, and when. For example, if the thermostat
on your heater is ­always finicky and sometimes
doesn’t function at all, explain how long you’ve
been without heat and how low the temperature
has dipped—don’t simply say “the heater needs to
be fixed.” Be sure to note the date of the request
and how many requests, if any, have preceded this
one. Keep records of all repair requests.
If you are a landlord, it’s a good idea to give
­tenants copies of Form 30 and encourage them
to immediately report plumbing, heating,
weatherproofing, or other defects or safety
problems. Be sure to note details as to how
and when the problem was fixed, including
reasons for any delay, on the bottom of the
tenant’s repair request form. Keep copies of all
completed forms in your tenant files.
Signing Instructions
There are no specific signing instructions for
this Notice of Needed Repairs form. Tenants
should ­simply sign the document and keep a
copy for their records. If your landlord has an
on-site office or a resident manager, deliver
chapter 4 | renting a place to live | 51
the repair request personally. If you mail it,
consider sending it certified mail (return receipt
requested) or use a delivery service that will
give you a receipt establishing delivery. Besides
keeping a copy of every written repair ­request,
keep notes of oral communications, too.
tip
If your landlord ignores your requests
and your rental is unlivable, you’ll have to
undertake stronger measures. These might include
calling state or local building or health inspectors,
moving out, withholding the rent, or repairing the
problem yourself. These remedies, available only in
certain situations according to your state’s laws, are
thoroughly discussed in the Nolo books listed at the
beginning of this chapter.
Form 31: Tenant’s Notice
of Intent to Move Out
If you have a month-to-month tenancy, in most
states and for most rentals you must provide 30
days’ notice to your landlord if you want to
move out. In some states, if you pay rent weekly
or twice a month, you can give written notice
to terminate that matches your rent payment
interval. For e­ xample, if you pay rent every
two weeks, you may need to give only 14 days’
notice.
In most states, you can give notice at any time
during the month. For example, if you pay rent
on the first of the month but give notice on the
tenth, you will be obliged to pay for only ten
days’ rent for the next month, even if you move
out earlier. To calculate the amount, prorate the
monthly rent using 30 days.
Check the Nolo resources listed at the
beginning of the chapter for specific require­
ments as to how and when to give notice.
Signing Instructions
Tenants should sign and date the Tenant’s
Notice of Intent to Move Out form and give or
mail it to the landlord. Be sure to check your
state rules to make sure you are meeting any
specific notice requirements.
tip
If you give oral notice, follow up in
writing with this form. If you know your landlord or
manager well, you may wish to convey your moving
plans in a face-to-face or phone conversation.
Fine, but immediately follow up with written con­
firmation. The law almost always requires written
notice. You can use Form 31 for this purpose.
Form 32: Demand for
Return of Security Deposit
Getting cleaning and security deposits returned
can be a problem for tenants. To avoid trouble,
or to successfully deal with a landlord who
unfairly retains your deposit, use Form 29, the
Landlord-­Tenant Checklist, to make a written
and photographic record of what the place
looks like when you move in and when you
move out. Be sure you leave the rental in good
condition, give proper notice, and are paid up
in rent when you leave. And don’t forget to give
the landlord your new address.
Depending on the law of your state, you
should normally receive your deposits back
within 14 to 30 days of moving out. If you
don’t, send a written request using the Demand
for Return of ­Security Deposit. If this doesn’t
work, you may need to sue the landlord in
small claims court. (Some state s­ ecurity deposit
statutes require tenants to make a written
request; and, in some states, small claims court
rules require you to send a demand letter ­before
you can sue.)
52 | 101 law forms for personal use
Your demand letter should state the date you
moved out of the rental and lay out the reasons
your landlord owes you deposit money. Refer to
any statutory deadlines and tangible evidence
supporting your demand, such as photos or a
before-and-after Landlord-Tenant Checklist.
Form 32 makes it clear that if the landlord does
not promptly return your deposit by a specified
date (we suggest seven to ten days), you plan to
go to small claims court.
In many states, if a landlord withholds a
deposit without giving the tenant a good
written reason for doing so (for example, to
cover specific damage or unpaid rent) within
the required time, the tenant has some powerful
options. Tenants can sue for the amount of
the wrongly withheld deposit, plus an extra
amount for punitive damages if the landlord
intentionally failed to return the ­deposit on
time. Check your state law for specifics and
refer to them in any correspondence with your
landlord. For example, California landlords
have three weeks to return the security deposit
with an itemized statement of deductions
and copies of receipts or invoices for needed
cleaning or repairs.
Signing Instructions
Sign your Demand for Return of Security
Deposit letter and send it certified mail (return
receipt ­requested) to the landlord, or use a
delivery service that will give you a receipt
establishing delivery. Keep a copy of your letter
and all related correspondence. You’ll need this if
you end up in a court dispute over your security
deposit.
Going to Small Claims Court
Hopefully your Demand for Return of Security
Deposit letter will spur action on the landlord’s
part and you’ll get your deposit back. If it
doesn’t, you may need to file in small claims
court. These courts will handle disputes worth
up to a certain amount—typical limits are
$5,000, $7,500, and up to $10,000 (each state
sets its own limit). Most security deposit
disputes will fit within the court’s limit. You
can sue your landlord for your security ­deposit
and for interest (if it’s required in your state or
city). In many states you can also sue for extra
punitive damages if the landlord intentionally
failed to return the deposit on time.
It is inexpensive (usually $10 to $50) to file
a case in small claims court, you don’t need a
lawyer, and disputes usually go before a judge
(there are no juries) within 30 to 60 days. Small
claims courts are informal places, intended to
be used by regular folks presenting their own
cases.
resource
For detailed advice on filing (or defending)
a case in small claims court, see Everybody’s Guide to
Small Claims Court, by Ralph Warner (Nolo). ●
5
C H APT E R
Borrowing or Lending Money
Form 33: Loan Comparison Worksheet........................................................................................ 54
Form 34: Authorization to Check Credit and Employee References............................. 54
Form 35: Monthly Payment Record................................................................................................ 56
Forms 36–40: Promissory Notes........................................................................................................ 56
Form 36: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest................................. 58
Form 37: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With
Interest and Balloon Payment........................................................................................................... 59
Form 38: Promissory Note—Installment Payments Without Interest......................... 60
Form 39: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment With Interest.................................... 60
Form 40: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment Without Interest............................ 61
Form 41: Cosigner Provision................................................................................................................ 61
Forms 42–45: Security Agreements................................................................................................. 61
Form 42: Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note.......................................... 62
Form 43: Security Agreement............................................................................................................. 63
Form 44: U.C.C. Financing Statement............................................................................................. 63
Form 45: Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement...................................................................... 64
Form 46: Agreement to Modify Promissory Note................................................................... 64
Form 47: Overdue Payment Demand............................................................................................. 65
Form 48: Demand to Make Good on Bad Check..................................................................... 65
54 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
his chapter contains several promissory
notes you can use when you borrow
money from or lend money to a friend,
relative, or someone else who isn’t a commercial
customer. (Banks and other institutional lenders
follow many legal rules and must use forms
with far more fine print.) This chapter also
includes a loan comparison worksheet to keep
track of information you collect on different
loans (whether from a personal or commercial
lender), a form to authorize a lender to check
the borrower’s credit, and “demand” letters to
use when trying to collect an overdue payment
or bad check.
Form 33: Loan
Comparison Worksheet
A good consumer shops around before making
a significant purchase. There is no reason to
act otherwise when you are looking to borrow
money. A loan from one bank may come with
very different terms than a loan from a credit
union or finance company—or even from a
different bank across town. And a loan from
your former college roommate or your Aunt
Charlotte may be very different still.
The cost of a loan doesn’t depend only on how
much interest you pay. Long-term loans will
carry a higher rate of interest than will short-term
loans (the lender runs the risk that inflation will
erode the real value of the interest it receives for
a longer period, so it passes some of this risk on
to you in the form of a higher interest rate). But
short-term loans are not necessarily cheaper. You
need to consider application fees and other upfront fees, which can vary considerably from one
lender to the next, when computing the cost of a
loan. Fortunately, this isn’t true of all short-term
loans, so be sure to shop around. When you apply
for a commercial loan, the lender must tell you
the annual cost of the loan. This is stated as the
annual percentage rate, or APR. You can use that
figure to compare the annual cost of different
loans.
APR isn’t the entire story, especially for adjust­
able rate loans or loans with a balloon payment
or other features. For a full comparison of
loans, use this worksheet to record the terms of
any loans you are considering, whether to buy
a car or computer ­system or pay down your
credit cards. See “Basic Loan Terms ­Explained,”
below, before you start collecting information
on different loans.
Because mortgage loans involve far more
considerations than the loans discussed in
this chapter, use Form 51 (Mortgage Rates
and Terms Worksheet) in Chapter 6, when
shopping around for a mortgage.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the Loan
Comparison Worksheet. Simply fill one out
each time you start collecting information on
different loans.
Form 34: Authorization
to Check Credit and
Employee References
Commercial lenders—banks, credit unions, and
finance companies—will always check a loan
applicant’s credit before agreeing to lend money.
If you’re thinking of lending someone money,
it makes good sense to check the borrower’s
credit and employment references. You’ll need
the borrower’s signed authorization to do this.
Most employers, financial institutions, and credit
sources require this kind of signed authorization
before providing information on the borrower.
That’s the purpose of Form 34. The borrower
should complete all sections, including details on
employment and credit history.
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 55
Basic Loan Terms Explained
To understand your loan agreement, you’ll need
to know the meaning of a few terms.
Adjustable rate. The interest rate the lender
charges that is set initially, usually fairly low, and
then fluctuates ­(usually meaning it increases)
every several months.
Balloon payment. A lump sum payment
made at the end of a loan to cover the remaining
balance. For example, you ­borrow $10,000 for five
years at 6% interest. The monthly payments are
$193.33. You can afford to pay only about half
that amount. So the lender lets you pay $100 a
month. At the end of five years, you owe a balloon
payment of $6,511.53. Balloon payments are usually
bad deals. Borrowers often get into trouble by
focusing on the low monthly payments rather
than the large and often unaffordable sum due at
the end of the loan term.
Cap. On an adjustable rate loan, the cap refers
both to the maximum amount the interest rate
can increase each year and the ultimate maxi­
mum a ­interest rate can reach. For example, an
adjustable rate loan that begins at 4% may have
an annual cap of 0.5% and a lifetime cap of 7%.
This means that at the beginning of the second
year, the rate will be 4.5%. If the loan continues to
increase 0.5% each year, it will reach its lifetime
cap or 7% at six years.
Collateral. Property a borrower pledges as
security for repayment of a loan. Sometimes it’s the
item ­being ­purchased, such as a car. Other times
the collateral is property the borrower already
owns. If the borrower defaults, a lender can take
the collateral without first suing the b
­ orrower
and obtaining a judgment.
Cosigner. A creditworthy person who agrees
to be fully liable for repayment of a loan if the
borrower defaults.
Credit check. A lender getting a copy of the
borrower’s credit report from a credit reporting
agency in order to verify the borrower’s credit­
worthiness.
Credit insurance. Insurance coverage offered
by some lenders to pay off a loan in the event the
­borrower becomes d
­ isabled or dies.
Fixed rate. The interest rate the lender charges
that is ­established at the outset and will never
change.
Grace period. The number of days a borrower
has after a loan payment is due to make the
pay­ment without being charged a late fee. For
example, if your loan payments are due on the
1st of the month, you may have a grace period
until the 10th, meaning that the lender will
accept your payment until that date without
penalizing you.
Late fee. The fee a lender charges when a
­borrower pays late. See “Grace period.”
Loan application fee. Nuisance fees charged by
lenders for the privilege of lending money. These
include credit checks, appraisals on collateral,
and loan processing fees.
Loan discounts. Incentives a lender offers to
reduce a loan’s interest rate. For example, you
might be offered a 0.5% discount if you set up
direct payment from your checking account or if
you maintain a checking account with the lender
with a minimum balance of $1,000.
Points. Real estate loans usually come with
points, an amount of money equal to a percentage
of your loan. This money is paid to the lender
simply for the privilege of borrowing money.
Prepayment penalty. A penalty imposed on
a borrower for paying off a loan early. It’s usually
­expressed as a flat fee or a percentage of the
interest the lender lost by your prepaying.
56 | 101 law forms for personal use
Doing a credit and reference check will give
you a good idea whether the borrower is likely
to repay you in full and on time, and puts you
in a good position to say “no” to someone with
poor credit. While checking a person’s credit
references and saying “no” may put a strain
on a personal relationship, making a loan to
someone who can’t handle it is more likely to
cause long-term problems. When a personal
loan isn’t repaid, the result is often the loss of a
friendship or some serious family tension.
Signing Instructions
The person borrowing money should sign and
date the Authorization to Check Credit and
Personal References. The ­lender should keep
the original and give the borrower a copy.
The ­lender should also send copies of the
signed authorization form to the credit and
employment references that will be checked.
It may be helpful to enclose a stamped, selfaddressed envelope.
Form 35: Monthly
Payment Record
If a loan will be repaid over many months or years,
it’s easy to forget if and when every payment has
been made. This is especially likely if the debtor
misses several payments because of an emergency
and then makes them up a little at a time. In this
case, the amounts will be different each month. Use
Form 35, Monthly Payment Record, to keep track
of payments made under installment notes, such
as the promissory notes (Forms 36-40) included in
this chapter.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the
Monthly Payment Record. The lender simply
records payments due and made every month.
Forms 36–40:
Promissory Notes
A promissory note is a written promise to
pay money to someone. As with all legal
documents, promissory notes often contain
loads of needless hyped-up legalese. Because the
notes in this chapter are designed to be used
primarily between family and friends—and
because, lawyers notwithstanding, there is no
law against u
­ sing plain English—we prefer to
keep the language simple.
The primary function of a promissory note
is to document the amount of a debt and the
terms under which it will be repaid, including
the interest rate (if any). A promissory note is
typically signed when money is borrowed or
something is bought on credit. Here are several
important reasons why all promissory notes
should be put in writing:
•You are assured that the borrower and lender
have agreed to the same terms, including
the repayment schedule and interest rate.
•You specify exactly what those terms are.
•Both parties have a written document to
refresh their memories if need be.
This chapter contains five promissory notes,
each designed to deal with a somewhat different
repayment scenario:
•Form 36: Promissory Note—Installment
Payments With Interest
•Form 37: Promissory Note—Installment
Payments With Interest and Balloon
Payment
•Form 38: Promissory Note—Installment
Payments Without Interest
•Form 39: Promissory Note—Lump Sum
Payment With Interest
•Form 40: Promissory Note—Lump Sum
Payment Without Interest.
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 57
All of these notes are for unsecured loans—
meaning that the borrower does not pledge any
property, such as a car, as collateral to guarantee
repayment. This means if the borrower doesn’t
repay the loan, the lender must sue in court to
get a judgment, which then makes the lender
eligible to collect by use of wage garnishment or
property attachments. You can add a security
provision to your note using Form 42, which
gives the lender the right to force the sale of
personal property pledged as collateral if the
borrower doesn’t repay. Form 43 is the actual
security agreement you will use when property is
pledged.
Signing Instructions for
Promissory Notes
The borrower(s) must sign the Promissory
Note for it to be valid. (There may be two
borrowers—for example, if a husband and
wife are jointly borrowing money. See “Does a
Borrower’s Spouse Need to Sign a Promissory
Note?”) Print out one copy of the form. The
borrower(s) should sign and date only one copy
of the document in the space provided. This
signed original should be given to the lender.
The borrower(s) should keep a copy of the
signed document for their own records.
form
The promissory note forms contain
a space for the acknowledgment of a notary
public. You may want to have the borrower sign
the promissory note in front of a notary public. This
may be ­required in some states; even if it is not,
notarization adds a measure of legal credibility to
your promissory note. (See “Signing the Forms,” in
the introduction, for general a­ dvice on having a form
notarized.)
Does a Borrower’s Spouse Need
to Sign a Promissory Note?
A promissory note is a contract that makes a
borrower liable for a debt. The lender may ask
that the borrower’s spouse sign as well. This
is likely to happen, for example, if someone
is borrowing money to buy property that
both spouses will use or to help finance a new
business venture. Keep in mind that a lender
may not require a borrower’s spouse to sign if
the b­ orrower is the only one applying for the
loan and no jointly held or community property
is i­nvolved.
By having the borrower’s spouse sign, a
second person becomes legally liable for
repaying the debt. Normally, if only the
borrower signed the contract and didn’t repay
it, the other party to the agreement could
get a judgment against the b
­ orrower but not
the borrower’s spouse. This means that the
creditor would be able to seize property that
the borrower owns as sole owner, but not
property that the borrower and a spouse own
in both of their names or that the spouse owns
solely, unless the ­borrower lives in a community
property state such as California. (See “Who
Pays the Debts in Community Property States?”
for more details.) But if the borrower and
spouse both sign a contract and then default,
the other party can sue and get a judgment
against both people. That judgment can be
enforced by seizing the couple’s joint bank
account, putting a lien on jointly owned real
estate, seizing property in the borrower’s name
alone, and s­ eizing property in the spouse’s
name alone.
58 | 101 law forms for personal use
Who Pays the Debts in Community Property States?
Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada,
New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin
follow the community property system. (In Alaska,
a couple can choose to have their property treated
as community property by preparing a written
agreement.) In these states, property acquired
during a marriage is g­ enerally considered
community (joint) regardless of whose name
it’s in or who paid for it. In addition, all debts
incurred during the ­marriage—even if only one
spouse signed the loan papers—are considered
community (joint) debts unless a creditor was
explicitly told that only one spouse would be
liable for the debt.
In most situations, the rights of creditors
to seize property after getting a judgment for
nonpayment of a debt depend on whether the
­property is considered community or separate.
• Community Property. Usually, property
earned or acquired by either spouse during the
marriage—except property acquired by gift or
tip
If the borrower’s credit is questionable,
consider requiring a cosigner. You can add a
cosigner clause to your promissory note by using
Form 41.
Form 36: Promissory Note—
Installment Payments
With Interest
Form 36 allows for the borrower to repay the
note in installments rather than all at once,
and charges interest. Charging a friend or
family member interest strikes some people as
inheritance or defined as separate under
a premarital agreement—is considered
­community property. A creditor can go after
all community property to pay for either a
­community debt or a separate debt of one
spouse.
• Separate Property. This is property a spouse
owned before getting married, acquired ­during
the marriage by gift or inheritance, or agreed
in writing to be kept separate. It’s also property
acquired using separate assets. For example, if
a woman owned a house when she got married,
then sold it and used the proceeds to buy
stock held in her name, the stock is clearly her
separate property. For community debts, a
creditor can seek ­reimburse­ment from either
spouse’s separate property. For example, for
debt the wife accumulates while married, a
creditor can go after her separate property
and all community property, including her
husband’s share.
being ungenerous. In our opinion, this view is
based on a misconception as to the function
of ­interest, which is to fairly compensate the
lender for the use of the money. Think of it this
way. Suppose Joan lends Harry $5,000 for a
year, interest free. If Joan had put the money in
a certificate of deposit, she would have earned
the going rate of interest. By giving Harry the
money interest free, Joan ends up paying for the
privilege of lending the money to Harry.
Interest charged on money lent to friends
and relatives tends to run between 5% and
10%. If you wish to charge a higher rate of
interest, check your state law to see if the rate
is legal; it may constitute the crime of usury.
How much interest is appropriate? In an effort
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 59
to be generous to a relative or friend, many
lenders charge interest at somewhat less than
the market rate, sometimes as little as—or
just slightly more than—they would receive if
they ­purchased a bank certificate of deposit for
the same time period. This is a great deal for
the borrower; after all, even if Harry qualified
to borrow from a bank or other commercial
lender, he would have to pay a much higher
rate of interest than Joan would receive if she
put the money in a CD.
Charging interest adds a level of complication
when it comes to figuring out the amount of
the monthly payments. For this, you will need
an amortization calculator or software program.
You can find one at www.nolo.com. You plug
in the loan amount, interest rate, and number
of months the borrower will take to repay the
loan. The calculator gives you the monthly
payment amount.
If the borrower decides to pay off the
principal sooner than the promissory note calls
for under the installment plan, you will have
to recalculate the payments based on the new
outstanding balance. This is easy to do with the
amortization calculator.
Form 37: Promissory Note—
Installment Payments With
Interest and Balloon Payment
Form 37 is similar to Form 36 in that the loan
must be repaid in installments with interest.
But there’s an additional twist: Individual
payments are lower than they otherwise would
be, with the shortfall made up by one large
balloon payment at the end of the loan term.
To see how this works, let’s take a look at an
example. You lend a friend $10,000 at 7%
interest and want the money paid back in three
years. Using an amortization calculator, you
Legal Terminology of Promissory Notes
Here we translate some legal terms into plain
­English.
Acceleration. Our promissory notes
accelerate the borrower’s responsibility to make
all necessary loan payments if the borrower
misses one or more regularly scheduled
payments. You specify the number of days—
typically 30 or 60—the borrower has to pay
before you exercise this option. Without this
provision you can’t sue for loan installments not
yet due, even though the borrower has missed
several payments and it is obvious he has no
plans to repay.
Attorney fees. Our promissory notes include
a clause providing that the borrower has to pay
the lender’s attorney fees and court costs in a
legal dispute if the lender wins. Under the laws
of some states, this type of clause will be read
by a court to go both ways. This means that if the
borrower wins, she will be entitled to attorney
fees and court costs, even if the loan ­papers don’t
specifically say so.
Buyer in due course. This is a person who
buys or otherwise legally receives a promissory
note from a lender. The borrower’s obligation to
repay the note doesn’t change just because the
lender sells the note to someone else.
Joint and several liability. This means that if
there is more than one borrower, all borrowers
are liable for repaying 100% of the loan. If Chuck
and Laura borrow $5,000 from Miguel and then
default, Miguel can go after either Chuck or
Laura for the full $5,000. Neither can claim that
he or she is liable for only $2,500.
60 | 101 law forms for personal use
discover that your friend would have to pay you
$308.78 each month to pay it back over that
time.
Your friend can’t afford to pay that amount
each month now, but knows he will receive
some money in about three years when a trust
matures. So you propose the following: Your
friend can borrow $10,000 from you at 7%
and repay it over three years. But to make his
payments affordable now, you agree to amortize
the loan as though it were to be paid off in ten
years, meaning your friend’s monthly payments
are only $116.11, far less than $308.78. You
agree to take these low payments for 36 months
and at the end, your friend will make you one
large payment, called a balloon payment, of the
remaining principal. That amount is $7,693.
Form 38: Promissory Note—
Installment Payments
Without Interest
Use Form 38 if the borrower will repay you
in ­installments, but you won’t charge interest.
When the parties involved in the transaction are
family members or close friends, the amount
borrowed is relatively small, and the probability
of repayment is high, lenders sometimes prefer
to use an interest-free installment note.
Be aware that if the IRS learns of an interestfree loan, it can impute interest. This means
that the lender will be assumed to have earned
interest and will be required to report that
interest as income on that year’s tax return. For
most personal loans, this won’t be a problem
because uncharged interest can be treated as a
tax-free gift, as long as the total amount given
and imputed to the borrower in a calendar year
is $11,000 or less.
Form 39: Promissory Note—
Lump Sum Payment
With Interest
This note is normally used when the borrower
won’t be able to repay the loan for a period
of months or years. For example, you might
borrow money from a friend to help you open a
small business. You aren’t likely to have the cash
flow for at least six months or a year to repay
the loan. In such a s­ ituation, your friend might
agree to be repaid in a lump sum in two years.
The easiest way to determine the amount of
­annual interest that will be due on the loan is to
use simple, not compound, interest. Multiply
the amount of the loan by the annual interest
rate. For instance, if the loan is for $4,000 and
your annual interest rate is 10%, the annual
amount of interest on the loan is $400. To
determine the total amount of interest due,
multiply the annual interest amount by the time
period of the loan. In our example, if the loan is
for two years, the interest due would be $800.
If you need to compute the interest for a
period of months rather than years, compute
the interest for one year, divide by 12, and then
multiply the result by the number of months.
For example, ­assume the $4,000 loan is for
an 18-month period. Take the annual interest
amount ($400), divide by 12 ($33.33) and
multiply by 18 ($600).
If the loan is paid back before it is due,
Clause 2 gives the lender two choices:
•Charge the full interest. This is not
unreasonable, given that you committed
yourself to being without the amount of the
entire loan for the time indicated.
•Prorate the interest to correspond to the
actual period of time the loan was out­
standing. ­Returning to the $4,000 loan
example, if you originally figured interest at
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 61
10% for two years ($800) but the loan was
paid back in 18 months, simply charge the
18-month figure ($600) ­instead.
Form 40: Promissory Note—
Lump Sum Payment
Without Interest
This promissory note, which calls for a lump sum
loan repayment and no interest, is about as basic
as you can get. This sort of note is normally used
by people with a close personal relationship
when the person lending the money is primarily
interested in helping out the borrower and
expects nothing in return except, eventually, the
return of the amount borrowed.
If the IRS learns of the loan, it can impute
interest. This means that the lender will be
assumed to have earned interest and will be
required to report that interest as income on
that year’s tax return. For most personal loans,
this won’t be a problem because uncharged
interest can be treated as a tax-free gift, as long
as the total given to the borrower by the lender
and imputed by the IRS is $11,000 or less in a
calendar year.
Form 41: Cosigner Provision
A cosigner is someone who promises to repay a
loan if the primary debtor defaults. If you’ll be
lending money to someone with a questionable
(or no) credit history or a background of
sporadic employment, you might require one
or more cosigners, such as a parent or friend.
(Each cosigner is 100% liable to repay the note
if the borrower fails to.)
Federal law requires that commercial lenders
give cosigners a notice of their potential liability
when they agree to cosign a debt. Although
this is not ­required for personal loans between
friends and relatives, we believe full disclosure
of the risks of cosigning is a good idea and so
we incorporate much of that notice language in
Form 41.
Signing Instructions
After filling in the top of the Cosigner
Provision, staple it to your promissory note and
then have the cosigner complete, sign, and date
it. The lender should keep the original and give
each cosigner a copy, along with a copy of the
promissory note.
Forms 42–45:
Security Agreements
If you lend money to someone who does not
repay it, your only recourse usually is to sue the
person, get a court judgment, and then take
money or property that can legally be seized to
satisfy a debt.
There is an easier way: You can attach a
security agreement to the promissory note.
In a security agreement, you specify certain
property belonging to the borrower, such as
a car or computer, as collateral for repayment
of the loan. If the borrower doesn’t repay the
loan, you can take the property, sell it, and
use the proceeds to satisfy what you are owed.
You don’t have to go to court. However, you
do have to follow proper procedures when you
take back (repossess) the property.
Sometimes, a dishonest borrower will try
to use the same piece of collateral to secure
more than one debt. If that happens and the
unscrupulous ­borrower later defaults on these
secured loans, the lenders will find themselves
competing to sell the collateral and use the
proceeds to satisfy all their debts. How can
secured creditors protect themselves? It’s very
62 | 101 law forms for personal use
simple: They must be the first to file evidence of
their claim with the correct recording agency.
This chapter includes four different forms
relating to security interests:
•Form 42: Security Agreement Provision for
Promissory Note
•Form 43: Security Agreement
•Form 44: Uniform Commercial Code
(U.C.C.) Financing Statement
•Form 45: Release of U.C.C. Financing
Statement
Creating a security interest is a multistep
process. First you must add Form 42 to your
promissory note. Second, you must complete
a Security Agreement (Form 43) and attach
it to your promissory note. Third, a U.C.C.
Financing Statement (Form 44) will usually
need to be filed with the appropriate state
agency (this is typically done by the lender).
Note that the forms in this book are intended
to be used only when the borrower is securing
a loan with tangible personal property, such as
a computer or car. If you are considering using
real property, such as a house, as collateral for
a loan, you should seek the assistance of a real
estate lawyer. Title to real estate is a highly
technical matter beyond the scope of this
book. Similarly, if you are considering using
intangible personal property (bank accounts,
stock in a corporation) or intellectual property
(copyright, trademark, patent) as collateral for
the loan, you should consult an attorney.
Using Your House as Collateral
Think twice before you pledge real estate, and
especially your home, as collateral for a loan.
If you are unable to make loan payments, you
could lose a large investment, not to mention a
roof over your head.
When you pledge your home or other real
estate as security for a loan, a security agree­
ment is not adequate to protect the lender. The
borrower generally needs to sign a mortgage
or a deed or trust, which can then be recorded
(filed) at a county office to establish the lender’s
security interest in the real estate. Then, if the
borrower defaults, the lender has the right
to sell the property to recover the amount
due under the promissory note. This sort of
transaction is complicated—you should seek
the advice of a real estate lawyer before signing
a mortgage or deed of trust.
Form 42: Security Agreement
Provision for Promissory Note
You can use Form 42 to identify the security
interest, such as a car or valuable personal
property, as a part of your contract. Choose
the sample language on the form that is most
appropriate for your situation and delete the
others.
Signing Instructions
There are two ways to use the Security Agree­
ment Provision. You can either copy the
security language that’s appropriate into your
promissory note itself, or you can complete the
security agreement form and staple it to your
promissory note. If you use the form separately,
the borrower (owner of the collateral) should
sign and date the form. The lender should keep
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 63
the original and give the borrower a copy, along
with a copy of the promissory note. Otherwise,
if the security provision becomes part of the
note, the signing instructions for the note apply.
Form 43: Security Agreement
Use the Security Agreement to state the terms
of the lender’s security interest in the property
that will be used as collateral for the loan, and
to describe the property.
caution
Do not use this agreement if the collateral
is real property, such as a house. In that case, you
will need to file a mortgage or deed of trust with the
county land records office. See a real estate lawyer
for assistance with this transaction.
When describing the property that will be
used as collateral, be sure that you describe it
in enough detail that the property can be easily
identified. For example, you would describe
a vehicle as a “1998 Toyota Tacoma, license
plate number 9876543, Vehicle Identification
Number ABC1234567” instead of simply “my
red truck.”
In paragraph 1 of the agreement, you’ll need
to insert information from the promissory note
(the date, amount, and annual percentage rate).
In paragraphs 5 and 9, insert the state where
the property is located and the state whose laws
will govern the agreement—usually the state
where the parties live.
The agreement states that the lender will
file a U.C.C. Financing Statement (Form 44)
and that the borrower will sign any additional
documents needed to protect the lender’s
security interest. Signing additional documents
may be necessary in some situations, such as
when the secured property includes certain
kinds of assets (particularly cars and boats) that
may require the lender to be added to the asset’s
certificate of title instead of filing a Financing
Statement. See the discussion of Form 44 for
more information.
Be sure that you read and understand the
entire agreement—it contains many important
clauses, including requiring the borrower to
take care of the secured property, stating when
the borrower will be considered in default,
and describing what the lender can do if the
borrower defaults.
Signing Instructions
After completing the Security Agreement, both
parties should sign and date the last page. The
lender will keep the original and will attach it
to the original promissory note. Because the
Security Agreement is an important part of the
promissory note, be sure to also attach a copy of
the signed agreement to the borrower’s copy of
the promissory note.
Form 44: U.C.C.
Financing Statement
Use the U.C.C. Financing Statement to record
your security interest in personal property.
Once you have completed the security
agreement (Form 43), contact the appropriate
state agency to find out your state’s rules for
documenting the lender’s security interest in
the property. If the collateral is a car, boat, or
similar vehicle, you will most likely need to
contact the motor vehicles department. Some
kinds of assets (often those that are licensed
by the state, such as cars and boats) require
the lender to take a security interest in the
property by listing its name on the certificate
of title instead of filing a Financing Statement.
For most other property, such as electronics
equipment or a computer system, contact the
64 | 101 law forms for personal use
Secretary of State’s office. Ask for a copy of
your state’s rules for filing a U.C.C. Financing
Statement, and find out whether your state has
any special form you must use. If it does, use
the state form (not this one). Otherwise, use
Form 44.
tip
What is a “buyer in due course”? Forms
43, 44, 45, and 46 all contain a phrase that says that
“the term Lender refers to any person who legally
holds this note, including a buyer in due course.” This
phrase refers to any person who buys goods from
another person. In the context of these forms, it
refers to anyone who might purchase the promissory
note from the original lender, and says that such a
purchaser would hold the same rights as the original
lender to collect the money from the borrower.
Signing Instructions
The borrower(s) should sign and date the
U.C.C. Financing Statement. The lender should
keep the original and give the borrower a copy.
The lender should attach the promissory note
and the security ­agreement to the U.C.C.
Financing Statement and file these with the
appropriate state ­office, such as the secretary
of state. Leave the s­ ection at the bottom of the
form blank; the filing officer will complete this.
Form 45: Release of U.C.C.
Financing Statement
Once a loan is paid off, the borrower will want
the public record to reflect that the property is
no longer encumbered (being used as collateral)
in favor of the lender. To do this, you will need
to file Form 45 with the public agency, such as
the secretary of state’s office, where you filed
the U.C.C. Financing Statement. That will let
prospective lawyers, creditors, and credit rating
agencies know that the lender no longer claims
an interest in the borrower’s collateral.
This form should correspond to your original
U.C.C. Financing Statement. Therefore,
make sure the description of property listed as
collateral is identical and the other information
makes clear which U.C.C. Financing Statement
is being released.
Signing Instructions
The borrower(s) should sign and date the
Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement. The
lender should keep the original and give the
borrower a copy. The lender should file this
release with the appropriate state office, such as
the secretary of state. Leave the section at the
bottom of the form blank; the filing officer will
complete this.
Note: Make sure your state does not have
special U.C.C. form requirements before using
this form.
Form 46: Agreement to
Modify Promissory Note
If someone who borrows money from you falls
­behind on repayment, give a call to find out
what’s wrong. Offer whatever help you can to
get the borrower back on track. Sometimes
this will require no more than being willing to
extend the repayment period for a few months.
In other instances, you might take interest-only
payments or rewrite the loan at a lower interest
rate. Whatever you agree on, you must put it in
writing. You can use Form 46 for that purpose.
Signing Instructions
The borrower(s) who signed the promissory
note should sign and date the Agreement to
Modify Promissory Note, and indicate the
location (city or county) where this agreement
chapter 5 | borrowing or lending money | 65
is being signed. The lender should keep the
original signed document and give a copy to the
borrower(s).
Form 47: Overdue
Payment Demand
If someone who owes you money under a
promissory note falls behind on repayment
despite your efforts to work out a new
repayment plan, your next step is to send the
borrower a formal demand letter. You can
use Form 47 in such a situation. It serves as
a formal notice to the borrower that you are
demanding repayment. It states that if you do
not hear from the borrower within 15 days, you
will enforce your rights under the promissory
note, including possibly filing a lawsuit to
collect the debt.
caution
Be careful not to make any threats that
you don’t intend to follow up. Although the federal
and state fair debt law probably don’t apply to you,
it’s still a good idea to be fair, yet firm, in trying to
persuade the borrower to pay you back.
Signing Instructions
Sign the Overdue Payment Demand and send
it to all borrowers and all cosigners by certified
mail ­(return receipt requested). Keep a copy
for your records. You may later need this if you
end up ­suing the borrower to collect the money
owed.
cross reference
If you are writing a demand letter to
request the return of a security deposit, use Form 32
in Chapter 4.
Form 48: Demand to
Make Good on Bad Check
This form is similar to Form 47 in that it’s
used when someone who owes you money is
not meeting the obligation to pay you and
has ignored all your efforts to resolve the
problem informally. The difference is that this
form is used when the person who owes you
money writes you a bad check, a slightly more
complicated legal situation. Use Form 48 to
make a formal written demand for payment on
a bad check.
Although writing a bad check is a crime
in every state, prosecutions for writing bad
checks are rare. Even in the unlikely event that
a district ­attorney is willing to bring charges,
there’s a good chance the person would avoid a
trial by agreeing to attend a diversion program
for bad-check writers and making restitution—
that is, paying up.
In most states, you’ll want to deal with a bad
check through civil, not criminal, remedies. The
­person who receives a bad check can usually
sue for extra damages (above and beyond the
amount of the check) if she isn’t paid within 30
days of making a formal written demand for
payment.
A clause is included in the Demand to
Make Good on Bad Check stating that if you
sue over the bad check, you may ask for the
maximum monetary damages allowed under
state law. This is often two or three times
the amount of the check. You can find the
maximum damages permitted by your state
online at the Bilateral Credit Corporation
website, www.bilateral.com.
66 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
Sign this Demand to Make Good on Bad
Check and deliver it personally to the person
who wrote you the bad check. Have the person
acknow­ledge receipt by signing and dating
an extra copy. Alternatively, send the form by
certified mail (return receipt requested) or use
a delivery service that will give you a receipt
establishing delivery. Some states (California, for
example) require that the demand be sent by
certified mail (return receipt requested) in order
for the lender to recover statutory damages.
Keep copies of the demand and return receipt.
You may later need this if you end up filing a
lawsuit to collect payment. ●
6
C H APT E R
Buying a House
Form 49: Ideal House Profile................................................................................................................ 68
Form 50: House Priorities Worksheet............................................................................................. 69
Form 51: House Comparison Worksheet..................................................................................... 70
Form 52: Family Financial Statement.............................................................................................. 70
Form 53: Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet........................................................................... 73
Form 54: Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet..................................................................... 74
Form 55: Moving Checklist................................................................................................................... 78
68 | 101 law forms for personal use
N
o doubt about it—buying a house
is one of the most important invest­
ments you’ll ever make. Careful
planning and organization are key to getting the
best house for your money. The forms in this
chapter help you:
•identify house features most important to you
and record relevant information about each
house you see (Forms 49 to 51)
•determine how much you are able to spend
both on the down payment and monthly
mortgage payments (Forms 52 and 53), and
•keep track of information you collect on
different loans and ­compare features such as
interest rates and loan costs (Form 54).
This chapter also includes a handy checklist
(Form 55) to help plan your move.
Real Estate on the Web
You can find a wide range of house-buying
­resources in the “property and money” section
of Nolo’s website (www.nolo.com), which has
information on:
• comparing interest rates and applying for a
mortgage
• screening houses that meet your needs
• gathering information on neighborhood
schools, crime, and more
• checking sales prices of comparable
properties to make a realistic offer,
• arranging house inspections, and
• finding a real estate agent, home inspector, or
other professional.
resource
For an excellent resource on all aspects
of home buying, check out Nolo’s Essential Guide
to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Alayna
Schroeder, and Marcia Stewart. It covers the entire
process, from deciding whether you’re ready to buy
to settling in to your new home.
Form 49: Ideal House Profile
When you’re looking for a house, it’s easy to
become overwhelmed by the huge array of
choices, from size to style to floor plan. Then
there’s the issue of location—houses come in
all sorts of neighborhoods, school districts, and
potential hazard zones (fire, earthquake, and
flood, to name a few). And, of course, price
and purchase terms are crucial considerations
for most homebuyers. To cope with all these
and at least a dozen other relevant variables, it’s
essential to establish your priorities in advance
and stick to them.
The Ideal House Profile lists all major house
features such as upper price limit, number and
type of rooms, and location. Use it to identify
the essential characteristics you’re looking for in
a house.
Since price is an obvious consideration for
most people, fill in the top section first. For
example, under Upper price limit, you might
note $600,000, with a Maximum down payment
of $60,000. And if you have two kids, you
might note that three bedrooms and excellent
public schools are also “must haves.”
In most cases, it will be obvious where to note
your priorities. For example, if extreme quiet is
­important (you don’t want to be near a freeway
off-ramp) or you want walking access to a park,
list these under Desired neighborhood features. If
you’re not sure where to list a particular must
have, such as a hot and dry climate, ocean view,
or garage parking, put it in the Other desired
features category on the Ideal House Profile.
Once you’ve compiled your list of “must
haves,” jot down features that you’d like but
chapter 6 | buying a house | 69
that aren’t ­crucial to your decision of whether
to buy. For example, under Type of yard
and grounds, you might note “patio and flat
backyard” in the Hope to Have column. Or
under Number and type of rooms, you might list
“a finished basement” or “master bedroom with
bath.”
Be sure to list your Absolute no ways (you will
not buy a house that has any of these features)
at the bottom of the form. Avoiding things
you’ll a­ lways hate, such as a house in a flood
zone or in a poor school district, or one that’s
too far from where you work, can be even more
important than finding a house that contains all
your mandatory priorities.
If you’re buying with another person, ­prepare
your list of priorities together, so that each
person’s strong likes and dislikes are respected.
tip
Can any of your priority items be added
after you move in? A new kitchen, deck, patio, and
sometimes even an extra room, can be added a few
years down the road. Of course, replacing a small
dark yard with a large sunny one can’t be done.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Ideal House Profile.
Simply fill it out and use it to help narrow your
house search.
tip
Getting more neighborhood information.
If you’re moving to a new area, you may not have a
good sense of what particular cities and neighborhoods
are like. Before finalizing a decision to buy, you’ll
want to get more information. For example, if under
your Must Have column you’ve written ­“excellent
public schools,” you need in-depth information
about the school system in each community you are
considering. It’s fine to ask a real estate agent. Also,
take the time to talk to people in the area whose
kids currently attend its schools, or ask for help from
a ­reference librarian at an area public library. And
don’t forget to check the wealth of community and
neighborhood information available online. (See
“Real Estate on the Web,” above.)
Form 50: House
Priorities Worksheet
Now it’s time to use the information collected in
Form 49 to create a House Priorities Worksheet,
which will help you see how each house you visit
stacks up with your priorities.
First, copy your “must haves,” “hope to
haves,” and “absolute no ways” onto a master
copy of Form 50. Then, make several copies
of this worksheet, to allow for mistakes or the
eventual scaling back of your priority list if it
turns out you can’t afford all the features you
would like.
Once you have completed your House Priorities
Worksheet to your satisfaction, make several
copies. Take one with you each time you visit a
house. For each house you see, fill in the top of
the worksheet. Enter the address, asking price,
name and phone number of the contact person
(listing agent, or seller if it’s for sale by owner),
and the date you saw the house.
As you walk around each house and talk to
the owner or agent, enter a checkmark if the
house has a desirable or undesirable feature.
Also make notes next to a particular feature if
it can be changed to meet your needs (an okay
kitchen could be ­modernized for $25,000). Add
comments at the ­bottom, such as “potential
undeveloped lot next door” or “neighbors seem
very friendly.” If you look at a lot of houses, these
notes will ensure you don’t forget important
information.
70 | 101 law forms for personal use
You should seriously consider only those
houses with all or most of your “must haves”
and none of your “no ways.”
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the House ­Priorities
Worksheet. Simply fill it out and use it to help
narrow your house search.
tip
Set up a good filing system. As the list
of houses you look at grows, keep track of the
information you collect. Failing to adopt a good
system may lead to revisiting houses you’ve already
seen and rejected or making decisions based on
half-remembered facts. For each house that seems
promising, make a file that includes a completed
House Priorities Worksheet, the information sheets
provided at the open house, the Multiple Listing
Service information, ads, and your notes. You can
also use your computer to set up a simple database
with key details on each house you see.
Form 51: House
Comparison Worksheet
If, like many people, you look at a considerable
number of houses over an extended period of
time, you may soon have trouble distinguishing
or ­comparing their features. That’s where
Form 51, the House Comparison Worksheet,
comes in.
Across the top of the form, list the addresses
of the three or four houses you like best. In
the left column, fill in your list of priorities
and “absolute no ways” from your Ideal House
Profile and House Priorities Worksheet. Then
put a check mark on the line under each house
that has that feature, to allow for a quick
comparison.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the House Comparison
Worksheet. Simply fill it out and use it to help
focus your house search.
Form 52: Family
Financial Statement
When planning to buy a house, one of your
most important tasks is to determine how
much you can afford to pay. Begin by preparing
a ­thorough family financial statement that
includes:
•your monthly income
•your monthly expenses, and
•your net worth (your assets minus your
debts or ­liabilities).
We use the word “family” as shorthand for
the economic unit that will buy a house. For
these ­purposes, an unmarried couple or a single
person is just as much a family as is a married
couple with three kids.
Preparing a family financial statement begins
the process of learning how much house
you can afford—in terms of both the down
payment and monthly mortgage payments.
And if you haven’t been preapproved for a
mortgage loan when you make a purchase offer,
a financial statement can be extremely helpful to
convince the seller that you’re a serious bidder.
This may be crucial, especially if there’s more
than one prospective buyer. The person who
can best convince the seller of the financial
ability to swing the deal with no glitches often
prevails, even without the highest offer.
chapter 6 | buying a house | 71
caution
This statement is for you, not your lender.
No matter how much debt a lender ultimately says
you can handle, the purpose of this statement is to
help you develop your own realistic picture of what
this debt will mean for your monthly cash flow. The
information you collect will help you fill out your
loan application, but you won’t give this statement
directly to the lender. That means that now is not the
time to exaggerate your income or underestimate
your expenses—you’ll only be fooling yourself.
2. Public benefits. Include income from
Social Security, disability, Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and
other public ­programs.
3. Dividends. Include all dividends from
stocks, bonds, and similar investments.
4. Royalties. If you have continuing income
from the sale (licensing) of books, music,
software, inventions, or the like, list it
here.
5. Interest and other investment income.
Directions for Completing the
Family Financial Statement
Top. Indicate the name(s), address(es), home
phone number(s), employer’s name(s) and
address(es) and work phone number(s) for
yourself and any coborrower. A coborrower
includes anyone with whom you are purchasing
the house.
Worksheet 1: Income and Expenses
This worksheet shows you how much disposable
income you have each month, a key fact in
determining how much you can afford to spend
on a house. In the first two columns, you and
any coborrower each list your monthly income
and expenses. Total them in the third column.
IA. Monthly gross income. List your monthly
gross income from all sources. Gross
income means total income before amounts
such as taxes, ­Social Security, or workers’
compensation are withheld.
1. Employment. This is your base salary
or wages plus any bonuses, tips,
commissions, or overtime you regularly
receive. If your i­ncome is irregular, take
the average of the past 24 months. If you
have more than one job, include your
combined total.
Include interest received on savings or
money market accounts, or as payments
on rental property. If the source of the
income has costs associated with it (such
as the costs of owning rental property),
include the net monthly profit ­received.
6. Other. Include payments from pensions,
child or spousal support, or separate
private maintenance income. Specify the
source.
IB. Total monthly gross income. Total items 1–6.
(This is the figure that lenders use to qualify
you for mortgages.)
IIA.Monthly nonhousing expenses. List what
you spend each month on items such as
child care and clothing. These won’t interest
the lender as much as they are important
to you in evaluating how much house you
can afford. Here are some notes clarifying
specific items. Also, see Form 63, Daily
Expenses, for advice on computing average
monthly expenses.
3. Food. Include eating at restaurants, as
well as at home.
4. Insurance. List the monthly cost of
your auto, life, and medical and dental
72 | 101 law forms for personal use
insurance. If you pay any of these costs
yearly, divide the annual amount by 12
and include here.
5. Other medical. List uninsured medical
expenses.
6. Personal. Include costs for both personal
care (haircuts, shoe repairs, and
toiletries) and ­personal fun (attending
movies, buying CDs and lottery tickets,
subscribing to newspapers). Also, include
any regular personal loan payments.
7. Education. Include monthly payments for
education loans here, plus educational
payments, such as your child’s private
school ­tuition.
9. Transportation. Include costs for both
motor vehicles (include monthly car loan
payments, but exclude insurance) and
public transit. Include monthly upkeep
for a vehicle and a reasonable amount for
repairs.
10. Other. Specify such expenses as regular
monthly credit card payments, charitable
or religious donations, savings deposits,
and child or spousal support payments.
IIB. Current housing expenses. If you currently
own a home, list the monthly mortgage
payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities
(including gas, electricity, water, sewage,
garbage, telephone, and cable service). If
you rent, include your monthly rent and
renter’s insurance (if any).
IIC. Total monthly expenses. Here, total
your nonhousing and housing expenses.
Then subtract line C from line B to see
how much disposable income you have
available to put toward a monthly mortgage
payment. Of course, you can also add in
whatever amount you currently spend on
your mortgage payment or rent.
Worksheet 2: Assets and Liabilities
I.
Assets. In the first two columns, you and
any coborrower write down the cash or
market value of the assets listed. Total them
up in the third column.
A.Cash and cash equivalents. List your cash and
items easily converted into cash. Deposits
include checking accounts, savings accounts,
money market accounts, and certificates of
deposit (even if there is a withdrawal penalty).
B. Marketable securities. Here you list items like
stocks and bonds that are regularly traded
and that you can normally turn into cash
fairly readily. List the cash surrender value of
any life insurance policy. Include items such
as a short-term loan you made to a friend
­under the category “Other.”
C. Total cash and marketable securities. Add up
items A and B.
D.Nonliquid assets. These are items not easily
converted into cash.
1. Real estate. List the market value—the
amount the property would sell for.
2. Retirement funds. Include public or private
pensions and self-directed accounts (IRAs,
Keoghs, or 401(k) plans). List the amount
vested in the plan.
3. Business. If you own a business, list your
equity in it (market value less the debts on
the business). Many small businesses are
difficult to sell, and therefore difficult to
value, but do your best.
4. Motor vehicles. List the current market
value of any car, truck, RV, or motorcycle,
even if you’re still making payments.
Check used car guides for the information;
you can check the Kelly Blue Book online
at www.kb.com.
chapter 6 | buying a house | 73
5. Other. Include nontangible assets such as
copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Yes,
it is hard to value these types of assets,
but it can be done, especially if you’ve
been ­receiving income and it promises
to continue. Depending on your field,
professional organizations that serve
authors, inventors, musicians, or software
writers may be able to help. In the “Other”
category, also include the current value of
long-term loans you’ve made to others,
and any really valuable personal property
such as expensive jewelry or electronic
gear.
E. Total nonliquid assets. Total up items D1–5.
F. Total all assets. Total up items IC and IE.
IIA.Liabilities—Debts. In columns 1 and 2, you
and any coborrower write the total balances
remaining for your outstanding loans under
their respective categories.
Under “Other,” don’t include
monthly ­insurance payments or medical
(noninsurance) payments, as these go
on Worksheet 1, Section IIA, Monthly
Expenses—Nonhousing. Do ­include stock
pledges, lawyer’s and accountant’s bills, and
the like.
IIB. Total Liabilities. Total the monthly payments
and balances remaining for items 1–7.
III. Net Worth. Total of all assets minus total
liabilities.
Now that you understand what assets you
have available, you can estimate how much
money you’ll have to put toward a down
payment.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Family ­Financial
Statement. Simply fill it out and use it to help
evaluate how much house you can afford.
Form 53: Monthly
Carrying Costs Worksheet
Your next step is to understand how much
money a lender will allow you to borrow. This
will be based on your income, your debts,
and the monthly expenses—called “carrying
costs”—associated with buying your home. To
make this calculation, complete Form 53, the
Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet. You will
need to provide the following information:
Line 1: Estimated purchase price. How much
money you’ll need to spend on a house likely to
have at least most of the “must have” features
listed on your Ideal House Profile (Form 49).
Line 2: Down payment. Enter the down
payment you plan to make.
Line 3: Subtract your anticipated down
payment (line 2) from your estimated purchase
price (line 1). The result is the amount you’ll
need to ­borrow.
Line 4: Interest rate. Estimate the mortgage
interest rate you’ll pay based on the rates listed
in tables printed in the Sunday newspaper real
estate section and online websites featuring
mortgage ­information. (You’ll know what
rate you’ll pay more precisely when you start
shopping for a mortgage using Form 54,
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet.)
Line 5: Principal and mortgage interest payment
factor per $1,000 over the length of the loan.
You can find this using the amortization chart
below.
Line 6: Monthly mortgage payment. Divide line
3 by $1,000, then multiply that amount by the
factor from the amortization chart (line 5). For
example, if you estimate the house you want to
buy will cost $260,000, a 20% down payment
of $52,000 leaves you with a $208,000 mort­
gage loan. Divide $208,000 by $1,000 to get
$208. Your research shows you can get a 6%
74 | 101 law forms for personal use
interest rate for a fixed-rate loan. The monthly
factor per $1,000 for a 30-year loan at a 6%
rate is 6. So your monthly mortgage payments
will be $208 x 6, or $1,248.
Line 7: Homeowner’s insurance. You can get
exact quotes in advance from insurance agents.
Very roughly, expect to spend $300-$650 yearly
per $100,000 of house value, depending on
where you live and other factors.
Line 8: Property taxes. These vary tremendously
depending on where you live. You’ll need to get
an estimate from a local tax assessor’s office.
Line 9: Now add up your mortgage payment
(line 6), insurance (line 7), and taxes (line 8).
This is your monthly carrying cost (also called
PITI—principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
Line 10: Long-term debts. These are items such
as monthly payments on a car or student loan.
Exclude any debts that will be paid off within
ten months.
Line 11: Private mortgage insurance (PMI). Your
lender may require this if you’re making a down
payment of less than 20% and aren’t taking out
a second mortgage. PMI is often about .5% of
the loan.
Line 12: Homeowners’ association fee. You may
have to pay this monthly fee if you’re looking at
a condo or a house in a development.
Line 13: Add lines 9–12 for the sum of your
total monthly carrying costs and long-term
debts.
Line 14: Lender qualification. Other things
being equal (which they rarely are), lenders
normally want you to pay monthly carrying
costs (mortgage payment, property taxes and
homeowner’s insurance) with 28%–36% of your
monthly gross income. Whether you qualify
at the bottom or top of this range ­depends on
the amount of your down payment, the interest
rate on the type of mortgage you want, your
credit score (a numerical measure that reflects
how you’ve managed credit in the past), and the
level of your other long-term debts. If you don’t
have any other debts, a lender may allow you
to spend as much as 44% of your gross income
on carrying costs; however, this is usually the
maximum amount of overall debt a lender will
allow overall, so if you have other debts, you
probably won’t be approved to borrow that
much.
Line 15: Divide line 13 by line 14 to determine
the monthly income needed to qualify.
Line 16: Multiply line 15 by 12 to calculate the
yearly income to qualify.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Monthly Carrying
Costs Worksheet. Simply fill it out and use it to
help evaluate how much house you can afford.
Form 54: Mortgage Rates
and Terms Worksheet
As with any other consumer product, you
can save money by carefully shopping for a
mortgage. But because of the wide variety of
mortgages on the market and the fact that fineprint terms can significantly influence how much
you’ll really have to pay, it’s essential that you
carefully compare the total cost of different deals.
You can use the Mortgage Rates and Terms
Work­sheet to keep track of information you
collect on different loans. It is helpful whether
you’ll be working with a loan broker (a person
who specializes in matching house buyers and
appropriate mortgage lenders) or shopping for a
mortgage on your own.
This form is important for three primary
reasons:
•Filling it out all but requires you to really
­understand the fine-print details of every
loan you consider.
chapter 6 | buying a house | 75
•Having this information will aid your
memory days or weeks later when you can’t
remember what you’ve been offered.
on other long-term debts. Then, based on these
debt-to-income ratios, enter the maximum loan
each lender will make.
•Assuming you get information about more
than one loan, you can efficiently compare
features.
Section 3: Loan Costs
Instructions for Completing the
Mortgage Rates and Terms Table
Heading
At the top of the table, enter the lender’s name
(such as Bank of Richmond), the name of the
loan agent you met or spoke with, the agent’s
phone number, and the date of your meeting or
telephone conversation.
Section 1: General Information
Enter the type of loan: fixed or adjustable;
the rate, if it’s a fixed mortgage; whether it
qualifies for government financing (if that’s a
need you have); the minimum down payment
required; whether private mortgage insurance
(PMI) is required and, if so, whether you’ll
need to set up an impound account; the
term (number of years of the loan); whether
it’s assumable; whether it has a prepayment
penalty; and whether it has negative amorti­
zation and, if so, whether it lets you (and
for how much) lock in at a certain rate. See
the table below for a brief description of key
mortgage terms. For more information, check
the “property and money” section of Nolo’s
website at www.nolo.com.
Section 2: Debt-to-Income Ratios Information
Here you need to indicate the percentage of
your income each lender allows for the monthly
carrying costs to obtain the mortgage, and for
monthly carrying costs plus monthly payments
If possible, enter the costs associated with
getting the loan—the number of points and
their cost, PMI, additional loan fee, credit
report, application fee, appraisal fee, and other
miscellaneous costs. Then total them up. Your
estimate will have to be rough, because most
lenders won’t estimate closing costs until they
start processing your loan (you may also be able
to negotiate with the lender to eliminate or
reduce some of these costs). Even then, the costs
are still estimates. You won’t know the actual
total of loan costs until you review the final
papers you need to close escrow.
Section 4: Time Limits
You want to know how long it will take to
process your loan application and, if it’s
approved, come up with the money (called
“funding the loan”), enabling you to close the
deal. Enter this information in the fourth
section. Also, pay attention to the following
items:
•the date each month your payment will
be due (the first of the month is standard,
although some portfolio lenders set the 15th
of the month or allow you to choose a date)
•how many “grace” days you have (after
which the payment is considered late—
15 days is standard), and
•the fee for late mortgage payments.
Section 5: Other Features
If the loan has any special features, such as
discounted points if you have a savings account
with the bank, indicate them.
76 | 101 law forms for personal use
Section 6: Fixed Rate Two-Step Loans
If you look at any fixed rate loans that step
up to a higher rate after several years, indicate
the initial annual percentage rate, and for how
many years it stays in effect.
Section 7: Fixed Rate Balloon Payment Loans
If you are considering a fixed rate loan for a
short period (often three, five, or seven years)
that ends with one large balloon payment,
indicate the interest rate and monthly payment,
the term of the loan and the amount of the
balloon payment.
Section 8: Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
First, enter the adjustable loan criteria—what
index it’s tied to and the amount of the margin.
Next, write down interest rate information—
the initial rate, how long it lasts, the periodic
interest rate cap, the adjustment period, and
the life-of-the-loan cap (see the table below
for definitions of all these terms). Be sure
you understand whether the periodic cap is
a true cap (limiting how much your interest
rate can change at each adjustment period) or
just a payment cap (limiting how much your
payment can increase even if the interest rate
goes up). The down side of a payment cap is
that it may result in negative amortization, as
explained in “Key Mortgage Terms,” below.
Finally, enter the payment information—the
­initial payment, cap, and payment cap period.
Also calculate your worst-case scenario: the
highest ­interest rate and monthly payments
possible with the adjustable rate loan offered for
different time periods.
Section 9: Hybrid Loans
If you are interested in an ARM that has a fixed
rate for the first few years and then becomes
adjustable, enter the information here. Pay
particular attention to how much the interest
rate can jump at the first adjustment period.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Mortgage Rates and
Terms Worksheet. Simply fill it out and use
it to help compare various loan options and
packages.
chapter 6 | buying a house | 77
Key Mortgage Terms
Fixed rate mortgage. The interest rate and
the amount you pay each month remain the
same over the ­entire mortgage term, which is
traditionally 15 or 30 years.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). The interest
rates on these mortgages fluctuate ­according to
interest rates in the economy. Initial interest rates
are typically offered for a set period (sometimes
as short as one month) at a discounted interest
rate lower than the going rate for fixed rate
mortgages. When the initial discount period
ends, the interest rate adjusts according to
current market rates. The amount of the
adjustment is tied to a market-sensitive number
called the “index.” A “margin” is the factor or
percentage a lender adds to the index to arrive
at the interest rate you pay over the market rate.
Though your interest rate can increase based
on the index plus the margin, it should have a
maximum overall rate, called the “life-of-the-loan
cap” (usually, five or six percentage points above
the initial rate). A periodic cap limits the amount
your interest rate can go up or down at each
adjustment period, such as going up 2% annually,
with your payments increasing a­ ccordingly.
Negative amortization. Sometimes called
“deferred interest” or ­“interest advances,”
negative amortization can take away many of the
advantages provided by periodic caps on ARMs.
That’s because with negative amortization, if
interest rates rise, your payment cap limits only
the amount your monthly payment can go up
(not the total you owe, which is not capped). If
your interest rate increases and your monthly
payment doesn’t cover the interest owed that
month, the extra money is simply added onto
the mortgage total you owe, often with the result
that you’ll owe larger payments in the f­ uture
or a large balloon payment at the end of the
mortgage.
PMI and impound account. Lenders may
require private mortgage insurance (PMI) if
you’re making a down payment of less than 20%.
While you pay PMI, it insures the lender if you
don’t pay the mortgage. Some lenders require
that you set up an impound account, where you
deposit up to a year’s payments of PMI when the
house purchase closes. In addition, you make
monthly payments into the impound account
for property taxes and home­owner’s insurance,
which in turn are paid by the lender or company
that ­services the loan. To avoid PMI, you can take
out a second mortgage to cover the difference
between the amount of money you have for your
down payment and the 80% first mortgage.
Assumable. A loan that a creditworthy buyer
can take over (assume) from a seller. Most fixedrate loans are not assumable.
Prepayment penalty. A charge for paying
off your mortgage early. Most high-quality
commercial ­mortgages don’t charge a
prepayment penalty.
Rate lock-in. A lender’s guarantee to make a
loan at a particular interest rate, even if the market
changes within a specific time period, such as
three to six weeks.
Debt-to-income ratios. The ratio of your
monthly mortgage payments ­(including insurance
and property taxes) plus long-term debts to your
income; also called lender q
­ ualification.
Monthly carrying costs. The sum of your
monthly payments for your mortgage principal
and interest, homeowner’s insurance, and
property taxes.
78 | 101 law forms for personal use
Key Mortgage Terms (continued)
Points and loan costs. The fees associated
with getting a mortgage, which usually add up to
2%-5% of the cost of the mortgage. Points make
up the largest part of lender fees, with one point
equaling 1% of the loan ­principal. Not all loans
have points, but often, loans charging points
have a slightly lower interest rate. If you will own
a house for many years, paying relatively high
points to get a lower fixed rate of interest is
Form 55: Moving Checklist
Congratulations! If you are looking at this
form, chances are you found a good house,
closed ­escrow, and are getting ready to move
in. Use the Moving Checklist to help you plan
your move.
usually a good idea—the cost of points is
more than paid for by the reduction in interest
payments over the life of the loan. But the reverse
is also true—if you will move in three to five years
or fewer, try to pay as few points as possible, even
if you pay a little more interest because it takes
several years for the monthly interest savings to
offset the initial high cost of points.
Signing Instructions
You don’t need to sign the Moving Checklist.
Simply fill it out and use it to keep track of
moving tasks. ●
7
C H APT E R
Buying or Selling a Car, Dog, or
Personal Property
Form 56: Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale.................................................................................................. 80
Form 57: Boat Bill of Sale....................................................................................................................... 81
Form 58: Computer System Bill of Sale.......................................................................................... 82
Form 59: General Bill of Sale................................................................................................................ 82
Form 60: Bill of Sale for Dog................................................................................................................. 83
80 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
his chapter contains forms for use
when you sell used personal property,
such as a car, boat, appliance, furniture,
or computer. It also includes a bill of sale for a
dog. Use these simple bills of sale to record the
terms of sale of all types of property (with the
exception of real estate and securities, which are
closely ­regulated by law).
A bill of sale is a written document that, at a
minimum, includes:
•the names of the seller(s) and buyer(s) (there
may be two sellers—for example, if the
goods are co-owned as joint property by a
husband and wife)
•a statement that a sale has taken place
•a description of the item(s) sold
•a statement of the amount paid, and
•the signature of the person selling the
property and the date of the signing.
In addition, the bills of sale in this chapter
often include:
•a promise that the seller owns or otherwise
has the right to sell the item, and details of
any liens or encumbrances giving someone
else ownership in the goods being sold
•a written warranty or guarantee that the
item is in good condition and will be
repaired or r­ eplaced if it fails within a
certain period
•disclosures of any major defects known to
the seller, and
•a statement that the item has been inspected
by an expert and that the expert’s report is
­attached, if appropriate.
tip
Use a well-drafted bill of sale to head off
future legal trouble. When used cars, boats, and
other items of property are sold without a written
bill of sale, the chances of future legal problems—
maybe even a court battle—go way up. Far better to
define in a­ dvance all key terms of the sale, including­
the condition of the goods being sold and whether
the sale includes any seller’s warranty (for ­example,
30 days on parts and labor) or is made “as is.”
In some states, a bill of sale must have a notary
clause. Although this isn’t common, we’ve
included a Certificate of Acknowledgment of
Notary Public on each bill of sale form included
in this chapter. If your state doesn’t require
notarization, you don’t need to use it—but it
can never hurt. See the introduction for more
about notarization.
Form 56: Motor Vehicle
Bill of Sale
Use this bill of sale when you buy or sell a vehicle
that must be registered with your state’s motor
­vehicles department. This typically includes cars,
trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and
motor homes. It does not include stationary
nonregistered mobile homes that are designed
to be used semi­permanently at a fixed location
such as a mobile home park. Such homes are
commonly treated as real property—just as if
they were houses—and as such are covered by
special transfer, financing, and recording rules not
discussed here. This category of motor vehicle also
doesn’t include off-road farm machinery—for
that, use Form 59 (General Bill of Sale)—unless it
can be registered in your state as a motor vehicle.
Describe the vehicle in detail on the bill of sale,
including the vehicle identification number, or
VIN (this is typically found on the driver’s side
of the dashboard, close to the windshield), and
indicate the price paid. (Your state motor vehicles
department needs the price to compute the sales
tax.) List any personal property included in the
sale, such as a ­bicycle rack.
chapter 7 | buying or selling a car, dog, or personal property | 81
caution
Double check ownership interest in
vehicle. A buyer who doesn’t know the seller
is advised to check with the motor vehicles
department where the vehicle is registered to be
sure that the seller is the owner, and that no one else
claims an ownership interest (lien) in the vehicle,
as would be the case if the seller hadn’t yet repaid
a purchase loan. You can get additional useful
information about the vehicle’s ownership history
from services such as Carfax Vehicle Reports (www.
carfax.com) or Autocheck (www.autocheck.com)
if you have the VIN. For example, you can learn
whether the car was ever severely damaged and
“salvaged” or has had the odometer rolled back.
Clauses 4 and 5, aimed at providing the
buyer full disclosure regarding any mechanical
problems with the vehicle, help the seller
avoid future legal problems. If the vehicle is
­inspected by a mechanic who prepares a written
report that is given to the buyer, and the seller
conscientiously lists all known defects, it’s
highly unlikely that an unsatisfied buyer can later
get a judge to agree that the seller was guilty of
misrepresentation.
The seller can add a short warranty covering
parts or labor or both to Clause 8 if desired.
Be sure to contact your state motor vehicles
­department for any special requirements when
selling a motor vehicle, such as successfully
qualifying for a smog certificate. If these exist,
include them in Clause 8.
If the seller hasn’t fully repaid a loan on the
vehicle, he or she should ask the lender if
its permission is required in order to sell the
vehicle. If the vehicle is leased, the seller should
ask the lessor what it requires of the seller
before the vehicle can be transferred or sold.
Signing Instructions
The buyer(s) and seller(s) must sign the Motor
­Vehicle Bill of Sale for it to be valid. Print out
two copies of the form (or enough for each
person signing the form to have their own
copy). Each person should sign and date all
copies of the form and keep a signed document
with all original signatures for their own record.
Be sure to check with your state motor vehicles
department regarding any official signing
requirements that must be met. For example, the
seller’s signature on the vehicle’s title probably
must be notarized. And in some states the
bill of sale itself needs to be notarized. (If so,
see the instructions about notarization in the
introduction.) In addition, the seller may need to
file an official form to avoid liability if the buyer
hits someone with the vehicle after the sale, and
the buyer may have to file an official form to
register the vehicle in his or her name.
Form 57: Boat Bill of Sale
This form is similar in content to the Motor
Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form 56), but it covers
boats of all kinds. The form contains questions
about the boat, as well as any engines,
electronics, and other equipment that are to be
sold in this transaction.
Carefully read the discussion that
accompanies Form 56, Motor Vehicle Bill of
Sale, especially the advice about arranging for
an inspection by a third party and having the
seller list (disclose) all defects, so a buyer has no
grounds to claim later that the condition of the
boat was misrepresented.
This bill of sale includes a number of entries
unique to boat sales. Fill in the details key to
your sale, such as a thorough list of all ­personal
property items included in the sale or the
maintenance history of the boat.
82 | 101 law forms for personal use
If the seller hasn’t fully repaid a purchase loan
on the boat, he or she should ask the lender
whether its permission is required in order to
sell the boat.
Signing Instructions
The buyer(s) and seller(s) must sign the Boat Bill
of Sale for it to be valid. Print out two copies
of the form (or enough for each person signing
the form to have their own copy). Each person
should sign and date all copies of the form
and keep a signed document with all original
signatures for their own record.
Be sure to check with your state motor
vehicles department (or the department in your
state that registers boats) regarding any official
signing requirements that must be met. For
example, the seller’s signature on the boat’s title
probably must be notarized. In addition, the
seller may need to file an official form to avoid
liability if the buyer hits someone with the boat
after the sale, and the buyer may have to file an
official form to register the boat in his or her
name.
Signing Instructions
The buyer(s) and seller(s) must sign the
Computer System Bill of Sale for it to be valid.
Print out two copies of the form (or enough for
each person signing the form to have their own
copy). Each person should sign and date all
copies of the form and keep a signed document
with all original signatures for their own record.
Form 59: General Bill of Sale
Form 59, the General Bill of Sale, should be
used for the sale of personal property such
as jewelry, art works, sports equipment, rare
books, furniture, collections, appliances, tools,
photographic equipment, and electronic items.
Do not use this form if you are selling a car or
other motor vehicle, boat, or computer system
(these categories are specifically covered above).
Before using this form, read the brief discussion
that precedes the Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
(Form 56), which ­discusses key clauses in a bill
of sale.
Signing Instructions
Form 58: Computer
System Bill of Sale
This bill of sale should be used for computers,
­computer peripherals, and software, especially
where a whole system is being sold. If only
one or two components are being sold, use
Form 59, the General Bill of Sale. Before using
this form, review the material that ­precedes
the Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form 56). It
discusses a number of the key clauses in this
agreement.
The buyer(s) and seller(s) must sign the General
Bill of Sale for it to be valid. Print out two
copies of the form (or enough for each person
signing the form to have their own copy). Each
person should sign and date all copies of the
form and keep a signed document with all
original signatures for their own record.
chapter 7 | buying or selling a car, dog, or personal property | 83
Form 60: Bill of Sale for Dog
Use this bill of sale when you buy or sell a
dog in a transaction with a private party or a
breeder. It spells out exactly what terms the seller
is promising, including price, how and when
the dog will be turned over to the buyer, and
who will pay shipping costs (if any). Form 60
provides basic information on the dog, including
birth date, medication information such as
vaccination history, health, name of breeder,
special training (if any), and registration with the
American Kennel Club or other entity. Most of
the form is self-explanatory. You can also add
any items of special concern—for example, if the
seller wants the buyer to promise to have the dog
spayed or neutered.
Clause 6 gives the buyer two options if a
veterinarian certifies, in writing, that the dog has
a disease or a congenital defect that was present
when the buyer bought the dog. Within 14
days, the buyer may either return the dog to the
seller and be reimbursed for the purchase price
and for reasonable ­veterinary bills already paid,
or keep the dog and also receive reimbursement
for reasonable veterinary bills, up to the
amount of the purchase price.
If you’re buying a dog from a pet store: You may
have other legal rights in addition to those set
out in this bill of sale. Because consumers have
had so many problems with dogs bought in pet
stores, many states impose special requirements
on pet ­retailers that don’t apply to breeders
who raise and sell dogs themselves. You may be
entitled to a disclosure sheet, stating where the
animal came from (it may have been shipped
across the country at a young age), and its
health and vaccination ­history. You may also
have a right to return or ­exchange an unhealthy
dog, or get reimbursement for veterinary bills,
that is different from the right this bill of sale
gives you. You can check your state’s law by
looking on the Nolo website at www.nolo.com/
statute/index.cfm.
Signing Instructions
The buyer(s) and seller(s) must sign this Bill of
Sale for Dog for it to be valid. Print out two
copies of the form (or enough for each person
signing the form to have their own copy). Each
person should sign and date all copies of the
form and keep a signed document with all
original signatures for their own record. ●
8
C H APT E R
Renting Personal Property and
Storing Goods
Form 61: Personal Property Rental Agreement........................................................................ 86
Form 62: Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental Agreement................. 87
Form 63: Storage Contract................................................................................................................... 87
86 | 101 law forms for personal use
P
eople frequently rent tools, equipment,
and other personal property. While
equipment is often rented from
commercial companies that have their own
forms, it is also not uncommon to rent items
from a neighbor or friend as an informal way
of helping your friend or neighbor with the
purchase cost.
Many rented items are used to perform
ap
­ articular task, as would be the case if
you rented a rototiller and weight drum to
lay sod, or a power saw and sander to do a
small remodeling job around your home. In
other situations, you might rent property
for a recreational purpose—for ­example, if
you’re assigned to bring a volleyball net and
badminton set to the family reunion.
This chapter includes a form for renting
personal property. You can tailor the form
based on the type of property you’re renting, its
value, and how long you need to rent it for. The
chapter also includes a ­notice to end this type
of rental agreement.
In addition to borrowing or renting tools,
equipment, and other items, people often turn
to friends or neighbors to store their personal
property, such as furniture, for an extended
period of time. This chapter includes a storage
contract for use in these situations.
Whether or not a rental or storage fee is
paid, it makes sense to write down your
understanding of key issues, such as the length
of the rental or storage period and who will
be responsible if the rented or stored property
is damaged. Having a written agreement is
especially important if valuable property is to
be rented or stored for an extended period. If
any problem comes up, having a simple written
contract will help you arrive at a fair settlement
and preserve relations between the parties.
Form 61: Personal Property
Rental Agreement
You can use Form 61 for a short-term rental
(30 days or fewer) of personal (non-real estate)
property. It is primarily geared toward renting
relatively ­inexpensive personal property from a
neighbor or friend. It is not intended to be used
for rental of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, ATV,
boat, personal watercraft, or the like. Because
not much is at stake, this rental agreement
doesn’t deal with the many potentially complex
issues that can arise when expensive ­property is
rented for an extended period. But this personal
property rental agreement does a great job of
covering the basics, including the names of the
parties (Owner and Renter), a description of
the property and its condition, the amount of
rent (if any), length of the rental period, and
delivery ­arrangements. It includes a dispute
resolution clause that provides for negotiation,
mediation, and/or arbitration as a means for the
parties to resolve any ­disputes that may arise
over the agreement. (See the introduction for
more on dispute resolution procedures.)
Signing Instructions
The owner and the renter must both sign this
Personal Property Rental Agreement for it to
be valid. Print out two copies of the form (or
enough for each person who will be signing
the form to have their own copy). Each person
should sign and date all copies of the form
and keep a signed document with all original
signatures for their own records.
chapter 8 | renting personal property and storing goods | 87
Form 62: Notice of
Termination of Personal
Property Rental Agreement
This form can be used by either the owner or
the renter to end any personal property rental
agreement that is not made for a specific period.
You do not need to give a reason (unless this
is required by your rental agreement—not the
case with Form 61).
caution
Do not use this termination notice if
you have rented personal property for a specific
rental period. In that case, you cannot terminate the
agreement unless both parties agree.
Signing Instructions
Simply sign the Notice of Termination of
Personal Property Rental Agreement and give it
to the other party. Keep a copy for your records,
and note on your copy the date and time you
delivered the notice.
Form 63: Storage Contract
It is common to store property with friends
and relatives—everything from bikes, beds,
and books to washing machines, weights, and
walking sticks. Some­times this amounts to
nothing more than ­leaving a few small objects
for a short time. On other occasions, however,
it means storing a household or garage full of
goods for a year or more. In many situations
involving friends and family, money isn’t
charged for storage, although payment certainly
can be ­appropriate when bulky or valuable
objects are stored for a considerable period of
time. This is ­especially true when the goods are
stored in a place (for ­example, a garage or spare
room) that might otherwise be rented or used.
Form 63 covers the basics of storing personal
property, including the names of the parties
(we call them Property Owner and Property
Custodian); a description of the property being
stored and its condition and value; storage
location, term, and p
­ ayment; who’s responsible
for theft of or damage to property during the
rental period; and how the ­custodian will deal
with abandoned property never reclaimed
by the owner. This storage contract includes
a dispute resolution clause that provides for
negotiation, mediation, and/or arbitration as
a means for the parties to resolve any disputes
that may arise over the agreement. (See the
introduction for more on dispute resolution
procedures.)
It is especially important that you carefully
identify property and its value and condition.
One common dispute that arises is a property
owner claiming that a valuable item is missing,
while the custodian says it was never present
in the first place. The best way to prevent this
is to make a thorough list of the items to be
stored. In this age of digital cameras, it’s a good
idea to take pictures and attach them to the
contract. In Clause 1, you should identify each
item as thoroughly as possible, including (as
appropriate) the make, model, year, color, and
condition. Also, when you specify the value
of the property (Clause 8), be sure to specify
whether you mean the replacement value or
the fair market value of the property, such as
a TV set. (You’ll be asked to make a choice.)
­Replacement value is how much it would cost
for you to buy another of this item, such as the
cost of a new TV set. Fair market value is how
much you would get for an item, such as a TV
set, if you sold it—for example, at a garage sale.
Whichever you choose, specify the value of
each item you store, to reduce the chance of a
88 | 101 law forms for personal use
misunderstanding if any items are damaged or
missing. Use Clause 9 to spell out any defects
or damage in the property b­ eing stored (such as
a stain on a sofa). Use Clause 14 to describe any
special terms of the storage—for example, if
you want the custodian to start the car at least
once a week while it’s in storage.
Signing Instructions
Both parties must sign this Storage Contract for
it to be valid. Print out two copies of the form
(or enough for each person who will be signing
the form to have their own copy). Each person
should sign and date all copies of the form
and keep a signed document with all original
signatures for their own records. ●
9
C H APT E R
Home Repairs and Maintenance
Form 64: Home Maintenance Agreement................................................................................... 91
Form 65: Home Repairs Agreement................................................................................................ 92
Form 66: Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet...................................................................................... 92
90 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
his chapter contains three agreements
that cover home maintenance and
repairs, as well as other work you plan
to have done at your residence, such as painting
or yard work. To get the job done right, your
most important task is to find a contractor
who has done excellent work for a number of
other people in your community. (Our forms
use the term “contractor” for someone who
does home repairs or maintenance.) But even
with a highly recommended person, serious
misunderstandings between a homeowner
and contractor can easily arise if the key job
specifications, payment details, and work
schedule haven’t been carefully worked out and
written down before the work b­ egins. That’s
the purpose of these forms. These written
agreements will help you get the work done
right, on time, and within your budget.
caution
The first two forms in this chapter are not
suitable for complicated jobs where the contractor
will have to replace or install significant materials.
You’ll need a more detailed contract than the ones
provided here if you’re planning on remodeling
a kitchen, ­adding a room, putting on a new roof,
painting the complete exterior or interior, or doing
any other similarly large project. A large firm doing
major home repairs and remodeling will usually
present you with its own contract. The forms in this
chapter can help you analyze an agreement proposed
by a contractor and make sure the basics are covered.
State Licensing and
Registration Requirements
for Home Repair Work
Almost all states have licensing requirements
for certain categories of highly skilled home
improvement and construction work. For
example, most states license people who do
residential electrical and plumbing work or
who build new structures. By contrast, there is
less uniformity among the states as to whether
licensing is required for contractors who do
general repair and remodeling work, such as
framing, drywall installation, paneling, deck
construction, siding, and painting.
License and registration requirements are
often tied to the following factors:
• Size of the project—a license may be
required for work on any job over a
specified amount, such as $5,000.
• Type of job—some states require a license
for plumbing or electrical work but not for
painting, for example.
• Location of contractor—most states regulate
contracting work of any type that is done by
out-of-state contractors.
Most states that require a license for general
­repair and remodeling tasks require some
experience and skills training, as well as some
evidence of financial responsibility or effective
customer recourse policy. For details, call your
state Consumer Protection ­Office or visit its
site on the Web to find out whether your state
regulates the type of contractor you are hiring,
and if so, the name and phone number of the
agency that does the regulating, such as the State
Contractors’ Licensing Board. Then contact the
agency directly for information. Many state
agencies publish and distribute free ­consumer
information on home ­repair work, and may
even have license information online.
caution
Beware of unlicensed contractors. Even
where licenses are required, you can always find some­
one unlicensed who will do the work, usually promising
a cheap price. Be wary about accepting these offers
when the work requires a license—unlicensed con­
tractors are not bonded, meaning that their work
isn’t insured. And, of course, an unlicensed contractor
is a­ lmost sure to work without getting a building
permit, which may cause problems later.
chapter 9 | home repairs and maintenance | 91
Some states require people who do home
repair and remodeling work to register with
the state. Registration usually does not require
demonstrated experience or training. It is
primarily designed to keep track of people
offering contractor services so that homeowners
can locate them if something goes wrong
during or after the job.
Local Permits and Approvals
for Home Repair Work
In addition to state licensing and registration
rules, homeowners often must obtain a
permit from a city or county agency for jobs
that involve structural ­alterations, additions,
substantial remodeling, or new electrical
wiring or plumbing installations. Permits are
usually not required for casual carpentry, minor
plumbing and electrical repairs, or replacing a
window or door.
In addition to a local permit, if the house is
part of a condominium complex or planned
unit ­development, a homeowner’s association
or “architectural review committee” will
likely insist on formal approval of the work,
especially if the work affects the home’s exterior
appearance. Homeowner association approval
is usually necessary for new windows, ­exterior
painting, roofing, and room additions.
Either the homeowner or the contractor
must be responsible for getting information
about the n
­ ecessary permits. If the job requires
a permit or approval but no one obtains it,
the homeowner may have to redo all or a
portion of the work if a later inspection reveals
deficiencies. Also, the value of the home may be
adversely affected when it comes to resale if the
buyer learns of the nonpermit work.
Independent Contractor
Versus Employee
Our contracts (Clause 4) assume that the
person who will come to your house is an
independent contractor, not your employee.
As long as the contractor is doing one job or
occasional work, this is legal. If a person will
work for you regularly (an everyday gardener,
for example), the law probably requires that you
treat the individual as an employee, for whom
you are legally required to pay income taxes,
Social Security, and other benefits.
resource
For more information on the difference
between an independent contractor and an
employee, see IRS Form SS-8, available on the IRS
website at www.irs.gov, or by phone at 800-424FORM.
Dispute Resolution Clause
The two forms in this chapter do not include a
­dispute resolution clause mandating mediation
and arbitration to resolve disputes before going
to court. If you would like to include a dispute
resolution clause in either of these forms, see
the introduction, which explains how.
Form 64: Home
Maintenance Agreement
Form 64 is intended for unskilled labor on a
one-time job that isn’t expected to last for more
than a day or two and doesn’t need a ­significant
amount of materials. Typical jobs that fall
into this category are hauling refuse, cleaning
a ­garage or house, washing windows, and
gardening and other yard work. Such jobs are
usually performed by one person who supplies
the required tools.
92 | 101 law forms for personal use
This form is easy to complete. Simply spell
out the details of the work and the amount,
form, and schedule of payment.
Signing Instructions
You (the homeowner) and the contractor must
sign this Home Maintenance Agreement for it to
be valid. Print out two copies of the form and
have each party sign and date both copies of
the form. Give the contractor one of the signed
documents and keep the other for your own
records.
Form 65: Home Repairs
Agreement
Form 65 covers home repairs done by skilled
labor for a job that isn’t expected to take more
than a few days, such as installing new locks
or windows, ­nonstructural carpentry repairs,
touch-up painting, ­masonry work, or roofing
repairs. Use it to spell out the who (names of
the homeowner and contractor), what and how
(specific details of the job, such as painting the
kitchen or installing new bathroom floor), how
much (dollar amount and details of payment),
and when (beginning and ending dates) of the
work.
resource
Don’t pay too much up front—just
enough to let the contractor purchase the
materials needed to get started. It is usually best
to agree to make periodic payments that are tied
to measurable, easy-to-define goals. Clause 2 is
the place to spell out the details of your payment
arrangement. For example, you may decide to pay
one lump sum at the end of the work, or pay in
increments (such as half at the beginning of work
and half at the end), or pay an hourly rate for
work done.
Simple home repairs probably won’t require
a contractor’s license or permit, but if they
do, Clauses 4 and 5 of the Home Repairs
Agreement allow you to spell out the details
regarding licenses and permits. If you don’t
need them, follow the instructions in the
introduction for deleting unnecessary contract
clauses. Clause 6 specifies that the contractor
must carry insurance and accept ­responsibility
for injuries that occur during the course of the
work.
Signing Instructions
You (the homeowner) and the contractor must
sign this Home Repairs Agreement for it to
be valid. Print out two copies of the form and
have each party sign and date both copies of
the form. Give the contractor one of the signed
documents and keep the other for your own
records.
Form 66: Contractor
Mid-Job Worksheet
If you’ve hired a contractor to perform home or
business repair or maintenance, you probably
have a good idea of what work will be done and
what it’s going to cost. For extensive jobs, you
may have a full-blown contract, which you’ve
accepted by signing it; or, you may have a
written bid that you’ve orally agreed to. Or, you
may have only an oral bid and acceptance—
basically, you and the contractor had a
conversation and came to an understanding of
the work and the cost. All of these methods for
recording the scope of the work and the cost are
legal and enforceable—although, of course, a
written understanding is always preferable.
Having a clear understanding of the extent and
cost of the work does not mean, however, that
events will always turn out as planned. In fact,
chapter 9 | home repairs and maintenance | 93
anyone who has done even modest remodeling
will tell you that you will always have surprises as
work progresses. For all but the simplest of jobs,
you’re likely to have lots of questions, which will
pop up as you arrive home at night to survey the
day’s work or, more likely, as you lie in bed at
night. You’ll be wondering, “Will it look like this
when it’s done?” “Is this the final color?” “Can I
change the placement of that fixture?” “Should
we do this while we’re at it?” and so on. Most
important, if the scope of the work changes or
the time needed to do it increases, you’ll want to
know how, if at all, these changes will affect the
cost of the job.
It’s important that you and your contractor
have continuing, clear communication about
the progress of your repair or remodeling
job, and that you not let important questions
go unanswered during the brief exchange
you typically have with your contractor each
morning. The best way to make sure that all of
your questions are addressed is to write them
down as they occur to you and go over the list
with your contractor on a daily basis. Even the
busiest contractor will pause as you approach
with clipboard in hand, and will take a few
minutes to go over your questions.
Our Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet, which
you’ll date as of the day of your discussion,
provides a place for you to list your issues
and gives you room to record the answer
and, possibly, the plan. You’ll be able to note
whether the intended resolution will vary the
bid and, if so, by how much. (To be extra
careful, after deciding whether the bid will be
affected, you can ask your contractor to initial
or sign the form.) You’ll also be able to record
whether the work or variation was actually done
and whether it’s satisfactory.
This worksheet is valuable primarily as a way
to preserve and present your questions, but it
has other uses, as well. If there is uncertainty
later about what you agreed to—and whether
it would cost additional money—you’ll have a
record of the discussion and the plan. If, heaven
forbid, you and the contractor get into a legal
squabble, your notes will be valuable evidence,
as well.
Use our Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet on
a daily basis if your project is multifaceted and
moving quickly; or use it weekly if progress is
slow. Be sure to keep all worksheets in a safe
place (in a folder or binder, along with the
original contract), and keep all documents
for at least ten years (the typical time period
in which you can sue for most construction
defects).
Signing Instructions
For each issue you discuss with your contractor,
fill in a row on the Contractor Mid-Job Work­
sheet to keep track of decisions the two of
you reach. Once you reach agreement on a
given issue, have your contractor initial the
last column, and place your initials next to the
contractor’s. ●
10
C H APT E R
Handling Personal Finances
Form 67: Daily Expenses......................................................................................................................... 96
Form 68: Monthly Income.................................................................................................................... 97
Form 69: Monthly Budget..................................................................................................................... 97
Form 70: Statement of Assets and Liabilities.............................................................................. 98
Form 71: Assignment of Rights.......................................................................................................... 98
Form 72: Notice to Terminate Joint Account............................................................................. 99
Form 73: Notice to Stop Payment of Check.............................................................................100
Form 74: Request for Credit Report..............................................................................................101
Form 75: Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry....................................................................102
Form 76: Dispute Credit Card Charge..........................................................................................103
Form 77: Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact.........................................................104
96 | 101 law forms for personal use
Y
ou may not think too much about
monthly budgets, credit reports, or
stopping payment on a check unless
you are having financial problems. But by being
proactive—reviewing your finances in advance
and knowing your ­legal rights—you can often
avoid legal and money problems. The forms in
this chapter are designed for you to get a handle
on your personal finances—budgeting, dealing
with debts and debt collectors, and reviewing
your credit report—whether you’re trying to
avoid problems or are in the midst of a crisis.
resource
Detailed information and forms on dealing
with debts, planning a budget, rebuilding your credit,
and other similar topics can be found in Solve Your
Money Troubles: Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back &
Regain Financial Freedom and Credit Repair, both by
Robin Leonard and John Lamb (Nolo).
Form 67: Daily Expenses
Creating a budget—comparing your average
monthly expenses to your total monthly
income—is the most effective way to start
putting your financial house in order. Although
it’s not hard to do, budgeting is a three-step
process. Step one is to get a clear picture of
how you spend your money. You can do that
using Form 67 (Daily Expenses), on which you
record everything you spend over the course of
a week. Step two is to ­total up your monthly
income using Form 68. The final step is
comparing the two and figuring out where you
might need to make some changes. For that
you can use Form 69.
Here’s how to use Daily Expenses (Form 67):
1.Make ten copies of the Daily Expenses form
(if you’re using the tear-out form) or print a
new copy each week. You will use nine copies
of the form to record your expenses for about
two months. By using your expense figures for
two months, you’ll avoid creating a budget
based on a week or a month of ­unusually
high or low expenses. If you and another
adult (such as a spouse or partner) share
finances, make nine copies each. You will use
the tenth copy to record other ­expenses.
2.Begin recording your ­expenses on the first of
a month; record that date in the blank at the
top of one copy of the form.
3.Record every expense you pay by cash or cash
equivalent—check, ATM or debit card, or
automatic bank withdrawal—on that week’s
form. Include deposits into savings accounts,
certificates of deposit, or money market
­accounts, and purchases of investments.
Do not record credit card charges. When
you make a payment on a credit card bill,
however, list the amount of your payment
and the items it covers.
4.At the end of the week, total your weekly
expenses. Put away the completed Daily
­Expenses form, take out another copy,
and fill it out according to Step 3. Repeat
until you have two full months of expenses
recorded.
5.At the end of the two months, take out the
tenth sheet. Anywhere on it, list seasonal,
annual, semi-annual, or quarterly expenses
that you incur each year but which did not
come due during your two-month recording
period. Common examples are property
taxes, car registration, charitable gifts,
magazine s­ ubscriptions, tax preparation fees,
and auto and house insurance payments.
Divide the annual cost of these items by 12
to figure out the monthly amount.
6. Total up all expenses for the two months you
tracked, including two months’ worth of the
expenses described in Step 5. Divide the total
by two to calculate your average monthly
expenses.
chapter 10 | handling personal finances | 97
Signing Instructions
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for this form.
­Simply fill it out and use it to evaluate your
spending patterns and prepare a budget.
There are no signing instructions for the
Monthly Income form. Simply fill it out and
use it to prepare a monthly budget.
Form 68: Monthly Income
Form 69: Monthly Budget
Use Form 68 together with Form 67 to help
you c­ reate a budget. On Form 68, total up your
monthly income. Be sure to include income
information for both people if you and another
adult share finances.
Part A is for jobs for which you receive a
salary or wages. Part B is for self-employment
income, ­including sales commissions. Part C is
for investment income, and Part D is for other
sources of income, such as bonus pay, alimony
or child support, pension or retirement income,
and public assistance.
When you are done listing all sources of
income, add them all up for your total monthly
income. If your income varies each month,
repeat this process for two or three months to
determine your average monthly income.
After you’ve kept track of your expenses (Form
67) and income (Form 68) for a couple of
months, you’re ready to create a budget using
Form 69. Follow these steps:
tip
Don’t include income that is automatically
reinvested. As you list your income, you may be
inclined to include your interest and dividends that
are automatically reinvested, such as retirement plan
income and stock dividends, to get a true sense of
your earnings. But the purpose of creating a budget
is to keep track of your actual expenses and the
income you have available to pay those expenses.
By listing income you don’t actually receive, you
will be left with the impression that you have more
income to cover your expenses each month than
you actually have available.
1.Using your actual expenses, project your
monthly expenses for the categories relevant
to you on Form 69 (Monthly Budget). Be
sure to include the monthly equivalent
of any quarterly, semi-annual, or annual
­expenses that you noted on your tenth sheet
of Form 67 (Daily Expenses).
2.Enter your projected monthly expenses into
the projected (Proj.) column on Form 69.
­Remember, this is just an estimate based on
two months of recordkeeping. Enter the total
at the end of the form, near the bottom of
the column.
3.Enter your projected monthly income
(bottom line of Form 68) below your total
projected expenses on Form 69.
4.Figure out the difference. If your expenses
exceed your income, you may have to cut
your projected expenses or increase your
­income to make ends meet.
5.During each month, write down your
actual expenses in each category. Do this as
accurately as possible—remember, creating
a budget is really designed to help you
adopt a sound spending plan, not to fill in
the ­“correct” numbers. Check your actual
monthly expenditures periodically to help
you keep an eye on how you’re doing. Are
you keeping close to your projected figures?
98 | 101 law forms for personal use
If you are not, you will need to change the
projected amount for those categories.
tip
When a large payment comes due. While
you have included one-twelfth of your quarterly,
semi-annual, and annual expenses in each month’s
­projection, those expenses and other unanticipated
ones don’t arise every month. Ideally, your budget
provides for a cushion each month—that is, your
income exceeds your expenses—so you’ll be able
to handle the large payments when they come due
by using that month’s cushion or the savings you’ve
built up from the excess each month. If you don’t
have the cash on hand to pay the large payment, you
will have to cut back in other expense categories.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for this
Monthly Budget form. Simply fill it out and use
it to balance your income and expenses.
Form 70: Statement of
Assets and Liabilities
Subtracting what you owe (liabilities) from what
you own (assets) reveals your net worth. A net
worth statement can help you and a lender
analyze your eligibility for a loan.
To find your net worth, use Form 70,
Statement of Assets and Liabilities. Fill in as
much information as you can. Don’t worry about
listing every asset or debt; the information on
this form changes daily as your assets change
value and the balances on your debts rise or fall.
You can estimate the date of purchase, or write
N/A in this column if you don’t know.
What values should you use for your assets?
As best you can, you will want to include an
asset’s current market value—the amount you
could get if you sold the item on the open
market. This means you are not looking at what
you could get in a forced sale—such as a house
repossession or foreclosure, or if you had to
sell all your personal ­belongings at a garage
sale. Instead, you’re looking at what your home
could bring in under normal selling conditions,
how much you could get for your car by
selling it through the paper or to a dealer, and
how much your household goods are worth,
considering they generally depreciate about
20% a year.
cross reference
For a related form, specifically geared
toward determining eligibility for a home loan, see
Form 52, Family Financial Statement, in Chapter 6.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for this
Statement of Assets and Liabilities. Simply
fill this form out and update it from time to
time. Use it to determine your net worth,
information that will be useful should you
­apply for a loan.
Form 71: Assignment
of Rights
You can use this form to transfer property or
money that you are entitled to receive (for
example, under a contract or promissory note)
to another person. This is called “assigning”
your right to receive the property or money. In
legal terms, you are the ­Assignor: the person
transferring a right to ­property or money
to another person, who is the Assignee. For
example, if Bette signed a promissory note
­owing you money and you owe Roger money,
you might assign your right to Bette’s money
to Roger. You are the Assignor and Roger is the
chapter 10 | handling personal finances | 99
Assignee. Or, you might a­ ssign your right to
receive income from a book contract to your
teenage son so that the money would be taxed in
his bracket, not yours. (See a tax advisor before
you do this, though.)
This Assignment of Rights form provides for
one or two assignors and one or two assignees.
There may be situations in which two people
have the right to receive money or property
and jointly transfer that right, or in which two
people are granted the right to receive money
or property. This typically, but not exclusively,
arises when a husband and wife jointly have
the right to money or property or are jointly
granted such a right. (Chapter 5 includes a
discussion of marital property.)
Often the assignment covers a set period,
­especially when you assign the right to receive
­payments. Form 71 (Clauses 3 and 4) allows
you to specify the b­ eginning and ending dates
of the assignment; if you don’t have an exact
end date in mind, you can simply say that
the assignment will end when a ­specific event
occurs or you revoke the assignment.
Here are some questions to ask when
considering an assignment:
• If you are assigning rights based on a previously
existing contract, does the contract allow the
assignment? Be sure to read the ­contract
carefully and make sure you can assign your
rights under it. For example, leases typically
prohibit a tenant’s assignment of the lease
to another person without the landlord’s
consent.
Leases and installment purchase contracts
for motor vehicles typically prohibit
assignment without the lessor’s or lender’s
advance written consent. Mortgages and
deeds of trust typically cannot be assigned.
• Are there tax implications of the assignment?
If you assign money to another person
and ­receive something of equal value in
return, there should be no tax implications.
If, however, you assign your right to receive
money to ­another person as a gift and the
IRS learns of the assignment, the IRS will
treat the assignment as a taxable transaction.
For many assignments, this won’t be a
problem because you can make a tax-free
gift of up to $12,000 per individual per
year. But if you are assigning more than
that, you should get tax advice.
• Does the assignment substantially change
the obligations of the person with whom
you signed a contract? If the contractual
obligations will become more onerous, you
may not be allowed to make the assignment.
For example, if you have signed a contract
with Happy Housekeepers to clean your
house once a week for $75, you may not
assign this obligation to a neighbor whose
house would require a lot more time and
effort to clean.
Signing Instructions
You must sign the Assignment of Rights form
for it to be valid. Print out two copies of the
form (or enough for each person who will be
signing the form to have their own copy). Each
person (Assignor and Assignee) should sign and
date all copies of the form and keep a signed
document with all original signatures for their
own records.
Form 72: Notice to
Terminate Joint Account
If you are separating from or divorcing a
spouse or partner, you will want to close any
joint credit cards or accounts immediately. This
involves notifying all creditors of your request
to close joint accounts so that no new charges
100 | 101 law forms for personal use
can be made. You should send this notice to
every creditor, including credit card issuers,
banks, department stores, and other retailers,
with whom you and your spouse or partner
hold a joint credit account. Send it to the
customer service address on the back of a billing
statement, not to the address where you send
payments. You must complete a separate Notice
to Terminate Joint Account for each credit card
account you want to close. Be sure you enter
the full names of the joint account holders
exactly as they appear on the account, and
include the correct account number.
The only way to make sure that an account
is truly closed is to insist, as this notice does,
that the creditor do a “hard close,” so that no
new charges can be made. (You can close your
account even if you haven’t paid off the balance.
In that case, the account will remain active
only for the purpose of paying off the balance.)
This notice states that if a “hard close” is not
done, you will not be responsible for any charges
made on the account. While such a letter may
not fully protect you, it is better than ­doing
nothing and puts the burden on the creditor
to show why the account wasn’t closed as you
requested.
If time is of the essence, call the creditor and
request a hard close. Follow up by sending a
signed copy of Form 72, along with a cover
letter referring to your earlier phone call. You
might also be able to close accounts on the card
issuer’s website.
Signing Instructions
Print out a copy of the Notice to Terminate
Joint Account form and sign it in the space
provided. Make two copies of the signed form
and mail the original and one of the copies
to the creditor you wish to notify of the joint
account termination. Include a stamped, selfaddressed envelope. The creditor will sign the
copy and return it to you in the self-addressed
envelope as a receipt.
Send the form by certified mail, return receipt
requested, and keep a copy of the form and
receipt for your records. You may later need it
as proof that you properly notified the creditor
of your intent to close the joint account.
tip
Don’t overlook home equity lines of
credit. You and your ex may have applied for a home
equity line of credit a while ago and forgotten about
it. Equity credit lines that supply a checkbook can be
used just like a joint checking account. Because the
risk of leaving an equity line of credit open is so great
(you could lose your home if your ex is irresponsible
with the funds), we recommend closing it in person.
Pay a visit to your banker to request that the account
be closed or frozen. Even if you have the checkbook,
request that the account be closed so that your ex
can’t request more checks. Get a written record that
the bank has closed the account.
Form 73: Notice to
Stop Payment of Check
It’s not unusual to write a check, hand it over or
mail it to the recipient, and then change your
mind and want to stop payment. For example,
you might not notice that delivered goods were
defective until after the delivery person was paid
and left. Many other situations give rise to the
need to put a stop payment on a check.
The first thing to do is call the bank, savings
and loan, credit union, or other financial
institution where your account is located to
make an oral r­ equest to stop payment. Ask
how much the charge is, if any, for this service.
Then immediately send or, better yet, drop off
a written confirmation of your stop payment
notice, Form 73. Include payment for any
­required charge with your notice.
chapter 10 | handling personal finances | 101
In many situations, the stop payment notice
lasts only six months or a year. If you fear the
person to whom you wrote the check will try to
cash it much later, you may need to renew your
stop payment notice. Banks, savings and loans,
credit unions, and other financial institutions
have the option of rejecting checks they deem
too old, often six months or older, but they
usually don’t exercise this right. In fact, most
people who work in a bank or other financial
institution never look at the date of the check.
They simply post it to the account. If the
money is there to cover it, the check is paid.
Signing Instructions
Print out three copies of the Notice to Stop
Payment of Check form. Sign the copies and
mail or give two of them to the appropriate bank
or financial institution along with a stamped,
self-addressed envelope. As requested in this
form, the financial institution should then sign
and return one of the copies, ­acknowledging
receipt of your letter. Keep a copy for your
records.
Form 74: Request
for Credit Report
If you want to repair your credit, establish
credit, or apply for a loan, your first step is
to get a copy of your credit report. This is a
file maintained by a credit bureau that sells
information to banks, lenders, landlords,
and others who routinely evaluate customers’
creditworthiness. Credit reports contain
personal information about you, including
your current and past use of credit cards; loans
(home, car, student, and the like); any defaults
on bills such as utility payments or doctor’s
bills; public records, such as lawsuits; and
inquiries by creditors.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
now requires each major national credit
bureau—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—
to provide you one free copy of your credit
report each year.
You can request your free report by one of
these means:
•Telephone – 1-877-322-8228
•Internet – www.annualcreditreport.com
•Mail – Annual Credit Report Service, P.O.
Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You must provide your name, address, Social
Security number, and date of birth when you
order. You also may be required to provide
information that only you would know, such
as the amount of your monthly mortgage
payment.
You can get an additional copy of your credit
report by contacting one of the three major
national credit bureaus:
•Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA
30374; 800-685-1111; www.equifax.com
•Experian, 888-397-3742;
www.experian.com
•TransUnion, 877-322-8228;
www.transunion.com
If you need additional copies of your credit
report, the cost is usually less than $10 (and
free in some cases, listed below), but check first
for the exact amount.
You are entitled to a free additional copy of
your credit ­report if:
•You’ve been denied credit or insurance
because of information in your credit file.
(In that case, you are entitled to a free copy
of your report from the credit bureau that
reported the information. A creditor that
denies you credit or insurance will tell you
the name and address of the credit bureau
reporting the information that led to the
102 | 101 law forms for personal use
denial.) You must request your free copy
within 60 days of being denied; you should
provide a copy of the denial letter.
•You are unemployed and planning to
apply for a job within 60 days following
your request for your credit report. It’s a
good idea to include documents verifying
your unemployment (such as a recent
unemployment check or layoff notice). You
must also provide a statement swearing that
the information is true. You are entitled to
one free report in a 12-month period.
•You receive public assistance. Enclose a
statement swearing that this is true and
provide a copy of your most recent public
­assistance check as verification. You are
entitled to one free report in any 12-month
period.
•You reasonably believe your credit file
contains errors due to someone’s fraud, such
as using your credit card, name, or Social
Security number. Here, too, you will need
to enclose a statement swearing that this is
true. You are entitled to one free report in
any 12-month ­period.
•You are a victim of identity theft or fraud,
or think that you may be. The FCRA gives
consumers the right to request free credit
reports in connection with fraud alerts.
If you suspect in good faith that you are,
or may be, a victim of identity theft or
another fraud, you can instruct the major
bureaus to add a “fraud alert” to your file.
You can request a free copy of your report
from each bureau once it places the fraud
alert in your file.
n
If you are a victim of identity theft, you
can send the major bureaus an identity
theft report and instruct them to add
an extended fraud alert to your file. You
can request two free copies of your credit
n
report from each bureau during the next
12 months once it places the extended
fraud alert in your file.
Signing Instructions
Sign your Request for Credit Report and mail
it ­certified mail, return receipt requested, to
the credit bureau. Keep a copy of the letter for
your files. Include payment and any supporting
documentation required, as noted above.
Form 75: Dispute Incorrect
Credit Report Entry
Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act,
you have the right to dispute all incorrect or
incomplete information in your credit file, such
as an incorrect name, employer, account, or
tax history, a lawsuit older than seven years or
one you weren’t involved in, or a bankruptcy
older than ten years. If you have carefully
reviewed your credit report and identified
inaccurate or incomplete information you want
changed or removed, complete the “request for
reinvestigation” form that was enclosed with
your credit report. If the credit bureau did not
enclose such a form, use Form 75 to spell out
the information you want ­corrected or deleted
from your credit report. ­Enclose copies of any
documents you have that support your claim.
Once the credit bureau receives your request,
it must investigate the items you dispute and
contact you, usually within 30 days. For more
information, see Credit Repair, by Robin
Leonard and John Lamb (Nolo).
You can also dispute inaccurate or incomplete
items of information online by going to the
credit bureau’s website (contact information
appears in the instructions for Form 74).
chapter 10 | handling personal finances | 103
Look for the button or link for submitting
disputes online. (If you have documents that
support your position, it’s better to use Form
75 and enclose copies of the documents.)
Signing Instructions
Sign your Dispute Incorrect Credit Report
Entry and mail it certified mail, return receipt
requested, to the credit bureau that prepared
the report you are disputing. Include copies of
any documents supporting your claim. Keep a
copy of the letter for your files.
Form 76: Dispute
Credit Card Charge
If you use a credit or charge card but don’t
receive the product you purchased, or you
received a defective item, you can legally refuse
to pay if you meet certain criteria:
• Dispute concerning a purchase made with
a credit card issued by the seller, such as
department store or gas station. You can
legally refuse to pay if you first attempt in
good faith to resolve the dispute with the
merchant, who refuses to replace, repair, or
otherwise correct the problem.
• Dispute concerning a purchase made with a
credit card, such as Visa or MasterCard, not
­issued by the seller. You can legally refuse
to pay if you first attempt in good faith
to resolve the dispute with the merchant,
who refuses to replace, repair, or otherwise
correct the problem. But, you can withhold
payment only if the purchase was for more
than $50 and was made within the state in
which you live or was within 100 miles of
your home.
You may withhold only the balance on the
disputed item or service that is unpaid when
you first notify the seller or card issuer of the
problem. (To cover yourself as fully as possible,
make sure that the card issuer receives your
dispute within 60 days after the date of the
first credit card statement showing the disputed
purchase.)
If you are entitled to withhold payment,
complete and mail Form 76 to the credit card
company at the address for disputed charges
(not the billing address) and explain why you
aren’t paying. Explain how you tried to resolve
the problem with the merchant. Attach a copy
of the credit card bill showing the disputed
item, along with any additional documentation
of your attempt to resolve the dispute, such
as a letter you sent to a merchant regarding a
defective item.
The card issuer cannot tell a credit reporting
agency that the amount you withheld is
delinquent until the dispute has been settled,
provided that you do not withhold more than
you are entitled. Nor can the issuer “freeze” or
place a “hold” on any funds that you may have
on deposit with it. However, the issuer can tell
a credit reporting agency that your failure to
pay is “disputed,” so it’s important not to abuse
this right.
For more information on credit card
problems, check the Federal Trade Commission
website at www.ftc.gov.
caution
Do not use this form if the problem is
unauthorized use of your credit card—for example,
charges made by someone who stole your card. In
this situation, promptly report your loss to the police
and the credit card issuer to limit your liability for
unauthorized charges. Then call the three major
credit bureaus to report fraud (contact information
appears in the instructions for Form 74).
104 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
Sign your Dispute Credit Card Charge letter
and mail it to the credit card issuer, along with
copies of any documents supporting your claim.
Keep a copy of the letter and your original
supporting documentation for your files.
Form 77: Demand Collection
Agency Cease Contact
If you owe money and your debt has been
passed along to a collection agency, you will no
doubt be contacted by a collector working for
the agency. Many people don’t understand that
they have the legal right under federal law (the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692 and following) to tell a bill collector
who works for a collection agency to leave
them alone. (This does not apply to in-house
collectors—for example, at a bank, department
store, or hospital—unless your state has enacted
a similar restriction on in-house collectors.) To
pursue this right, you must put your demand
in writing (that’s the purpose of Form 77) and
send it to the collection agency. By law, all
collectors from the agency must then cease all
phone calls, letters, and other communications
with you, unless they are contacting you to
notify you that:
•collection efforts against you have ended, or
•the collection agency or the creditor will
­invoke a specific remedy against you, such
as suing you.
Alternatively, you can inform the collector
that you are represented by an attorney and
instruct that all communications be directed to
the attorney (you must provide the attorney’s
name and address).
tip
It’s usually best not to ignore the debt
or try to hide from the collector. Usually, the
longer you put off resolving the issue, the worse the
situation and consequences will become. Whether
you negotiate directly with the collector or obtain
a lawyer’s assistance, many counselors feel the best
strategy almost always is to engage the collector, at
least initially.
Signing Instructions
Sign your Demand Collection Agency Cease
Contact letter and mail it to the collection
agency, along with copies of any documents
supporting your ­demand. It’s best to send this
letter by certified mail and request a return
receipt. Keep a copy of the letter and your
original documents for your files. ●
11
C H APT E R
Dealing With Junk Mail and
Telemarketing Calls
Form 78: Notice to Remove Name From List...........................................................................107
Form 79: Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It................................109
Form 80: Telemarketing Phone Call Log......................................................................................109
Form 81: Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List..................................110
Form 82: Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls...............................................................111
106 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
he telephone is—depending on one’s
mood—either a boon or a scourge of
modern life. One of its undeniably
bad aspects is its wide use by telemarketers.
Fortunately, there are two federal laws—the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47
U.S.C. § 227) and the Telemarketing and
Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act
(15 U.S.C. § 6101)—that put some limits
on how telemarketers must act. Most states
also have laws to curb abusive telemarketing.
Some provisions are part of an effort to curb
telemarketing fraud; others are aimed at
­reducing annoyance to consumers. For example,
before you pay (usually by credit card) for
something purchased from a telemarketer,
the seller must accurately state the total cost,
quantity of goods or services, and all other
important conditions and ­restrictions. A seller
must also explain its refund policy or state that it
doesn’t allow a refund, exchange, or cancellation.
Even more common than telemarketing fraud
are legitimate but incredibly annoying phone
calls that we most often get at dinnertime.
It may be some consolation that federal law
at least prohibits tele­marketers from making
these calls before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. (local
time) unless they have your permission to call.
Telemarketers also must put you on a “do not
call list” if you so request (see “Do Not Call
Registries,” below). And that’s where the forms
in this chapter come in—we show you how to
tell a company to stop calling you and what to
do if it doesn’t.
Sometimes, your mailbox can become just
as irritating as your telephone. For most of us,
catalogues, credit card offers, and all kinds of
other junk mail take up more space than our
first-class mail. Moreover, this never-read junk
mail is an incredible waste of environmental
resources. Again, fortunately, some federal laws
(for example, amendments to the Fair Credit
Reporting Act that restrict credit bureaus’ use
of your name for marketing ­purposes) can help
you get off various mailing lists. In this chapter,
we provide you with the easy-to-use forms to
accomplish this.
resource
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a
nonprofit consumer organization with extensive
information and advice on consumer rights
regarding junk mail, telemarketing, and related
privacy issues. For more i­nformation, see their web­
site at www.privacyrights.org or call 619-298-3396.
“Do Not Call” Registries
The federal government created a National Do
Not Call Registry to make it easier for you to
stop getting telemarketing sales calls you don’t
want. You can register online at www.donotcall
.gov or call toll-free, 888-382-1222, from the
number you wish to register. Registration is
free. Your number stays on the list for five years,
and then you’ll have to reregister it. You can
ask to have your number taken off the register
at any time. The Federal Trade Commission,
the Federal Communications Commission,
and the states began enforcing the National
Do Not Call Registry on October 1, 2003.
Telemarketers must update their “do not call”
lists with names from the National Do Not Call
Registry at least once every 31 days. Telemar­
keters can be fined up to $11,000 for each
violation.
Placing your number on the national do
not call registry will stop most, but not all,
unwelcome calls. For example, you may still be
called by nonprofits, or by companies you’ve
recently contacted or with which you’ve done
business.
Before the federal Do Not Call Registry
opened, more than half the states started their
own registries of telephone subscribers who do
not want to receive telemarketing calls. These
chapter 11 | dealing with junk mail and telemarketing calls | 107
state laws continue to be valid if they impose
more restrictions on intrastate telemarketing
(calls made and completed within the state)
than the federal law. In order to do business in
these states, telemarketers must buy the “do not
call” list and abide by the wishes of the persons
named on the list. Violators are subject to fines.
Some state registries are free; others charge a
small fee to put your name on the list.
All registries exempt some categories of callers
(as does the National Do Not Call Registry).
For example, many states allow charities,
companies seeking payment of debts, and
those calling on behalf of political candidates
to continue to call you. If an organization is
exempt from whichever registry you participate
in, you can still follow the procedures outlined
below to get on that organization’s “do not call”
list. (See the instructions for Form 81.)
Some, but not all, of the states are transferring
their “do not call” registries to the National Do
Not Call Registry. If you want to know whether
your state has a separate registry, contact your
state attorney general or consumer protection
agency.
If your number is listed on a “do not call”
registry and you get a call from a telemarketer,
report the call to the appropriate agency,
either state or national. Most registries provide
complaint forms online. You can also check
with your local consumer protection office
or State Attorney General (see “How to
Complain to Government Agencies,” below, for
information on contacting these agencies).
Form 78: Notice to
Remove Name From List
It’s quite possible that you want to receive
some catalogues, promotional mailings, or
telemarketing phone calls, but not others. To
get yourself onto only the lists you want to be on
How to Complain to
Government Agencies
In addition to taking all of the steps suggested
in this chapter, it is also a good idea to complain
to government enforcement agencies about
abusive phone calls and letters. You can simply
send a copy of the written notice, such as Form
82, ­Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls, to
one or more of the following agencies:
• State Attorneys General. You can find
­contact information for your state Attorney
General’s office from the National Association
of Attorneys General at www.naag.org. This is
also a good resource to find out more about
your state telemarketing laws.
• State Consumer Protection Office. To find
the consumer protection office in your state,
visit the Federal Consumer Information
website at www.consumeraction.gov/caw_
state_resources.shtml.
• Federal Trade Commission. Consumer
Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Washington, DC 20580; toll-free 877382-4357; www.ftc.gov. The FTC strongly
encourages consumers to file complaints
from its website, using FTC forms.
• Federal Communications Commission.
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division,
445 12th St., SW, Washington, DC 20554;
888-225-5322 (voice); 888-835-5322 (TTY);
www.fcc.gov.
108 | 101 law forms for personal use
requires a two step-approach. First, send Form
78 to all companies that collect names in order to
sell them to direct marketers and telemarketers,
telling them to remove your name. Provide
them with all spellings of your name, and the
names of any other household members on the
mailing label. If you’re receiving junk mail for
previous occupants at your address, provide
their names, too. Then, send Form 79 to only
those businesses whose materials or phone calls
you want to receive.
Dozens of companies gather names and
addresses to sell to direct marketers and tele­
marketers. While some lists are larger than
others, you will get yourself off of most lists if
you send Form 74, Notice to Remove Name
from List, to the major credit bureaus:
•Experian Marketing Solutions,
475 Anton Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626;
www.experian.com
•Equifax, Options, P.O. Box 740241,
Atlanta, GA 30374; www.equifax.com
• TransUnion, Name Removal Option,
P.O. Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39288;
www.transunion.com
One phone call to 888-5OPTOUT will
get you off the lists of all three of these credit
bureaus.
The three credit bureaus listed above give you
the choice of opting out for five years or perma­
nently. If you opt out, you will no longer appear
on lists offered by the credit bureaus, but you
will continue to receive mailings based on lists
from other sources.
Other places to send Form 78 include:
•Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing
­Association, P.O. Box 282, Carmel, NY
10512; 212-768-7277; or
www.dmaconsumers.org. To register, you
must complete a form online or download
the form and mail it in; there’s a $1 fee
either way. This service is a good step
towards getting rid of junk mail, but it’s not
a cure-all. Members of the Direct Marketing
Association must use the “do not write”
list. Even so, you may continue to receive
unsolicited mail from DMA members with
whom you already do business. While the
list also is available to businesses that are not
DMA members, they have no obligation
to use it. The Direct Marketing ­Association
will keep your name in its files for five years.
After that time, you should send ­another
letter.
•R.L. Polk & Company, Attn: Name
Deletion File, 26955 Northwestern
Highway, Southfield, MI 48034; 800-8737655.
•Donnelly Marketing, Inc., Data Base
Operations, 416 South Bell, Ames, IA
50010; 888-633-4402.
•National Demographics and Lifestyles,
Customer Service Department, 1621 18th St.,
#300, Denver, CO 80202. Most warranty
cards—also called product registration
cards—are sent to this company, not to
the manufacturer. The cards are used to
gather names for mailing lists and to inform
customers about product recalls. Often, the
cards have nothing to do with whether you
get the benefit of the warranty. Usually, you’re
covered even if you don’t send in the warranty
card. Check with the manufacturer to find
out whether this is the case. Send Form 78 to
this company to get your name removed from
their list.
Another way to reduce your junk mail is to
­contact the customer service departments of
the companies that send you catalogs you don’t
want or other unwanted mail and ask to be
taken off their mailing list. After you call, send
Form 78.
chapter 11 | dealing with junk mail and telemarketing calls | 109
Finally, privacy-conscious consumers can
complete and return the “opt out” portion of
the “privacy notices” that financial institutions
and businesses send them when they open
accounts. These consumers opt out of every use
of their personal information possible under the
institution’s or business’ privacy policy. Doing
this reduces the distribution of the consumer’s
personal information somewhat, and also cuts
down the number of offers and solicitations
that the consumer receives.
Usually, the privacy notice will include a
detach­able “opt out” or “privacy preference”
form. If not, look in the privacy notice for
an “800” number and call it to register your
preferences. In the absence of a form or an
800 number, you can create your own opt-out
letter. For a sample, go to the Privacy Rights
Clearinghouse’s website, www.privacyrights.org.
Click on the Financial Privacy link, then on Fact
Sheets and scroll down to Fact Sheet 24(a) on
financial privacy and the sample opt-out letter.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date your Notice to Remove Name
From List, and mail it to some or all of the
companies listed above that sell lists of names to
direct marketers and telemarketers. Keep a copy
of the notice for your files.
resource
An excellent resource for getting off of direct
marketing and telemarketing lists is Stop Junk Mail
Forever (Telemarketing and Spamming, Too), by Marc
Eisenson, Nancy Castleman, and Marcy Ross (Good
Advice Press, www.goodadvicepress.com/sjmf.htm).
Form 79: Notice to Add
or Retain Name but
Not Sell or Trade It
After sending Form 78 to get your name off
the lists of all businesses that sell lists of names
to direct marketers and telemarketers, use
Form 79 to get onto (or keep yourself on) the
lists maintained by businesses whose mailings
and/or phone calls you do want to receive. This
notice states that you do not want your name
sold, traded, or shared with any other company
or business. Also, you can specify whether or
not you want to accept telemarketing phone
calls from the company.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date your Notice to Add or Retain
Name and mail it to the companies whose
mailings and/or phone calls you do want to
receive. Keep a copy of the notice for your files.
Form 80: Telemarketing
Phone Call Log
A federal law, the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act, requires every telemarketer to
keep a list of consumers who say that they do
not want to be called again. The law has some
real teeth: If you tell a telemarketer not to call
you, but you get another call within 12 months,
you can sue the company on whose behalf the
call is made for up to $500. (The telemarketer
can take up to 30 days to put your number on
its “do not call” list.) If the court finds that the
telemarketer willfully or knowingly violated
the law, the court can award you up to $1,500.
Most states’ small claims courts allow claims of
at least $2,000, so you can sue on your own,
without hiring a lawyer.
110 | 101 law forms for personal use
Some states also have telemarketing laws.
Often, those laws are even stricter than federal
law. ­Contact your State Consumer Protection
Office to find out more about your state’s
telemarketing laws (see “How to Complain to
Government Agencies,” above, for information
on contacting these agencies).
Use Form 80 to keep a log of telemarketing
phone calls. You will need to note the date,
the time of the call, the company on whose
behalf the call is being made, the telemarketer’s
name (probably a fake, but write it down
anyway), the product ­being sold, and the fact
that you stated “put me on a ‘do not call’ list.”
Telemarketers may not block their phone
numbers from being identified, so if you
have caller ID you can write down the caller’s
name and phone number whenever possible
and include it on the form. This information
will help you recognize repeat callers, and will
provide a form of identification if the caller
refuses to give a name. You will need this
evidence to prove that you received more than
one call from the same telemarketing company.
If you follow up with a letter, such as Form
81, asking to be put on the “do not call” list,
note this on the call log, too.
Suing a company whose telemarketer violates
the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
presents at least two practical problems. First,
you must be able to locate the company (see
the instructions for Form 81 for suggestions).
Second, the court in your state must be able
to assert jurisdiction over the company. This
is difficult (and practically speaking, often
impossible) if it’s located in another state.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the Tele­
market­ing Phone Call Log. Simply fill it out
every time you get a call from a telemarketer.
Form 81: Notice to Put
Name on Company’s
“Do Not Call” List
Proving that a telemarketer willfully violated
the law by calling you more than once may be
difficult. One way you can generate evidence
of a company’s willful act is to always end your
phone call by stating “Put me on your ‘do not
call’ list,” and follow up with a letter stating the
same. Include all of your telephone numbers in
the letter. You can use Form 81 for this purpose.
You can also use Form 81 to stop calls that
are not prohibited by the “do not call” list—for
example, calls from companies that you do
business with.
You will need to find out the mailing address
of the company on whose behalf the call is
made in order to send your letter. Here are a
few suggestions:
•Ask the telemarketer who calls you for
the company’s ­address. Telemarketers are
required by law to give you the telephone
number or the address of the company.
Despite the law, many telemarketers will
claim they don’t know the information
or can’t tell you. If that happens, contact
your State Consumer Protection Office
(see “How to Complain to Government
­Agencies,” above).
•If it’s a local company, or you know the
city in which the company is located, see if
you can find the address online or in your
phone book; if you find a phone number, but
not the address, call and ask for the mailing
address.
•Consult Hoover’s Handbook of American
Business: Profiles of Major U.S. Companies.
Your local library should have a copy, or you
can visit the website at www.hoovers.com.
The site contains a lot of self-promotional
chapter 11 | dealing with junk mail and telemarketing calls | 111
ads and other companies’ banners, but you
can get the information you need if you
keep trying.
•Try using a search engine such as Google to
locate the company’s address.
Form 81 also may be used to eliminate
telemarketing calls from one or more specific
companies rather than eliminating all calls
by registering with the National Do Not Call
Registry.
Signing Instructions
Sign and date your Notice to Put Name on
Company’s “Do Not Call” List and mail it to
the company whose telemarketer has called you.
Keep a copy of the notice for your own records.
You may need this if you end up suing the
company for excessive calls (as described under
Form 82).
on the “do not call” list.) It details the history
of telemarketing phone calls you have received
on behalf of the company and your requests to
be put on the “do not call” list. Form 82 spells
out your right to monetary compensation for
a violation of the federal Telephone Consumer
Protection Act as explained in the discussion
of the Telemarketing Phone Call Log (Form
80), above. It specifies that you will seek all
appropriate remedies in court if you do not get
the requested compensation within 30 days.
You will need to find out the mailing address of
the company in order to send your letter. See
the discussion under Form 81, Notice to Put
Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List for
some suggestions on obtaining the address.
In addition to locating the company on whose
behalf the calls were made, the court in your
state must be able to assert jurisdiction over
it. This is difficult (and practically speaking,
often impossible) if the company is located in
another state.
Form 82: Demand for
Damages for Excessive Calls
Signing Instructions
You can use Form 82 after you receive a second
(or third or fourth) telemarketing call on
behalf of the same company. (Remember, it
can take up to 30 days for your number to get
Sign your Demand for Damages for Excessive
Calls letter and mail it to the company on
whose behalf the telemarketing calls were made.
Keep a copy for your files. ●
12
C H APT E R
Hiring Child Care, Elder Care, or
Household Help
Form 83: Child Care Agreement......................................................................................................116
Form 84: Child Care Instructions....................................................................................................118
Form 85: Elder Care Agreement......................................................................................................119
Form 86: Housekeeping Services Agreement...........................................................................119
114 | 101 law forms for personal use
M
any people hire others to work
regularly in their homes—for
example, to take care of their
children during the workday, care for elderly
parents, or clean their houses. These relation­
ships are often set up informally, with no
written agreement. But informal arrangements
can be fraught with problems. If you don’t
have a written agreement clearly defining
responsibilities and ­benefits, you and those
helping you are all too likely to have different
expectations about the job. This can lead to
serious disputes—even to either or both of you
bitterly backing out of the arrangement. Far
better to draft a clear written understanding of
what the job entails.
The agreements in this chapter are for
hiring child and elder care providers and other
household workers who are employees, not
independent contractors. When you hire an
employee, you set the hours, ­responsibilities,
and pay rate of the worker. Legally, most
babysitters and household workers who
work for you on a regular basis are considered
employees for whom you are required to
pay taxes, Social ­Security, and other benefits
described below. In ­contrast, independent
contractors typically own their own businesses
and work for you only occasionally.
This chapter also includes a Child Care
Instructions form you can use for either a
full-time child care ­provider or an occasional
babysitter.
resource
For information on hiring independent
contractors, see Working With Independent
­Contractors, by Stephen Fishman (Nolo).
caution
Do not use this form if you hire a child
or elder care worker or housecleaner through a
placement agency. If you use an agency that sets and
collects the worker’s fee from you, pays the worker,
and controls the terms of the work, the agency will
have its own form for you to complete. People you
hire through an agency are not your employees—
they are the ­employees of their agencies.
Legal Obligations for Employees
Assuming your child care worker, elder care
worker, or house­cleaner is your employee, you
have legal o­ bligations to that person. You also
become responsible for a ­certain amount of
paperwork and record­keeping. You do not have
to put this information in your child or elder
care or housekeeping agreement, but you need
to be aware of these responsibilities.
Social Security and Income Taxes. If you pay
a child care or elder care worker $1,500 or
more in a ­calendar year, you must make Social
­Security (FICA) payments on those wages and
­withhold the employee’s share of FICA. You do
not have to deduct income taxes from wages
paid to an employee for working in your home
unless the employee requests it and you agree to
do so. You make these payments by attaching
Schedule H, Household Employment Taxes, to
your annual Form 1040.
chapter 12 | hiring child care, elder care, or household help | 115
Unemployment Compensation. If you pay
a household employee $1,000 or more in a
three-month period, you must pay quarterly
taxes under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act
(FUTA), using IRS Form 940 or 940-EZ. As
with FICA, you pay this amount by attaching
Schedule H, Household Employment Taxes, to
your annual Form 1040.
Workers’ Compensation. Your state may
require you to provide workers’ compensation
insurance against job-related injuries or illnesses
suffered by your employees. Check with your
state department of labor or employment.
Minimum Wage and Overtime. The federal
minimum hourly wage is $5.85, increasing to
$6.55 on July 24, 2008. Your child care or elder
care worker may be entitled to minimum wage,
depending upon their particular hours and
earnings. If your state minimum wage is higher,
you will need to pay the state wage. In addition,
under federal law, most domestic workers
(other than live-in workers) qualify for overtime
pay. Workers must be paid overtime at a rate
of one-and-a-half times the regular rate for all
hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek.
You can check the U.S. Department of Labor
website, www.dol.gov, for current information
about federal and state minimum wage laws.
New Hire Reporting Form. Within a short time
­after you hire someone—20 days or fewer,
depending on your state’s rules—you must file
a New Hire ­Reporting Form with a designated
state agency. The information on the form
becomes part of the ­National Directory of
New Hires, used primarily to locate parents to
collect child support. To find out about your
state’s new hire reporting requirements—and
the location of the state agency where you
must send this information—go to www.acf
.dhhs.gov.
Federal ID Number. If you hire a household
­employee, you must obtain a federal employer
identification number (EIN), required by the
IRS of all employers for tax filing and reporting
purposes. The form you need is IRS Form
SS-4, Application for Employer Identification
Number.
IRS Resources
The IRS has a number of publications and forms
that might help you. Call the IRS at 800-424FORM or visit its website at www.irs.gov to
download these forms and publications. Start
with ­Publication 926, Household Employers’
Tax Guide, which describes the major tax
responsibilities of employers. You may also want
to look at:
• Form SS-8, which contains IRS definitions of
independent contractor and employee, and
• Form SS-4, ­Application for Employer
Identification Number.
116 | 101 law forms for personal use
Reality Check
Many families don’t comply with the law that
requires them to pay taxes or Social ­Security
for household workers, some of whom are
undocumented aliens. This chapter is not
­intended to preach about the law, but to alert
you to the laws that affect your relationships
with child and elder care and housekeeping
workers. No question, if you fail to pay
Social Security and to meet your other legal
obligations as an employer, there may be several
negative consequences.
• You may be assessed substantial financial
penalties. For example, if your full-time elder
care provider files for Social Security five
years from now and can prove prior earnings,
but no Social Security has been paid, the IRS
could back-bill you at high interest rates.
• If you don’t meet a state requirement to
­provide workers’ compensation insurance
and your child care worker is injured while
on the job and can’t work for a few months,
you may be in hot water if the worker files for
workers’ compensation. You will probably be
held liable for the worker’s medical costs and
a portion of any lost wages, as well as be fined
for not having the insurance in the first place.
• You will not be able to take a child care tax
credit on your federal income taxes. The
credit is based on your work-related ­expenses
and income
Form 83: Child Care
Agreement
A child care provider who takes care of your
children in your house, either part time or full
time, may live out (often called a caregiver or
babysitter) or live-in (an au pair or nanny). The
responsibilities of the position may vary widely,
from performing a wide range of housekeeping
services to only taking care of the children.
Use Form 83 to spell out your agreement
about the child care worker’s responsibilities,
hours, ­benefits, amount and ­schedule of
payment, and other important aspects of the
job. The best approach is to be as detailed as
possible.
Start by filling in your name, address, phone
numbers, and other contact information for
yourself (and a second parent if another parent
will be signing the Child Care Agreement) and
your child care ­provider. List your children’s
names and birth dates.
Here’s some advice on filling in various
sections of the Child Care Agreement:
Location and Schedule of Care (Clause 4).
Provide the address where child care will be
provided ­(typically your home) and the days
and hours of care, such as 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
weekdays. Live-in nannies or au pairs often
work some weeknights and weekends.
Beginning Date (Clause 5) and Training or
Probation Period (Clause 6). Specify the date
employment will begin and the length of any
training or probation period, such as the first
15 or 30 days of child care. This is the time
to make sure that the relationship will work
for everyone involved. A training period helps
your child care provider get to know your home
and neighborhood and the exact way you
want things done. If there will be no training or
probation period, you can skip this clause.
chapter 12 | hiring child care, elder care, or household help | 117
Responsibilities (Clause 7). The responsibilities
of the child care position may vary widely
depending on many factors, including the
number and age of your children; whether the
child care worker lives in or out, and is full
or part time; your family s­ ituation and needs;
and the skills and background of the child care
provider. In some households, ­particularly with
infants and toddlers, the babysitter or au pair
only takes care of the children and does not
do housework, except for doing the children’s
laundry. In other families, especially with older
children, the employee may function more as a
housekeeper, cook, and chauffeur. You should
specify the child care worker’s responsibilities
in as much detail as possible, including
cooking, bathing, and personal care for your
children, social and recreational activities
(such as arranging the children’s play dates),
transportation (driving kids to and from school
or practices), shopping and errands for the
family, housecleaning, ironing, and laundry.
Example:
Here’s an example of responsibilities for a
live-in au pair taking care of an infant (Kate)
and preschooler (Tom):
The child care provider’s primary
responsibility is to provide loving care of
Kate and Tom. This ­includes playing with
and reading to them, taking them to the
park as weather permits, making sure they
have naps as needed, and preparing their
meals and snacks. The care provider will
bathe Kate and Tom every other day, more
frequently if necessary. Other responsibilities
include driving Tom to “Baby Gym” twice
a week, doing the children’s laundry, and
keeping their rooms tidy.
Wage or Salary (Clause 8). You should specify
e­ xactly how the child care provider will
be paid, such as an hourly rate or weekly
salary. How much you pay depends on many
factors, including the number and ages of
your children; the type of care provided and
responsibilities; the number of hours, time
of day, and regularity of the schedule; the
­experience and training of the employee;
benefits such as room and board; and the going
rate in your community. Before you fill in this
section, be sure you understand your legal
obligations when hiring an employee, such as
minimum wage rules, as ­described above.
Payment Schedule (Clause 9). You can decide
to pay your child care provider weekly (say, on
Friday), twice per month (such as on the 15th
and on the last day of the month), or once per
month.
Benefits (Clause 10). In addition to payment,
you may offer the child care provider any
benefits you wish, such as paid vacations and
holidays, health insurance, or sick leave.
Termination Policy (Clause 11). If things don’t
work out, the Child Care Agreement provides a
­termination policy that allows either the parents
or the child care provider the right to terminate
the agreement at any time, for any reason, and
without notice.
Additional Provisions (Clause 12). Describe
any additional terms of this agreement, such
as a schedule for salary reviews, a no smoking
policy, or a ­requirement that the child care
provider take a first aid course.
Modifications (Clause 13). This agreement
provides that any changes to it must be made
in writing and signed by all parties to the agree­
ment. This protects both the parents and the
child care provider against misunderstandings
over major issues that were agreed to verbally.
118 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
To make the Child Care Agreement valid, the
parent(s) and the child care provider must sign
it. (If you and your children’s other parent
are living in the same home and raising your
kids together, it’s best if both of you sign this
document.) Print out two copies of the form.
You, your children’s other parent (if signing the
form), and the caregiver must sign and date the
form where i­ndicated. Give one of the signed
originals to the child care provider and keep the
other for your records.
Shared In-Home Care
Some families pool their resources and
share an in-home child care provider. These
arrangements are ideal for neighbors or
coworkers with ­children who are close in age.
Just as a written agreement between a family
and a child care worker can clarify expectations
and prevent ­conflicts, a written understanding
between the two families who are sharing a
child care provider can accomplish the same
objectives. If you share ­in-home care with
another family, be sure you agree on the key
issues before drafting your ­contract with the
child care worker, includ­ing location of the care,
­splitting expenses, termination procedures, and
­supervision. The other parents should make
their own child care with the care provider.
child’s care, including any allergies or health care
conditions your child has.
The “temporary contact” section of the Child
Care Instructions form (Clause 3) is the place
to provide information about where you can be
reached while you are away from the kids—for
example, if you are going out for dinner and to
the movies on a Saturday night. Clause 3 will
change most frequently. If you do not want to
update your Child Care Instructions every time
you go out, you can skip this section and give
the information to your babysitter on a separate
piece of paper.
Form 84 has space for you to fill in the
names, addresses, and phone numbers of people
that your babysitter or child care provider can
contact if they can’t reach you in an emergency.
We suggest that you list at least two or three
friends, relatives, or neighbors who live nearby
and are well known to your children and family.
The form will print out with a reminder to call
911 in case of emergency. If you wish to list
another emergency number for the police, fire
department, or poison control, you may do so.
Finally, the Child Care Instructions form
has space to provide additional important
information a babysitter or child care provider
needs to know about your family or home, such
as the location of first aid supplies, the phone
number of a local taxi service, or the fact that
you have a rule against smoking in the house.
cross reference
Form 84: Child Care
Instructions
Use this form to provide important information
for babysitters and child care providers, such
as phone numbers of doctors, instructions
about meals and naps, and other details of your
Use a separate form to authorize medical
care. While these Child Care Instructions provide
­important medical information about your child,
such as any medications or allergies, this form does
not ­authorize your babysitter or child care provider
to ­arrange medical care for your child. For that,
you will need to use the Authorization for Minor’s
Medical Treatment (Form 2).
chapter 12 | hiring child care, elder care, or household help | 119
Signing Instructions
Signing Instructions
There is no need to sign the Child Care
Instructions. Simply fill in the information
and print out the form after reading it carefully
to make sure all information is complete
and correct. Give the babysitter or child care
provider a copy and keep one posted in a
prominent place, such as on your refrigerator.
Be sure to review and update your Child Care
Instructions from time to time.
To make the Elder Care Agreement valid, the
employer(s) and the elder care provider must
sign it. Start by printing out two copies of the
form. You (the employer) and the caregiver
must sign and date the form where indicated.
Give one of the signed originals to the elder care
provider and keep the other for your records.
Form 85: Elder Care
Agreement
Many older people remain at home or live
with relatives rather than enter a residential
facility for extended recovery or long-term care.
Often this ­requires hiring someone (an elder
care provider) to help with their personal and
medical care, cooking, housekeeping, and other
services. An elder care ­provider (sometimes
called a home health aide) can either live out
or live in, and work full or part time. The
responsibilities of this position may vary, from
performing a wide range of housekeeping
­services to attending to the personal and
health care needs of the older adult (or adults,
in case the elder care worker is taking care of
two people, such as both of your parents).
Responsibilities may range from dispensing
medicine to helping with bathing to driving
to doctor’s appointments, activities, or social
functions.
Use Form 85 to spell out your written agree­
ment about the elder care worker’s respon­
sibilities, hours, benefits, amount and s­ chedule
of payment, and other important aspects of
the job. The best ­approach is to be as detailed
as possible. Follow the directions for the Child
Care Agreement (Form 83) when completing
this form.
Form 86: Housekeeping
Services Agreement
If you hire the same person every week to clean
your house, a written contract can be a valuable
way to define the worker’s responsibilities
and benefits. If your housecleaner will be
your employee, use this form to spell out the
housecleaner’s hours, benefits, amount and
schedule of payment, termination policy, and
other aspects of the job. Your agreement should
cover regular weekly cleaning tasks (Clause
5)—for example, cleaning the bathroom and
mopping the kitchen floor—as well as occasional
projects, such as washing blinds. Be sure to spell
out other responsibilities (Clause 6) as well,
such as cooking, laundry, ironing, shopping,
­gardening, and yard work. The best approach is to
be as detailed as possible. Follow the directions
for the Child Care Agreement (Form 83, above)
when completing this form.
Signing Instructions
To make the Housekeeping Services Agreement
valid, the employer(s) and the housekeeper
must sign it. Finalizing your housekeeping
services agreement is easy. Start by printing out
two copies of the form. You (the employer)
and the housekeeper must sign and date the
form where indicated. Give one of the signed
originals to the housekeeper and keep the other
for your records. ●
13
C H APT E R
Living Together
Form 87: Agreement to Keep Property Separate...................................................................122
Form 88: Agreement for a Joint Purchase..................................................................................123
Form 89: Agreement to Share Property......................................................................................124
Form 90: Declaration of Legal Name Change...........................................................................125
122 | 101 law forms for personal use
A
contract is no more than an agreement
to do (or not to do) something.
It contains promises made by one
person in exchange for another’s actions.
Marriage is a contractual ­relationship, even
though the “terms” of the contract are rarely
stated explicitly, or even necessarily known by
the marrying couple. Saying “I do” ­commits
a couple to a well-established set of state laws
and rules governing, among other things, the
couple’s property rights should one spouse die
or the couple split up. (Prenuptial agreements
are a way people who plan to marry can modify
the ­contract imposed on married people by
state law.)
On the other hand, unmarried couples—gay
and straight—do not automatically agree to any
­similar state-imposed contractual agreement
when they begin living together. Nor does
simply living together for a certain period of
time entitle you to a property settlement (or
inheritance) should you split up (or one of you
die) as it would if you were ­married.
Fortunately, when it comes to financial and
­property concerns, unmarried couples do have
the right to create whatever kind of living
together ­contract they want. Sometimes these
agreements are made in anticipation of ending
a relationship. But more often, the purpose is to
record the couple’s needs and expectations as to
money and property—­either at the start of the
relationship or when the couple makes a major
purchase.
This chapter includes some basic propertyownership agreement forms for unmarried
couples. It also includes a basic name change
form.
resource
Nolo’s Living Together: A Legal Guide for
Unmarried Couples, by Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara,
and Frederick Hertz, and A Legal Guide for ­Lesbian &
Gay Couples, by Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz, and
Emily Doskow, cover the main legal ­issues affecting
unmarried couples in areas of property and money,
estate planning, children, house ownership, medical
decisions, and separation.
Form 87: Agreement to
Keep Property Separate
Especially in the first year or two after they get
­together, unmarried couples usually keep all or
most of their money and property separate—
with the occasional exception of a joint account
to pay household bills or an agreement to
purchase one or more items jointly.
You may think at first that a decision to keep
your property ownership separate is so simple
there is no need for a written agreement.
Think again. Because most states recognize oral
contracts between unmarried couples, the lack
of a written agreement can be an invitation
for one partner to later claim the existence
of an oral property-sharing agreement. This
is just what commonly occurs in the socalled “palimony cases” that regularly hit the
headlines.
To avoid the possibility of future
misunderstandings about property ownership,
use the Agreement to Keep Property Separate
to confirm that each of you plans to keep
your property and income separate unless you
have a specific written agreement that says
otherwise—for example, to purchase a sofa bed
together. Form 87 keeps all of your property
separate, including ­property you brought
into the relationship as well as property you
purchased or received by gift or inheritance
while living together.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when
you’re using this form:
chapter 13 | living together | 123
•Clause 2 states that you will attach a
separate list of major items you own to the
agreement and includes Attachments A and
B for this purpose. You will want to be very
­specific.
•Clause 4 specifies that if you register under
a domestic partnership program that
makes you responsible for each other’s
basic living ­expenses, that you agree
to only the minimal level of reciprocal
financial responsibility. Without this type
of disclaimer, registering as domestic
partners may imply that you intend to
share ownership of property—and if you
are in a same-sex couple and you register as
domestic partners or enter a civil union in
one of the states that allows it, the law may
impose property-sharing on you. Of course,
if you do not register as domestic partners,
you can simply delete this sentence of
Clause 4.
•Clause 5 provides that you will share
expenses for household items and services
equally. If you have a different arrangement,
or want to spell out how you will split
expenses on non-household items, such as
insurance or car ­repairs, you can edit Clause
5 accordingly.
•Clause 6 refers to a joint ownership
agreement that you may prepare from time
to time—for example, if you purchase a
television or computer together. (You can
use Form 88 for this purpose.)
•Clause 9 provides for mediation if a
dispute arises out of this agreement.
“Resolving Disputes,” in the introduction,
discusses mediation and dispute resolution
procedures.
Signing Instructions
You and your partner must sign this Agreement to Keep Property Separate for it to be
valid. Print out two copies of the form, so you’ll
each have your own copy. Each person should
sign and date both copies of the agreement and
keep a signed document for their own records.
Keep your agreement in a safe place along with
other important documents, such as insurance
and financial papers, lease, copies of wills,
and the like.
form
This form contains a space for the
acknowledgment of a notary public. To have a form
notarized, you must go to the notary before signing
it. (See the introduction for general advice on having
a form notarized.) Notarization will add a m
­ easure of
legal credibility, but it is not legally ­required.
Form 88: Agreement
for a Joint Purchase
Many couples make purchases item by item,
understanding that whoever makes the purchase
owns the property. George buys the kitchen
table and chairs, and Edna buys the lamp and
stereo. If they split up, each keeps the property
that person bought. In this situation, George
and Edna would use the Agreement to Keep
Property Separate (Form 87). Couples can
also pool money for their purchases. Edna and
George can jointly own everything bought
during the relationship, and divide it all 50-50
if they separate. In this case, the Agreement to
Share Property (Form 89) would be appropriate.
While these types of consistent approaches to
property ownership may simplify things, they
are required by neither law nor logic. Edna
and George could choose a combination of the
two methods. Some items may be separately
owned, some pooled 50-50, and some shared
124 | 101 law forms for personal use
in proportion to how much money each
contributed toward the purchase price or how
much labor each put into upkeep.
Many unmarried couples opt for a basic
keeping-things-separate approach, at least when
they first get together. Despite this, however,
an unmarried couple will often want to own
one or more major items together, as would
be the case if they pool income to buy a new
bed and an expensive sound system. Clause 6
in the Agreement to Keep Property Separate
(Form 87) allows you to do this.
Whatever type of property is purchased, it is
­important that your joint ownership agreement
be written down. This is especially true if you
have previously signed an agreement (such as
Form 87) to keep the bulk of your property
separate. Form 88 allows you to record your
joint ownership agreement for a specific
purchase quickly and easily. Simply fill in the
details of your joint purchase, including the item
or property bought, the percentage of ownership
(such as 50-50 or 60-40) each of you has, and
how you will deal with the property should
you split up. For example, you may specify that
one person automatically has the right (of first
refusal) to buy out the other’s share, or you
may agree to do a simple coin toss or come up
with your own approach depending upon the
particular property.
Signing Instructions
You and your partner must sign this Agree­ment for a Joint Purchase for it to be valid.
Print out two copies of the form, so you’ll each
have your own copy. Each person should sign
and date both copies of the agreement and
keep a signed document for their own records.
Keep your agreement in a safe place along with
other important documents, such as insurance
and financial papers, lease, copies of wills,
and the like.
caution
Don’t use the Agreement for a Joint
Purchase if you’re buying a car or house together.
Check with your state’s motor vehicles department
for rules regarding the language that should be used
to establish joint ownership of a motor vehicle. Also,
houses and other real property will have their own
specialized rules for ownership and taking title.
Form 89: Agreement
to Share Property
Especially if you have been together several
years or more and have begun to purchase
property jointly (a new car or bed, for example),
you may want to do what a fair number of
unmarried couples do—abandon your agree­
ment to keep property separate, and instead
treat property either of you purchases as jointly
owned. If this is your understanding, write
it down. Use Form 89 to establish that all
property acquired after a certain date—except
that given to or inherited by one partner, or
that which is clearly specified in writing as
separate property, is to be jointly owned by
both, and equally divided should you separate.
Note that Clause 3 states that you will attach
a list of the property each of you owned prior
to the date of your agreement, as well as a
list of jointly owned property and includes
Attachments A, B, and C for this purpose. You
may be as detailed as you want in preparing
these separate property lists, but at least include
major items (valued at $50 or more).
Clause 9 provides for mediation if a dispute
arises out of this agreement. The introduction
discusses mediation and dispute resolution
procedures.
chapter 13 | living together | 125
Signing Instructions
You and your partner must sign this Agreement
to Share Property for it to be valid. Print out
two copies of the form, so you’ll each have your
own copy. Each person should sign and date
both copies of the agreement and keep a signed
document for their own records. Keep your
agreement in a safe place along with other
important documents, such as ­insurance and
financial papers, lease, copies of wills, and the
like.
form
This form contains a space for the
acknowledgment of a notary public. To have a form
­notarized, you must go to the notary before signing
it. (See the introduction for general advice on having
a form notarized.) Notarization will add a measure of
legal credibility, but it is not legally r­ equired.
caution
Giving or receiving property for the
purpose of evading creditors is illegal. A contract
agreeing to keep all property separate will protect
you from your partner’s creditors and avoid any
suggestion of impropriety.
Form 90: Declaration
of Legal Name Change
Unmarried partners occasionally prefer to use
the same last name, or a hyphenated version
of both last names. But doing this means that
one or both partners must change their existing
name.
The best way to change your name is by court
order. This is usually fairly simple—you fill
out and file at the courthouse a short petition,
publish legal notice of your intention to
change your name in a local legal newspaper,
and attend a routine court hearing. This is the
foolproof way to change your name. Although
it used to be more common to change one’s
name simply by using the new name for a
period of time, it is more and more difficult to
find agencies that will honor a usage method
name change. After you change your legal
name, you will need to notify the relevant
agencies. That’s the purpose of Form 90, the
­Declaration of Legal Name Change, which
officially states that you have changed to a new
name. Use it to change your personal records,
identity cards, and documents. Getting official
agencies such as the ­Department of Motor
Vehicles and Social Security Administration
to accept your name change is ­particularly
important to getting your new name ­accepted.
Once you follow those agencies’ procedures
and actually get official documents in your
new name, it will be easy to switch over other
­accounts and documents.
caution
Illegal reasons to change your name. You
cannot change your name to defraud creditors,
for any illegal purpose, to benefit economically
by the use of another person’s name, or to invade
someone’s ­privacy (don’t name yourself Madonna or
George Bush). Otherwise you can change your name
for any reason and assume any name you wish.
Signing Instructions
You must sign this Declaration of Legal
Name Change form for it to be valid. Print
out enough copies for every agency and
organization you wish to notify of your name
change. Keep a signed copy for your own
records. ●
14
C H APT E R
Settling Legal Disputes
Form 91: Demand Letter......................................................................................................................128
Form 92: Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter....................................................................129
Form 93: Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty............................130
Form 94: Accident Claim Worksheet............................................................................................132
Forms 95–100: Releases........................................................................................................................132
Form 95: General Release....................................................................................................................134
Form 96: General Mutual Release...................................................................................................135
Form 97: Release for Damage to Real Estate.............................................................................135
Form 98: Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident................................................135
Form 99: Release for Personal Injury.............................................................................................135
Form 100: Mutual Release of Contract Claims........................................................................136
128 | 101 law forms for personal use
B
ecoming involved in any legal dispute
can be harrowing. Many people lose
sleep, time, and money trying to right
their wrongs, even informally. Then, take it to
the next step—the prospect of going to court
and facing an unpredictable court trial can scare
even the bravest person. That’s why it’s so easy
to appreciate the curse that says, “May you have
a lawsuit in which you know you are right.”
Fortunately, most legal disputes are resolved
long before anyone sees the inside of a
courtroom—one person demands a settlement,
the other person counters, and the negotiations
continue from there. If settlement still proves
elusive, it’s common to turn for assistance to a
mediator who will attempt to help the parties
come to an agreement. (“Resolving Disputes,”
in the introduction, discusses mediation and
other means of resolving disputes.)
This chapter presents useful tools you can use
to try and resolve your dispute. And if you do
settle, it also provides several releases that you
or the other party should sign so neither of you
risks being hauled into court after you write or
receive the check you believe settles the matter.
resource
Additional information and sample forms
for settling disputes can be found in Everybody’s
Guide to Small Claims Court, by Ralph Warner, and
Mediate, Don’t Litigate, by Peter Lovenheim and Lisa
Guerin, available only as an eBook at www.nolo.com.
Sample forms for settling a claim with an insurance
company can be found in How to Win Your Personal
Injury Claim, by Joseph Matthews. For a detailed
discussion of representing yourself in court, see
Represent Yourself in Court, by Paul Bergman and
Sarah Berman-Barrett. All titles are published
by Nolo.
Form 91: Demand Letter
Assuming your dispute has escalated to the
point where you and the other party can no
longer civilly discuss a compromise, your next
step in trying to resolve it is to send a demand
letter clearly stating what you want. That’s the
purpose of Form 91. Studies show that in as
many as one-third of all disputes, your demand
letter will serve as a catalyst to arriving at a
settlement. It is fair to ask why demand letters
work so frequently to resolve disputes that
couldn’t simply be talked out. The answer seems
to be that a written document often acts like a
slap in the face to convince the other party you
really are serious about going to court if you
can’t settle the matter. Also, your demand letter
gives you a chance to carefully organize the
facts of your case. This means if you wind up in
mediation, arbitration, or court (such as small
claims court), you will have already done much
of your preparation.
When writing your demand letter, here are
some suggestions:
•Be polite. Avoid personally attacking your
­adversary.
•Concisely review the main facts of the
dispute—including who, what, where, and
when. (See “How to Word a Demand,”
below.) Even though your adversary knows
this information, a judge, mediator, or other
third party may eventually see your letter.
•Ask for exactly what you want—the return
of property, $1,000, or whatever.
•Conclude by stating that if the problem isn’t
resolved within a set period of time (seven
to ten days is often good), you will take
further action, such as filing a court case.
The demand letter included here indicates
that you are willing to try mediation. Media­
tion, a nonadversarial process involving a
chapter 14 | settling legal disputes | 129
neutral person, a mediator, is usually a great
way for people to resolve differences. If you are
not willing to try mediation (that is, you plan
to sue if your demands aren’t met), delete the
mediation language in the demand letter.
How to Word a Demand
When writing a demand letter, describe in your
own words exactly what happened. Specify
dates, names of people with whom you dealt,
and the damages you have suffered. Here’s an
example:
On September 21, 20xx, I took my car to your
garage for servicing. Shortly after I picked it up
the next day, the engine caught fire because of
your failure to connect the fuel line to the fuel
injector properly. Fortunately, I was able to
douse the fire without injury. As a direct result
of the engine fire, I paid ABC Garage $1,281 for
necessary r­ epair work. I enclose a copy of the
invoice. Also, I was without the use of my car for
three days and had to rent a car to get to work.
I enclose a copy of an invoice showing the rental
cost of $145. In total, I was out $1,426.
Signing Instructions
Sign the Demand Letter and send it certified
mail (return receipt requested) to the person
with whom you’re having a dispute. Keep a
copy of the letter. You may need it later if you
end up filing a lawsuit.
Form 92: Online Auction
Buyer Demand Letter
Online auctions, such as those held on eBay,
have become increasingly popular. Unfor­
tunately, not everyone who buys goods via an
online auction has a satisfactory experience. If
you have a dispute with an online auction seller,
use this demand letter to alert the seller of your
complaint and to establish your claim. (For
more on demand letter strategies, see Form 91
above.)
This demand letter gives you the option of
proposing to the buyer that the two of you use
an online dispute resolution service, such as
www.squaretrade.com, to resolve your claim.
Make sure to look at the websites (suggested
sites are listed on Form 92) for these dispute
resolution companies first to understand how
they work before proposing that option to the
buyer.
Online Auctions: Think Before You Bid
Are you a novice buyer, unfamiliar with how
auction sites work? If so, review the auction
site’s rules and find out what the company does
if a problem occurs. Also, compare the price of
the item elsewhere—not every item for sale on
an online auction is a bargain.
Most important, learn as much as you can
about the seller. Use common sense. Possible
danger signs are if the seller:
• has a history of negative feedback
• is using a post office box
• wants payment in cash
• is outside the U.S.
• wants your Social Security or driver’s license
number, or
• uses a free email account—that is, a service
such as Yahoo! or Hotmail that doesn’t
require a credit card to obtain an account.
For more advice on how to protect yourself,
check out the Internet Fraud Watch’s online
auction page at www.fraud.org/tips/internet/
onlineauctions.htm.
130 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
If you have the seller’s physical address, sign
the Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter
and send it via certified mail, return receipt
requested. If not, send it by email. Keep a copy
of the letter. You may need it later if you wind
up filing a lawsuit.
Form 93: Request for
Refund or Repair of
Goods Under Warranty
Use this form to request compensation when
a purchased item such as a VCR or bicycle is
defective. Most new products you buy (and
even some used ones) come with a warranty
that offers protection if the product fails during
the warranty period. Here are the basic rules
regarding warranties:
•If a product comes with a written warranty
from either the seller or the manufacturer,
you have the right to rely on it.
•If a seller makes a statement describing
a product’s feature—for example, “This
sleeping bag will keep you warm at 25
degrees below zero”—and because of the
statement you make your purchase, the
statement is an express warranty that you
have a right to rely on.
•For most purchases, you automatically have
an implied warranty of merchantability,
meaning that the item will work for its
intended use—for example, a lawnmower
will cut grass. If the item doesn’t work, you
should be able to ­return it for a refund or
replacement.
If a warranty is breached—for example, a TV
set with a one-year warranty breaks after two
weeks’ time—ask the seller for redress. Simply
call or visit the store, explain the problem,
and ask for a refund or replacement of the
defective TV set. If the seller refuses, use this
form to notify the seller and manufacturer of
your demand for them to make good under the
warranty. Give them a reasonable chance—such
as 30 days—to make necessary repairs, replace the
defective product, or refund the purchase price.
Most reputable sellers and manufacturers will.
Form 93 states that you may take further action,
such as filing a court action, if your request is
unmet.
tip
If you are using this form to request
warranty coverage, make sure the product
warranty covers your situation. Read the warranty
to see how long it lasts; whom you contact for
warranty service (seller or manufacturer); your
options if the product fails (refund, replacement,
or repair); what parts and problems are covered
(some warranties cover replacement of parts but not
labor, or cover only problems due to faulty m
­ aterial
or workmanship); and any conditions (such as
registration) or limitations that may apply.
Here’s how to prepare a Request for Refund
or Repair of Goods form:
Start by filling in the name(s) and address(es) of
the seller or manufacturer (depending upon the
particular warranty and your complaint). If you
have a written manufacturer’s warranty, check it
for the appropriate address to send requests for
warranty coverage; this may be the seller/dealer
or the manufacturer. If you are not sure, ask
the seller from whom you purchased the item.
This may be a retail store, catalog distributor, or
website. In many cases, you will need to mail or
deliver the product along with your request for
­warranty coverage to either the seller/dealer or
the manufacturer.
If you do not have a written manufacturer’s
­warranty and the dispute is with the seller, send
this form to the seller. It shouldn’t be too hard
chapter 14 | settling legal disputes | 131
for you to determine the name and address of
the seller, assuming you made an in-person or
catalog purchase. For online purchases, you
may have to search the seller’s website to locate
an address. If you can’t find this on the site,
look for a phone number to call for the address.
If all else fails, ask your local reference librarian
for suggestions on how to get the seller’s
address.
Fill in the item name or description. If possible,
include the model number—for example, Tasty
Toaster Model 9333.
Next, fill in the purchase price, date, and place of
purchase.
Describe the problem (reason you are
demanding redress) and why you are dissatisfied
with your purchase. Provide as much detail as
possible, including what your written warranty
(if any) says; what you were told by whom
when you made the purchase; how you have
used the product; what has gone wrong; and
what efforts you have made to obtain a new
item or refund. For example, if you called the
seller, provide details on the date and details
of the phone conversation. If you have already
sent the seller an informal note about the
problem, mention that and attach a copy of the
note to this form. If you are enclosing anything,
such as a copy of the purchase receipt as proof
of purchase or a copy of the written warranty,
be sure to say so in this section of the form.
See “How to Complain About a Defective
Product.”
Indicate whether or not the item is enclosed.
Whether you are seeking redress by mail or in
­person, you may need to return the item, such
as a broken toaster or punctured tires. This will
not ­always be feasible—for example, in the case
of a shattered mirror.
How to Complain About
a Defective Product
Here are a couple of examples of how to explain
your dissatisfaction with a product you’ve
purchased and why you’re seeking redress:
Complaint about manufacturer’s warranty.
On May 21, 2003, I purchased a Tasty Toaster
(Model 9333) from the Toaster Store, 195 Main
Street, Columbus, Ohio. This toaster came with
a one-year warranty (copy enclosed). Last week,
the toaster coils overheated and the toaster simply does not work. I have owned the toaster only
four months, used it only occasionally, and have
not subjected it to any extraordinary usage.
Complaint about store’s warranty. On April
16, 2003, I purchased an UpHill Bicycle (model
­number 12345ht) from CycLeader, 3300 Sharper
Avenue, Denver, Colorado. In the presence of
my friend, Randy Jacobs, I explained to the store
clerk, “Mark,” that I planned to use the bicycle
for off-road mountain cycling throughout Colorado. The clerk assured me that the tires on
this particular UpHill bicycle could “handle any
surface.” Just last week, less than a month after I
purchased the bike, both tires punctured while I
was cycling on a much-used mountain bike trail
near Greeley. When I asked for a partial refund
so as to purchase new tires, the store manager
claimed that no one named Mark currently
works at CycLeader and claimed that this model
UpHill bicycle would never have been sold for
off-road use.
Specify what type of compensation you want.
Read your warranty (if any) to find out what
kind of ­redress may be available and to make
sure that the warranty covers your situation.
Some manufacturer warranties promise only
to repair or replace a ­defective item; others will
give you the additional choice of seeking a full
or partial refund of your purchase price. If you
don’t care, or don’t have a written warranty, ask
for either a refund or a ­replacement item.
132 | 101 law forms for personal use
Indicate when you want to receive the requested
compensation. We suggest 30 days, after which
you will take further action such as filing a
lawsuit.
Signing Instructions
Sign the Request for Refund or Repair of Goods
and include any relevant material, such as a
copy of the written warranty (often part of the
owner’s manual that came with the item from
the manufacturer), ­the advertisement that you
relied on when making your purchase, your
receipt, previous correspondence with the seller,
or the item itself. If you are addressing this form
to the manufacturer, send a copy to the seller,
too. You may also want to send a copy of this
letter to a state or local consumer agency or the
Better Business Bureau. See “How to Complain
to Government Agencies,” at the end of Form
101 in Chapter 15.
Keep a copy of your form and attached
materials for your records. You may need this if
you end up filing a small claims court case.
Form 94: Accident
Claim Worksheet
Many types of legal disputes involve claims
against a person, business, or insurance
company arising out of an accident where
you were injured and/or your property was
damaged. This includes both car accidents
and “slip and falls.” Use Form 94, the
­Accident Claim Worksheet, to keep track of
the names, addresses, and phone numbers
of parties and witnesses involved, along with
communications with them, dates of relevant
events and conversations, details from insurance
companies, and other information you will
need to process an accident claim. It is for
your personal reference and is not intended to
become part of your claim.
caution
Get witness statements in writing as soon
as possible. Don’t count on an eyewitness’s memory
for too long, especially given the fact that the
witness is likely to be contacted by the other party.
Ask the witness to make and sign a note about what
happened as soon after the accident as possible.
Signing Instructions
There are no signing instructions for the
Accident Claim Worksheet. Simply fill it in for
use in preparing a claim after an accident.
cross reference
Use Form 102, Notice of Insurance Claim,
to notify the appropriate insurance company of the
accident.
Forms 95–100: Releases
A common means of settling minor disputes
(such as an argument about an unpaid loan,
a minor fender bender, or a golf ball crashing
through a ­window) is for one party to pay the
other a sum of money in exchange for giving
up his legal claim. Another way to settle a claim
is for the person in the wrong to do something
of benefit for the other. For example, if your
neighbor’s dog destroys your garden, you might
agree to take no further action if your neighbor
agrees to replace your most valuable plants and
build a fence.
In either situation, you’ll want to write out
your agreement in the form of a contract
commonly called a release. A release usually
consists of no more than one party saying, “I’ll
pay a certain amount or do a certain thing,”
and the other party saying that, “In exchange,
I’ll forever give up my legal claim against you.”
chapter 14 | settling legal disputes | 133
What Makes a Release
Legally Enforceable?
Questions to Ask
Before Signing a Release
To be legally enforceable, a release must satisfy
two contract law requirements:
In most situations where both sides understand
the dispute and the consequences of various
settlement options, you can confidently sign a
release, knowing that the dispute will be finally
put to rest. But it is always wise for you and the
other party to answer the following questions
before signing on the dotted line:
• The release must be voluntary. Each side
must enter into the agreement voluntarily.
If a party was coerced into signing an
agreement because of the other’s threats
or intimidation, a court may consider it
involuntary and therefore ­unenforceable.
Courts are quite leery about tossing out
a release for this reason, however. For
example, in a dispute involving the repair of
a bicycle, one party telling the other “I’ll sue
for $100,000 tomorrow if you don’t agree
to this release” is not the kind of threat
that will make a release unenforceable. The
threat or coercion must be both significant
and within the realm of possibility.
• The agreement must be arrived at fairly.
Judges are usually unwilling to enforce any
agree­ment that is the product of deceit
or the result of one side taking undue
advantage of the other. For example, if a
person is persuaded to sign a release two
hours after an accident that left her groggy,
or doesn’t understand the meaning of
the document or the rights being waived
because of limited English, a court will
likely not uphold it.
Releases are powerful documents. If you sign
one forever giving up a legal claim in exchange
for $500, and learn six months later that the
extent of your damage is much greater than you
realized when you signed the release, you are
out of luck unless a court declares the release
unenforceable for one of the above reasons.
•Do you both understand the issues that
underlie the dispute?
•Do you both fully understand what the
release accomplishes?
If the answer to these questions is yes, it’s wise
to ask another three additional questions, but
this time just of yourself:
•Do I understand the alternative to a
settlement—the legal result I am likely to
obtain (and the time and dollars I am likely
to spend to get it) if I go to court rather
than accept the release and settle?
•Have I discussed my decision to sign the
­release with someone who has good business
sense and is not emotionally involved with
the issue or parties?
•If a lot of money is involved, have I
consulted an attorney with practical
experience in this field?
If big bucks are at stake and the answer to
either of the last three questions is “no,” or even
aw
­ affling “maybe,” do the necessary homework
­before agreeing to release the other party.
This chapter contains several release forms,
­including a General Release, Form 95 (to settle
a dispute when only one party is alleged to
have been injured or suffered damages), and
134 | 101 law forms for personal use
a General Mutual Release, Form 96 (to settle
a dispute when both parties claim the other
is at fault and that each has suffered injury
or damage). We also include specific releases
for damage to real estate (Form 97), property
damage in an automobile ­accident (Form 98),
personal injury (Form 99), and contract claims
(Form 100). Review them all to see which one
is most appropriate to your situation.
Note on Legal Terminology
The person with the claim who releases the
other is called the Releasor. The Releasee is the
person ­responsible for the injury or the claim
who agrees to pay money or promises to do (or
not to do) something of value in exchange for
the release. This is called paying consideration.
To be binding, all ­contracts, including releases,
require an exchange of consideration. The
exchange of consideration (such as payment of
a specific sum of money) should ideally occur
before the release is signed. If this is not possible
or feasible, the release should specify when the
payment or consideration will be provided.
Making the Release
Binding on Others
If one of the parties dies, you want the release
to be binding on that person’s heirs. Our
release forms include language about successors,
assigns, and heirs. In addition, in all community
property states (and in some noncommunity
property states), one spouse is generally liable
for the debts of the other spouse, and is entitled
to recover monies owed to the other—even
if the first spouse had nothing to do with the
event leading up to the liability. For this reason,
our release forms are binding on spouses and
require the spouse’s signature that signifies
consent to the deal. The Chapter 5 discussion
of promissory notes explains the basics of the
community property system.
Signing Instructions
for Release Forms
You must sign the Release for it to be valid.
Print out two copies of the form. All parties to
the release, including spouses (if any) should
sign and date both copies of the document in
the appropriate spaces. Print the name(s) of the
spouse(s) in the blank line provided; if one or
both of the parties is not married, write “N/A”
on the blank line. Each party should keep one
copy of the release, signed by all parties.
Form 95: General Release
A General Release is appropriate for settling
personal disputes over a contract, debt, or
minor personal ­injury when only one party is
alleged to have been injured or suffered damage.
(This form is not appropriate, however, if both
parties claim the other is at fault and that each
has suffered damage or injury as a result. This
requires a mutual release, in which case you
would use Form 96.)
tip
You can’t release what you don’t own. If
you’ve assigned your rights to someone else, that
­person becomes the Releasor, not you. Paragraph 4
of the General Release form represents your promise
that you own the right that is the subject of the
release.
chapter 14 | settling legal disputes | 135
Form 96: General
Mutual Release
Form 98: Release for Property
Damage in Auto Accident
Form 96 is appropriate for settling disputes—
for ­example, over a debt or minor personal
injury—where both parties claim the other
is at fault and that each has suffered damage
or injury as a result. Here the main point is
often to trade legal releases—in which case the
value or consideration is both sides’ mutual
relinquishment of their legal rights involved
in the ­dispute (Clause 3 of this form). It is
not unusual, however, for the person who has
suffered the more serious loss (or who was less at
fault) to receive ­additional consideration (Clause
4 of this form). This may be a cash payment or
other benefit—for example, free use of a spa
facility owned by one of the parties.
If the dispute concerns an oral or written
contract, use Form 100, Mutual Release of
Contract Claims.
Use Form 98 to settle claims over minor
property damage from an auto accident. Do not
use it if ­personal injuries are involved. In that
case, use Form 99, Release for Personal Injury.
Form 97: Release for
Damage to Real Estate
Form 97 is appropriate for settling disputes
between landowners that arise when one
owner’s property is damaged by another’s
action or inaction. Common examples include
one person’s tree overhanging another’s yard
or pool, or an uphill neighbor digging a ditch
to divert rain runoff onto a downhill neighbor’s
property. And, of course, walls, fences, viewblocking trees, and noise can all lead to serious
disagreements between neighbors.
resource
Before you settle a neighbor dispute, it
will help if you understand the legal issues—for
example, if a tree grows on the border, which
neighbor owns it? For answers to this and similar
questions, see Neighbor Law, by Cora Jordan (Nolo).
Form 99: Release
for Personal Injury
Use Form 94 when one party has suffered a
­relatively minor personal injury because of
another’s actions.
caution
Releases involving personal injuries
should be signed only when the parties are sure
that the scope of the injury is fully known. For
example, be sure that an injury has completely
healed and your doctor has e­ xamined you,
clearly established the scope of your injury, and
unequivocally stated that you have fully recovered
and that there will be no further problem. It is
almost never wise to sign very soon after an injury—
you never know what problems may develop later.
Here are a few examples of language
describing an injury for use in Clause 2:
•Cat scratches sustained on both arms after
Releasor was attacked by Releasee’s cat,
Roscoe.
•Cuts Releasor sustained from a shattered
window when a baseball hit by Releasee’s
son broke a window in Releasor’s house.
resource
For detailed advice on filing a personal
injury claim, see How to Win Your Personal Injury
Claim, by Joseph Matthews (Nolo).
136 | 101 law forms for personal use
Form 100: Mutual Release
of Contract Claims
This final release can be used to settle a
disagreement that arises from the breach of a
written or oral ­contract. Unlike the General
Release (Form 95) or the General Mutual
Release (Form 96), this release is useful only for
dealing with contract disputes.
What If One of the Parties to a
Release Doesn’t Follow Through?
If either of the people signing the release
doesn’t pay the money or do the promised
deed, the other has a choice. The wronged party
can take the appropriate legal steps concerning
the original dispute as though no release had
been signed. Or, either person could go to court
and ask a judge to enforce the release (after all,
it’s a ­contract). A judge will consider whether
the ­release was voluntary and the agreement
arrived at fairly.
You can use small claims court to enforce the
release if the amount is within the jurisdictional
limits of the court. This is a good option,
especially if the only thing involved is money.
●
15
C H APT E R
Miscellaneous Forms for Personal Use
Form 101: Complaint Letter..............................................................................................................138
Form 102: Notice of Insurance Claim...........................................................................................139
Form 103: Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts.......................................................................140
Form 104: Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice.....................................................141
Form 105: Request to Begin Special Education Process.....................................................142
Form 106: Identity Theft Worksheet.............................................................................................143
138 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
he forms in this chapter are designed
to help with various consumer issues,
including writing a complaint letter
to a government agency, asking your school
to evaluate your child’s eligibility for special
education services, and dealing with identity
theft.
Form 101: Complaint Letter
Every state and the federal government prohibit
­unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices. This
means that a seller can’t deceive, abuse, mislead,
defraud, or otherwise cheat you. If you think
you’ve been cheated by someone selling a
service or ­product, and you have been unable to
resolve the problem directly, you should let the
appropriate federal, state, and local government
offices know. Although law enforcement in the
area of consumer fraud is not uniformly great,
many hardworking investigators do their jobs
well. The more agencies you notify, the more
likely it is that someone will take notice of your
complaint and act on it—especially if more
than one consumer has registered a complaint
about the same company.
Your first step is to draft a complaint letter,
using this form. Be as detailed as possible
regarding your complaint, including the name
and title of the person you dealt with and the
dates and details of the ­service or product
problem and any follow-up ­communication.
Keep your language neutral and state the
facts of the situation. See “How to Word a
Complaint” for sample language.
To back up your complaint, attach copies
(never the originals) of all purchase receipts,
contracts, warranties, advertisements, and other
written documents relating to your complaint.
Finally, your letter will be more persuasive if
you suggest a solution, such as a refund, or at
least a reply from the person investigating your
complaint.
How to Word a Complaint
Here’s an example of language to include in a
complaint letter:
I wish to complain about a business called Celebrity Cards located in your state. About three
months ago, I received a package of cards from
this company unsolicited. I received a second
package two months ago. Last month I received
a bill from the company for $50 plus shipping
and handling. I never ordered these cards and I
wrote to the company to say so. (A copy of my
letter is attached.) I also stated that I considered
the unsolicited items sent to my home to be a
gift. Just this week, I received a second bill and
a threat to send this debt to a collection agency
and report it to a credit bureau.
Next, compile a list of agencies and their
addresses where you will send your complaint
letter. Start by checking www.consumer.gov,
a website with consumer information offered
by the federal government. This will help
you identify the appropriate federal agency
to receive your complaint, depending on
the nature of your problem. For example, a
complaint about a mail order company or
an online auction would go to the Federal
Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov), which
handles fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair
business practices. See “How to Complain
to Government Agencies,” below, for lists of
resources.
Be sure to send a copy of your letter to the
­company you are complaining about.
chapter 15 | miscellaneous forms for personal use | 139
How to Complain to
Government Agencies
Depending on the problem, you can send a
copy of your complaint letter to one or more
of the following agencies. You can also contact
your local district attorney’s consumer fraud
division regarding local consumer protection
services available, or the National Fraud
Information Center at www.fraud.org or by
phone at 800-876-7060.
• State Attorneys General. You can find
­contact information for your state Attorney
General’s office from the National Association
of Attorneys General at www.naag.org.
• State Consumer Protection Office. Your
state consumer protection office can also
provide advice, including the name of the
appropriate licensing board that handles
consumer complaints (for example, if your
complaint concerns a licensed professional
such as a contractor or lawyer).
• Federal Trade Commission. Division of
­Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20580; 877-382-4357; www.
ftc.gov.
• Federal Communications Commission. 445
12th St., SW, Washington, DC 20554;
888-225-5322 (voice); 888-835-5322 (TTY);
www.fcc.gov.
Signing Instructions
There are no specific signing instructions for
this Complaint Letter. Simply sign the form
and send it to the appropriate government
agencies with a copy to the company you’re
complaining about. Be sure to include copies
of any relevant material such as previous
correspondence with the seller. Keep a copy of
your complaint letter and attached materials for
your records. You may need this if you end up
filing a small claims court case or taking other
legal action.
cross reference
If your complaint involves a defective
product under warranty, use Form 93, Request for
­Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty.
Form 102: Notice
of Insurance Claim
If you’re planning to make a claim against an
­insurance company—because you were in a
car accident, suffered a slip and fall or animal
bite, or something similar—you can use Form
102 to notify the appropriate company or
companies. Depending on the circumstances,
send your letter to the insurance company of
the individual or business you believe was at
fault. If you were in a car accident, send your
insurance claim notice to the insurance company
of the owner and the driver of the vehicle
involved in the accident. If you were in a slip
and fall, such as at a store, send your notice
to the insurance company of the owner of
the building where the accident ­occurred and
of the store where you had the slip and fall.
You will need to get the name and address of
the insurance company from the appropriate
party—for example, the person driving the car
involved in the accident.
If you are covered by your own auto, homeowner’s, business, or other policy, be sure
to notify your own insurer. You can begin by
contacting your agent or broker by phone, but
it’s a good idea to mail or fax in a ­written claim
as well, keeping a copy for yourself.
Your insurance claim notice (Form 102)
should be a simple letter giving only basic
140 | 101 law forms for personal use
information and asking for a ­written response.
It should not discuss fault, responsibility, or the
details of your injuries. Make sure your notice
includes the following:
• Your name, address, and phone number.
• The date, approximate time of day, and
general location of the accident or incident.
• The type of accident (such as motor
vehicle or animal bite) and an indication
of whether you were injured or suffered
property damage in the accident.
• If a vehicle was involved: details on the
driver’s car (such as make, model, and
license plate number) and driver’s license
number.
If you completed the Accident Claim Work­
sheet (Form 94), you should already have this
information at hand.
Form 102 includes a request that the
insurance company confirm by return letter
whom it represents, liability coverage of the
insured, and whether the company is aware of
anyone else who might be responsible for the
accident. If the insurance company does not
feel you ­provided sufficient information, it may
send you its own form to complete.
Signing Instructions
There are no specific signing instructions for
the Notice of Insurance Claim form. Simply
sign the form and send it to the other party’s
company with a copy to your own insurance
company. Keep a copy of your insurance claim
notice for your records. You may need this if
you end up filing a small claims court case or
taking other legal action.
resource
For more about personal injury claims, see
How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim, by Joseph
Matthew (Nolo).
Form 103: Notice to
Cancel Certain Contracts
Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
“Cooling-Off Rule,” consumers have the right to
cancel ­certain types of consumer contracts within
three days of signing. This right-to-cancel law
applies to door-to-door sales contracts for more
than $25 and contracts for more than $25 made
anywhere other than the seller’s normal place of
business—for instance, at a sales presentation
at a friend’s house, hotel or restaurant, outdoor
exhibit, computer show, or trade show. (Real
estate, insurance, public car auctions, and craft
fairs are exempted from coverage.)
The Cooling-Off Rule applies only to goods or
services primarily intended for personal, family,
or household purposes. It does not apply to sales
made as part of a request for a seller to do home
repairs or maintenance (but purchases made
beyond the maintenance or repair request are
covered).
To take advantage of this right to cancel, you
have until midnight of the third business day
following the day you signed the contract to
cancel the contract either in person or by mail.
If you were not given notice of this right and a
cancellation form when you sign the contract,
simply use Form 103.
After canceling, the seller must refund your
money within ten days. Then, the seller must
either pick up the items purchased or reimburse
you within 20 days for your expense of mailing
the goods back to the seller (many states give
the seller 40 days). If the seller doesn’t come for
the goods or make an arrangement for you to
mail them back, you can keep them.
resource
For more information on the federal
Cooling-Off Rule, see www.ftc.gov or call 877-FTCHELP.
chapter 15 | miscellaneous forms for personal use | 141
Consumer Rights to Cancel
Other Types of Contracts
Federal law (the Truth in Lending Act) lets
you cancel a home improvement loan, second
mortgage, or other loan where you pledge your
home as security (except for a first mortgage
or first deed of trust). Again, you have until
midnight of the third business day after you
signed the contract to cancel it. Contact the
FTC for more information on the Truth in
Lending Act. In addition, contact your state
office of consumer protection regarding state
laws that allow consumers to cancel contracts
for other types of goods and services (such as a
health club membership) within a few days of
signing.
Signing Instructions
To cancel a contract under the FTC Cooling-Off
Rule, sign and date one copy of the Notice to
Cancel C
­ ertain Contracts. Mail it to the seller
or the address given for cancellation (if different
from the place of purchase). Keep a copy of the
notice for your own file. Be sure your envelope
is postmarked before midnight of the third
business day after the contract date. (Saturday
is considered a business day, while Sundays and
federal holidays are not.) It is a good idea to
send this form by certified mail so you can get a
return receipt. You may need this later as proof
that you properly canceled the contract.
Form 104: Cancel
Membership or
Subscription Notice
Use Form 104 to provide written confirmation
that you wish to cancel membership in a club
or organization, or that you wish to cancel your
subscription to a magazine, newspaper, or other
periodical.
Look in the front of the publication for
the depart­ment and address that handles
subscriptions. Check mailings from
membership groups for similar information.
If there is not a separate membership or
subscription department, send your Cancel
­Membership or Subscription Notice to the main
address.
Fill in the requested information, specifically
how your name, address, and identifying
information is listed on mailing labels on the
magazine or on printed materials you receive
from a membership organization. If there is a
business name or second name listed on the
subscription or membership ­materials, fill in
both names.
State the date you want to cancel the
particular subscription or membership, such
as “effective May 1, 20xx.” If you want, you
may specify the reason you are canceling a
magazine subscription or other periodical,
or no longer want to receive mailings from a
membership organization. You may also request
a refund for the remainder of the subscription
or membership period if you think it is
appropriate.
Example 1:
I want to cancel my subscription to Beef
Roundup because I have recently become a
vegetarian.
Example: 2
I want to cancel my subscription to Beef
Roundup because I am offended by your
recent series on the lifestyles of vegetarians.
Please refund the value of my remaining
issues.
142 | 101 law forms for personal use
Signing Instructions
Sign the Cancel Membership or Subscription
Notice in the space provided. Make a copy of
the form and mail the original to the publisher
or organization of the periodical or membership
you wish to cancel. If applicable, attach a copy
of the mailing label or payment invoice to
your notice. Keep a copy of the form for your
records.
Form 105: Request to Begin
Special Education Process
This form can be used by parents who believe
their child is in need of special help from their
school district. A federal law—the Individuals
with Disabilities Act (IDEA)—gives parents
and guardians the right to request evaluations
(assessments) of their children for physical or
psychological disabilities that may affect their
ability to learn. Upon your request, the school
must present you with an assessment plan,
listing all testing to be done on your child.
Assessments usually include objective tests of
your child’s abilities in all areas of suspected
disability (for e­ xample, reading, memory,
motor skills, or vision). In ­addition to formal
tests, assessments often include subjective
information ­relating to your child’s educational
status, such as comments by teachers, the school
psychologist, or a classroom aide.
The IDEA requires the school to provide
special services (an Individualized Education
Program, or IEP) to a child found to have
disabilities. “Special education” is the broad
term used to describe the educational system
for children who have disabilities, such as
mental retardation; autism; specific learning
disabilities; hearing, speech, language, ortho­
pedic or visual impairment; or serious emo­
tional disturbance.
Your child’s eligibility for special education
will depend on the results of the assessment.
This letter starts the formal process by
requesting an initial assessment of your child’s
eligibility for special education, an assessment
plan, and general information on the IEP
process.
This letter also asks the school district to
provide a copy of your child’s school file,
including all tests, report cards, disciplinary
records, and teacher notes about your child,
so you can learn everything they already know
about your child at school. This information
is crucial as you assess your child’s difficulties
and the need for special education services.
You have a legal right to inspect and review
any educational record relating to your child.
If your child has not yet been found eligible
for services under the IDEA, you have the right
to a copy of the school’s file under the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
(20 U.S.C. §1232 [g]). State laws also may
give you a right to your child’s file. Rules vary
in different states, but you should be entitled
to obtain the file without ­unnecessary delay.
You may be charged for the copies as long as
the fee “does not effectively ­prevent you from
exercising your right to inspect and review the
records” (34 C.F.R. §300.617).
Once you send this letter, the school district
is required by federal law to inform you of the
regulations, guidelines, and procedures that
apply to special education services, and to begin
the process of evaluation (assessment).
Send this Request to Begin Special Education
Process to the special ­administrator at your
child’s school. Ask your child’s teacher or the
school principal for this person’s name and
address. Be sure to include a brief summary
of your child’s difficulties at school, such as
developmental delays in language or reading
problems, that you have noticed or have been
chapter 15 | miscellaneous forms for personal use | 143
told about by teachers, doctors, friends, or
anyone who has spent time with your child.
resource
For a comprehensive and thorough guide
to special education laws and services, see The
Complete IEP Guide. If you know or suspect that your
child has a learning disability, check out Nolo’s IEP
Guide: Learning Disabilities. Both are by Lawrence
Siegel, published by Nolo.
Signing Instructions
There are no specific signing instructions for
the Request to Begin Special Education Process.
Simply sign the form and keep a copy for your
records.
Form 106: Identity
Theft Worksheet
Identity theft has become an epidemic, affecting
millions of Americans. Despite the mounting
number of victims of identity theft, many people
don’t know what to do if it happens to them.
If you believe that you are a victim of identity
theft or fear that you may become one—for
example, if you lost your wallet or gave personal
information to a stranger—take these simple
steps immediately. The order in which you take
these steps will depend on your situation. For
instance, if someone stole your wallet, you would
likely want to start by contacting the relevant
authorities and canceling all the accounts that are
tied to the stolen cards.
Describing Your Child’s Special Needs
It is very common for parents to recognize
that their child has problems with school and
simply not know what to do about them. It
may be that your child’s difficulties can be
isolated and addressed very specifically, or the
problems may be more wide-ranging. Following
are some examples of difficulties your child
may be experiencing in school that you should
mention in your letter to the special education
administrator. Be as specific as possible, but
do not worry about listing everything. Don’t
get bogged down in things such as special
classes or eligibility. Just write down what you
have ­observed about your child’s behavior,
focusing on specific patterns. Keep in mind
that this is just the beginning of the process.
Trained professionals and assessments will help
determine if your intuition is correct.
• academic problems in reading, spelling or math
• delays in developmental areas, such as ­language
or fine motor skills
• difficulties processing or retaining information,
such as understanding simple instructions or
problems with short- or long-term memory
• social or emotional problems
• trouble sleeping, eating, or getting along with
family
• sustained difficulties in paying attention or
staying focused
• inappropriate or hyperactive behavior, or
• delays in physical milestones or other
­physiological difficulties, such as hearing loss,
sight problems, difficulties with mobility, or
handwriting problems.
144 | 101 law forms for personal use
Form 106 will help you keep track of what
you’ve done, whom you’ve spoken to, and what
else you’ll need to do to protect your personal
information.
Regardless of your situation, be sure to follow
every step.
1. Start a log. Keep notes of your conversations
and correspondence with authorities and
financial institutions, including dates,
names, and phone numbers. Also keep
track of all time spent and expenses you
incur; you can deduct theft-related expenses
on your income tax return if you itemize
deductions, and you may be able to seek
compensation if you ever sue the thief.
2. Contact the credit bureaus to place a
fraud alert. Call one of the three major
credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or
TransUnion), and ask to have a free
credit report sent to you, and to have
your account flagged with a fraud alert.
Activating a fraud alert removes you from
all preapproved credit and insurance
offers for two years, and requests creditors
to contact you before opening any new
accounts or making any changes to your
existing accounts. When activating a fraud
alert, whichever one of three main credit
bureaus you contact is required to notify the
other two. If you make additional calls to
the credit bureaus on other subjects, be sure
to contact all three, as they are not required
to communicate with each other after your
initial fraud-alert call. Here are the numbers
to call:
Equifax: 800-525-6285
Experian: 888-397-3742
TransUnion: 800-680-7289
3. Review your credit reports. After you receive
your credit reports from the three credit
bureaus, review them thoroughly. Make
sure that all your personal information,
including name, address, and Social
Security number, is correct and that there
are no fraudulent accounts or inquiries.
Immediately report any suspicious
information or activity to the credit bureau
that issued the credit report. And in two
to three months, order another report to
ensure that no new fraudulent activity has
occurred. Depending on where you live, a
nominal fee may apply when you order a
follow-up credit report.
4. Close any accounts that have been accessed
fraudulently: Contact all creditors, including
banks, credit card companies, and other
service providers, with whom there has been
fraudulent activity. Close all accounts the
thief opened or used fraudulently. Request
that creditors notate closed accounts as
“account closed at consumer’s request,”
because a mark of “card lost or stolen” can
reflect poorly on your credit report.
tip
If your ATM or debit card was stolen, do
not use your old PIN for your new card. Choose a
password that is obscure but that you will remember.
Do not use common numbers such as your birth
date.
If a thief stole checks or opened bank
accounts in your name, contact one of the
major check verification companies to report
the fraudulent activity and to stop payment
on stolen checks. For a complete listing of
check-verification companies, visit www.
fightidentitytheft.com. When disputing
new unauthorized accounts, use the Identity
Theft Affidavit available at the Federal Trade
Commission website: www.ftc.gov.
5. Call the police. File a report of the crime
with your local police department. Provide
chapter 15 | miscellaneous forms for personal use | 145
as much evidence as you can, and ask
the officer to list all fraudulently accessed
accounts on the police report. Be sure
to ask for a copy of the police report,
because creditors will probably ask to see it.
Remember to log the phone numbers and
names of all the law enforcement agents
that you speak to; creditors may want this
information. It’s also recommended that
you file a police report in the community
where the crime occurred.
6. Report the fraud to the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC). When you file a
claim with the FTC, it will enter your
information into an electronic database
used to prevent future identity thefts. The
FTC also uses identity theft claims to assist
law enforcement agencies in finding and
arresting identity thieves.
resource
To file a claim with the FTC, visit www.
consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html or call the FTC’s
Identity Theft Hotline at 877-438-4338.
Further Steps
Depending on the severity of your identity theft
case, there are several other actions you may
wish to pursue.
1. Contact the local postal inspector. If you
believe that someone has changed your
address through the post office or has
committed mail fraud, call the U.S. Postal
Service at 800-275-8777 or visit www.
usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect to obtain
the phone number for your local postal
inspector. If you discover that mail in your
name is being sent to an address other
than your own, ask the local postmaster
to forward all mail in your name to your
own address.
2. Contact the Social Security Administration
(SSA). If you believe that your Social
Security number has been used to
fraudulently obtain welfare or Social
Security benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.
gov/oig/guidelin.htm or call the SSA Fraud
Hotline at 800-269-0271.
3. Deal with debt collectors. While you are
handling your identity theft case, debt
collectors may ask you to pay outstanding
bills from fraudulently activated credit
accounts. Inform the debt collector by
phone and in writing that you are a
victim of identity theft and that you are
not responsible for the unpaid bill. In
your letter, be sure to include copies of
documents, such as a police report, that
demonstrate that you are the victim of
identity theft. With some exceptions,
the company is legally prohibited from
contacting you once they receive your letter.
Request all pertinent information (e.g.,
name, phone number, address, account
number) relating to both the debt collector
and the referring credit issuer, and ask if
they want you to fill out the FTC’s fraud
affidavit form (available at www.ftc.gov/
bcp/conline/pubs/credit/affidavit.pdf ).
Finally, ask the debt collector to confirm in
writing that you are not responsible for the
outstanding debt and that the account has
been closed.
4. Contact the U.S. State Department. If
your passport was stolen or if you believe
someone may be fraudulently ordering a
passport in your name, contact the U.S.
State Department at 202-955-0430 or visit
www.travel.state.gov/passport_services.html.
5. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles
(DMV). If your driver’s license was stolen or
if someone is using the number to facilitate
fraud, contact your state’s DMV (for state-
146 | 101 law forms for personal use
specific DMV contact information, visit
www.aamva.org). Most states will put a
fraud alert on your license if you ask for
one. You should also request a new license
number and fill out the DMV’s complaint
form.
For state and federal identity theft laws and
other victim resources, visit www.idtheftcenter
.org.
For links to additional identity theft websites,
visit www.privacyrights.org.
Signing Instructions
resource
Where to go for more information. For
comprehensive identity theft information, including
sample credit dispute letters and forms to help you
log conversations, visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/
pubs/credit/idtheft.htm.
There are no specific signing instructions for the
Identity Theft Worksheet. Simply use the form
to keep track of what you’ve done to follow up
on an identity theft. ●
A
a p p e n d i x
How to Use the CD-ROM
Installing the Form Files Onto Your Computer......................................................................148
Windows 2000, XP, and Vista Users . ......................................................................................148
Macintosh Users.................................................................................................................................148
Using the Word Processing Files to Create Documents.....................................................148
List of Files Included on the CD-ROM.........................................................................................151
148 | 101 law forms for personal use
T
he tear-out forms in Appendix B are
included on a CD-ROM in the back of
the book. This CD-ROM, which can
be used with Windows computers, installs files
that you use with software programs that are
already installed on your computer. It is not a
stand-alone software program. Please read this
appendix and the README.TXT file included
on the CD-ROM for instructions on using the
Forms CD.
Note to Mac users: This CD-ROM and its files
should also work on Macintosh computers.
Please note, however, that Nolo cannot provide
technical support for non-Windows users.
How to View the README File
If you do not know how to view the file
README.TXT, insert the Forms CD-ROM into
your computer’s CD-ROM drive and follow
these instructions:
• Windows 2000, XP, and Vista: (1) On
your PC’s desktop, double click the My
Computer icon; (2) double click the icon for
the CD-ROM drive into which the Forms
CD-ROM was inserted; (3) double click the
file README.TXT.
• Macintosh: (1) On your Mac desktop,
double click the icon for the CD-ROM that
you inserted; (2) double click on the file
README.TXT.
While the README file is open, print it out
by using the Print command in the File menu.
Installing the Form Files
Onto Your Computer
Word processing forms that you can open, complete, print, and save with your word process-
ing program (see below) are contained on the
CD-ROM. Before you can do anything with
the files on the CD-ROM, you need to install
them onto your hard disk. In accordance with
U.S. copyright laws, remember that ­copies of
the CD-ROM and its files are for your ­personal
use only.
Insert the Forms CD and do the following:
Windows 2000, XP, and Vista Users
Follow the instructions that appear on the
screen. (If nothing happens when you insert the
Forms CD-ROM, then (1) double click the My
Computer icon; (2) double click the icon for
the CD-ROM drive into which the Forms CDROM was inserted; and (3) double click the file
WELCOME.EXE.)
By default, all the files are installed to the
\101 Law Forms folder in the \Program Files
folder of your computer. A folder called 101
Law Forms is added to the Programs folder of
the Start menu.
Macintosh Users
Step 1:If the 101 Law Forms CD window is
not open, open it by double clicking the 101
Law Forms CD icon.
Step 2: Select the 101 Law Forms folder icon.
Step 3:Drag and drop the folder icon onto the
icon of your hard disk.
Using the Word Processing
Files to Create Documents
This section concerns the files for forms that
can be opened and edited with your word
processing program.
All word processing forms come in rich text
format. These files have the extension “.RTF.”
appendix a | how to use the cd-rom | 149
For example, the form for the Temporary
Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
discussed in Chapter 1 is on the file Form01.rtf.
All forms, their file names, and file formats are
listed at the end of this appendix.
RTF files can be read by most recent word
processing programs including all versions
of MS Word for Windows and Macintosh,
WordPad for Windows, and recent versions of
WordPerfect for Windows and Macintosh.
To use a form from the CD to create your
documents you must: (1) open a file in your
word processor or text editor; (2) edit the form
by filling in the required information; (3) print
it out; and (4) rename and save your revised
file.
The following are general instructions.
How­ever, each word processor uses different
commands to open, format, save, and print
docu­ments. Please read your word processor’s
manual for specific instructions on performing
these tasks.
Do not call Nolo’s technical support if you have
questions on how to use your word processor or
your computer.
Step 1: Opening a File
There are three ways to open the word
processing files included on the CD-ROM after
you have installed them onto your computer.
•Windows users can open a file by selecting
its shortcut as follows: (1) Click the
Windows Start button; (2) open the
Programs folder; (3) open the 101 Law
Forms subfolder; (4) open the RTF
subfolder; and (5) click on the shortcut to
the form you want to work with.
•Both Windows and Macintosh users can
open a file directly by double clicking on it.
Use My Computer or Windows Explorer
(Windows 2000, XP, and Vista) or the
Finder (Macintosh) to go to the folder you
installed or copied the CD-ROM’s files to.
Then, double click on the specific file you
want to open.
•You can also open a file from within your
word processor. To do this, you must first
start your word processor. Then, go to the
File menu and choose the Open command.
This opens a dialog box where you will tell
the program (1) the type of file you want
to open (*.RTF); and (2) the location and
name of the file (you will need to navigate
through the directory tree to get to the
folder on your hard disk where the CD’s
files have been installed).
Where Are the Files Installed?
Windows Users
• RTF files are installed by default to a folder
named \101 Law Forms in the \Program
Files folder of your computer.
Macintosh Users
• RTF files are located in the 101 Law Forms
folder.
Step 2: Editing Your Document
Fill in the appropriate information according
to the instructions and sample agreements in
the book. Underlines are used to indicate where
you need to enter your information, frequently
followed by instructions in brackets. Be sure
to delete the underlines and instructions from
your edited document. You will also want to
make sure that any signature lines in your
completed documents appear on a page with at
least some text from the document itself.
150 | 101 law forms for personal use
Editing Forms That Have
Optional or Alternative Text
Some of the forms have check boxes before
text. The check boxes indicate:
• optional text, where you choose whether to
include or exclude the given text, or
• alternative text, where you select one alter­
native to include and exclude the other
alternatives.
If you are using the tear-out forms in Appen­
dix B, you simply mark the appropriate box to
make your choice.
If you are using the Forms CD, however,
we recommend that instead of marking the
check boxes, you do the following:
Optional text
If you don’t want to include optional text, just
delete it from your document.
If you do want to include optional text, just
leave it in your document.
In either case, delete the check box itself as
well as the italicized instructions that the text
is optional.
Alternative text
First delete all the alternatives that you do not
want to include.
Then delete the remaining check boxes,
as well as the italicized instructions that
you need to select one of the alternatives
provided.
Step 3: Printing Out the Document
Use your word processor’s or text editor’s Print
command to print out your document.
Step 4: Saving Your Document
After filling in the form, use the Save As
command to save and rename the file. Because
all the files are read-only, you will not be
able to use the Save command. This is for
your protection. If you save the file without
renaming it, the underlines that indicate where
you need to enter your information will be
lost, and you will not be able to create a new
document with this file without recopying the
original file from the CD-ROM.
appendix a | how to use the cd-rom | 151
List of Files Included on the CD-ROM
The following files are in rich text format (RTF).
File Name
Form Title
Form01
Form 1: Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
Form02
Form 2: Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment
Form03
Form 3: Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor
Form04
Form 4: Housesitting Instructions
Form05
Form 5: Carpool Agreement
Form06
Form 6: Pet Care Agreement
Form07
Form 7: Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle
Form08
Form 8: Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)
Form09
Form 9: Power of Attorney for Real Estate
Form10
Form 10: Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney
Form11
Form 11: Property Worksheet
Form12
Form 12: Beneficiary Worksheet
Form13
Form 13: Will for Adult With No Child(ren)
Form14
Form 14: Will for Adult With Child(ren)
Form15
Form 15: Will Codicil
Form16
Form 16: Request for Death Certificate
Form17
Form 17: Notice to Creditor of Death
Form18
Form 18: Executor’s Checklist
Form19
Form 19: General Notice of Death
Form20
Form 20: Obituary Information Fact Sheet
Form21
Form 21: Notice to Deceased’s Homeowner’s Insurance Company
Form22
Form 22: Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company
Form23
Form 23: Apartment-Finding Service Checklist
Form24
Form 24: Rental Application
Form25
Form 25: Fixed-Term Residential Lease
Form26
Form 26: Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
Form27
Form 27: Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease
Form28
Form 28: Consent to Assignment of Lease
Form29
Form 29: Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Form30
Form 30: Notice of Needed Repairs
Form31
Form 31: Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out
Form32
Form 32: Demand for Return of Security Deposit
Form33
Form 33: Loan Comparison Worksheet
Form34
Form 34: Authorization to Check Credit and Employment References
Form35
Form 35: Monthly Payment Record
152 | 101 law forms for personal use
File Name
Form Title
Form36
Form 36: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest
Form37
Form 37: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest and Balloon Payment
Form38
Form 38: Promissory Note—Installment Payments Without Interest
Form39
Form 39: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment With Interest
Form40
Form 40: Promissory Note­—Lump Sum Payment Without Interest
Form41
Form 41: Cosigner Provision
Form42
Form 42: Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note
Form43
Form 43: Security Agreement
Form44
Form 44: U.C.C. Financing Statement
Form45
Form 45: Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement
Form46
Form 46: Agreement to Modify Promissory Note
Form47
Form 47: Overdue Payment Demand
Form48
Form 48: Demand to Make Good on Bad Check
Form49
Form 49: Ideal House Profile
Form50
Form 50: House Priorities Worksheet
Form51
Form 51: House Comparison Worksheet
Form52
Form 52: Family Financial Statement
Form53
Form 53: Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet
Form54
Form 54: Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
Form55
Form 55: Moving Checklist
Form56
Form 56: Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
Form57
Form 57: Boat Bill of Sale
Form58
Form 58: Computer System Bill of Sale
Form59
Form 59: General Bill of Sale
Form60
Form 60: Bill of Sale for Dog
Form61
Form 61: Personal Property Rental Agreement
Form62
Form 62: Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental Agreement
Form63
Form 63: Storage Contract
Form64
Form 64: Home Maintenance Agreement
Form65
Form 65: Home Repairs Agreement
Form66
Form 66: Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet
Form67
Form 67: Daily Expenses
Form68
Form 68: Monthly Income
Form69
Form 69: Monthly Budget
Form70
Form 70: Statement of Assets and Liabilities
Form71
Form 71: Assignment of Rights
Form72
Form 72: Notice to Terminate Joint Account
Form73
Form 73: Notice to Stop Payment of Check
appendix a | how to use the cd-rom | 153
File Name
Form Title
Form74
Form 74: Request for Credit Report
Form75
Form 75: Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry
Form76
Form 76: Dispute Credit Card Charge
Form77
Form 77: Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact
Form78
Form 78: Notice to Remove Name From List
Form79
Form 79: Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It
Form80
Form 80: Telemarketing Phone Call Log
Form81
Form 81: Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List
Form82
Form 82: Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls
Form83
Form 83: Child Care Agreement
Form84
Form 84: Child Care Instructions
Form85
Form 85: Elder Care Agreement
Form86
Form 86: Housekeeping Services Agreement
Form87
Form 87: Agreement to Keep Property Separate
Form88
Form 88: Agreement for a Joint Purchase
Form89
Form 89: Agreement to Share Property
Form90
Form 90: Declaration of Legal Name Change
Form91
Form 91: Demand Letter
Form92
Form 92: Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter
Form93
Form 93: Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty
Form94
Form 94: Accident Claim Worksheet
Form95
Form 95: General Release
Form96
Form 96: General Mutual Release
Form97
Form 97: Release for Damage to Real Estate
Form98
Form 98: Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident
Form99
Form 99: Release for Personal Injury
Form100
Form 100: Mutual Release of Contract Claims
Form101
Form 101: Complaint Letter
Form102
Form 102: Notice of Insurance Claim
Form103
Form 103: Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts
Form104
Form 104: Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice
Form105
Form 105: Request to Begin Special Education Process
Form106
Form 106: Identity Theft Worksheet
●
B
a p p e n d i x
Tear-Out Forms
Form #/Name
Chapter
Form 1: Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor..............................1
Form 2: Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment.........................................................1
Form 3: Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor...........................................................1
Form 4: Housesitting Instructions.....................................................................................................1
Form 5: Carpool Agreement.................................................................................................................1
Form 6: Pet Care Agreement................................................................................................................1
Form 7: Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle......................................................................1
Form 8: Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)....................................................1
Form 9: Power of Attorney for Real Estate....................................................................................1
Form 10: Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney............................................................1
Form 11: Property Worksheet.............................................................................................................2
Form 12: Beneficiary Worksheet........................................................................................................2
Form 13: Will for Adult With No Child(ren)...............................................................................2
Form 14: Will for Adult With Child(ren).......................................................................................2
Form 15: Will Codicil................................................................................................................................2
Form 16: Request for Death Certificate..........................................................................................3
Form 17: Notice to Creditor of Death.............................................................................................3
Form 18: Executor’s Checklist..............................................................................................................3
Form 19: General Notice of Death....................................................................................................3
Form 20: Obituary Information Fact Sheet..................................................................................3
Form 21: Notice to Deceased’s Homeowner’s Insurance Company...............................3
Form 22: Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company..............................................3
Form #/Name
Chapter
Form 23: Apartment-Finding Service Checklist.........................................................................4
Form 24: Rental Application.................................................................................................................4
Form 25: Fixed-Term Residential Lease...........................................................................................4
Form 26: Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement................................................4
Form 27: Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease.................................................4
Form 28: Consent to Assignment of Lease...................................................................................4
Form 29: Landlord-Tenant Checklist................................................................................................4
Form 30: Notice of Needed Repairs..................................................................................................4
Form 31: Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out......................................................................4
Form 32: Demand for Return of Security Deposit....................................................................4
Form 33: Loan Comparison Worksheet.........................................................................................5
Form 34: Authorization to Check Credit and Employment References.............................5
Form 35: Monthly Payment Record.................................................................................................5
Form 36: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest..................................5
Form 37: Promissory Note—Installment Payments With Interest
and Balloon Payment...............................................................................................................................5
Form 38: Promissory Note—Installment Payments Without Interest..........................5
Form 39: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment With Interest.....................................5
Form 40: Promissory Note—Lump Sum Payment Without Interest.............................5
Form 41: Cosigner Provision.................................................................................................................5
Form 42: Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note...........................................5
Form 43: Security Agreement..............................................................................................................5
Form 44: U.C.C. Financing Statement..............................................................................................5
Form 45: Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement.......................................................................5
Form 46: Agreement to Modify Promissory Note....................................................................5
Form 47: Overdue Payment Demand..............................................................................................5
Form 48: Demand to Make Good on Bad Check......................................................................5
Form 49: Ideal House Profile.................................................................................................................6
Form #/Name
Chapter
Form 50: House Priorities Worksheet..............................................................................................6
Form 51: House Comparison Worksheet......................................................................................6
Form 52: Family Financial Statement...............................................................................................6
Form 53: Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet............................................................................6
Form 54: Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet......................................................................6
Form 55: Moving Checklist....................................................................................................................6
Form 56: Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale...................................................................................................7
Form 57: Boat Bill of Sale........................................................................................................................7
Form 58: Computer System Bill of Sale...........................................................................................7
Form 59: General Bill of Sale . ..............................................................................................................7
Form 60: Bill of Sale for Dog..................................................................................................................7
Form 61: Personal Property Rental Agreement.........................................................................8
Form 62: Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental Agreement..................8
Form 63: Storage Contract....................................................................................................................8
Form 64: Home Maintenance Agreement....................................................................................9
Form 65: Home Repairs Agreement.................................................................................................9
Form 66: Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet.....................................................................................9
Form 67: Daily Expenses....................................................................................................................... 10
Form 68: Monthly Income.................................................................................................................. 10
Form 69: Monthly Budget................................................................................................................... 10
Form 70: Statement of Assets and Liabilities............................................................................ 10
Form 71: Assignment of Rights........................................................................................................ 10
Form 72: Notice to Terminate Joint Account........................................................................... 10
Form 73: Notice to Stop Payment of Check.............................................................................. 10
Form 74: Request for Credit Report.............................................................................................. 10
Form 75: Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry.................................................................... 10
Form 76: Dispute Credit Card Charge.......................................................................................... 10
Form 77: Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact......................................................... 10
Form #/Name
Chapter
Form 78: Notice to Remove Name From List........................................................................... 11
Form 79: Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It................................ 11
Form 80: Telemarketing Phone Call Log...................................................................................... 11
Form 81: Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List.................................. 11
Form 82: Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls............................................................... 11
Form 83: Child Care Agreement...................................................................................................... 12
Form 84: Child Care Instructions.................................................................................................... 12
Form 85: Elder Care Agreement...................................................................................................... 12
Form 86: Housekeeping Services Agreement........................................................................... 12
Form 87: Agreement to Keep Property Separate................................................................... 13
Form 88: Agreement for a Joint Purchase.................................................................................. 13
Form 89: Agreement to Share Property...................................................................................... 13
Form 90: Declaration of Legal Name Change........................................................................... 13
Form 91: Demand Letter...................................................................................................................... 14
Form 92: Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter.................................................................... 14
Form 93: Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty............................ 14
Form 94: Accident Claim Worksheet............................................................................................ 14
Form 95: General Release.................................................................................................................... 14
Form 96: General Mutual Release................................................................................................... 14
Form 97: Release for Damage to Real Estate............................................................................. 14
Form 98: Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident................................................ 14
Form 99: Release for Personal Injury............................................................................................. 14
Form 100: Mutual Release of Contract Claims........................................................................ 14
Form 101: Complaint Letter.............................................................................................................. 15
Form 102: Notice of Insurance Claim........................................................................................... 15
Form 103: Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts....................................................................... 15
Form 104: Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice..................................................... 15
Form 105: Request to Begin Special Education Process..................................................... 15
Form 106: Identity Theft Worksheet............................................................................................. 15
Form
1
Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
Child
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Permanent address:_______________________________________________________________
Phone:_________________________________ Birthdate:________________________________
Child’s School or Day Care
(Leave this section blank if your child is not in school or any type of child care program.)
School or child care program:_ _______________________________ Grade (if in school):________
Teacher:_ ______________________________
School address:__________________________________________________________________
Phone:_________________________________
Other child care program (such as after-school program):__________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Phone:_________________________________
Reponsible adult:_ _______________________
Child’s Doctor, Dentist, and Insurance
Doctor (or HMO):________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________________________________________________
Name of medical insurer/health plan:_ ________________________________________________
Policy no.:___________________________________ Phone:_ ____________________________
Dentist:________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________________________________________________
Name of dental insurer/dental plan:_ _________________________________________________
Policy no.:___________________________________ Phone:_ ____________________________
Parents (or Legal Guardians)
Parent 1
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Parent 2
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
©nolo
©nolo
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
1
Temporary Guardian
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Relationship to minor:_____________________________________________________________
Emergency Contact
In case of emergency, if the guardian cannot be reached, please contact:_______________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Authorization and Consent of Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s)
If there is more than one parent, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. I affirm that the minor child named above is my child and that I have legal custody of that child.
2. I give my full authorization and consent for my child to live with and travel with the temporary guardian,
and for the temporary guardian to establish a place of residence for my child.
3. I give the temporary guardian permission to act in my place and make decisions pertaining to my child’s
educational, recreational, and religious activities.
4. I give the temporary guardian permission to authorize medical and dental care for my child, including but
not limited to medical examinations, X-rays, tests, anesthesia, surgical operations, hospital care, or other
treatments that, in the temporary guardian’s sole opinion, are needed or useful for my child. Such medical
treatment shall be provided only upon the advice of and supervision by a physician, surgeon, dentist, or
other medical practitioner licensed to practice in the United States.
to
5. This authorization shall cover the period from
.
6. While the temporary guardian cares for my child, the costs of my child’s upkeep, living expenses, and
medical and dental expenses shall be paid as follows:______________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________ .
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of
that the foregoing is true and correct.
©nolo
Parent 1’s signature
Date
Parent 2’s signature
Date
Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
1
Consent of Temporary Guardian
I solemnly affirm that I will assume full responsibility for the minor who will live with me during the period
designated above. I agree to make necessary decisions and to provide consent for the minor as set forth
in the above Authorization and Consent of Parent(s). I also agree to the terms of the costs of the minor’s
upkeep, living expenses, and medical and dental expenses as set forth in the above Authorization and
Consent of Parent(s).
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of_______________________________
that the foregoing is true and correct.
Temporary guardian’s signature
Date
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
2
Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment
Child
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Birthdate:_ _____________________________Age:____________ Grade in school:_ ___________
Doctor (or HMO):________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________________________________________________
Name of medical insurer/health plan:_ ________________________________________________
Policy no.:___________________________________ Phone:_ ____________________________
Allergies (medications):____________________________________________________________
Allergies (other):_________________________________________________________________
Conditions for which child is currently receiving treatment:_________________________________
Other important medical information:_ _______________________________________________
Dentist:________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________________________________________________
Name of dental insurer/dental plan:_ _________________________________________________
Policy no.:___________________________________ Phone:_ ____________________________
Parents (or Legal Guardians)
Parent 1
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Additional contact information:_ ____________________________________________________
Parent 2
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Additional contact information:_ ____________________________________________________
Other Adult to Notify in Case Parent(s) Cannot Be Reached
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
©nolo
Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
2
Authorization and Consent of Parent(s) or Legal Guardian(s)
I affirm that I have legal custody of the minor child indicated above. I give my authorization and consent for
[name of supervising adult], who is a(n)
[title and name of organization, if appropriate] to authorize necessary medical or dental care for my child. Such
medical treatment shall be provided upon the advice of and supervised by any physician, surgeon, dentist, or
other medical practitioner licensed to practice in the United States.
Parent 1’s signature
Date
Parent 2’s signature
Date
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
3
Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter concerns my child,_ ______________________________________________________
[name of child], a United States citizen and a minor born on_ ___________________ ,_ _________ ,
[child’s date of birth], who carries a United States passport with the number____________________ .
I affirm that I have legal custody of my child, and that there are no pending divorce or child custody
proceedings that involve my child. I give my full authorization and consent for my child to travel outside
of the United States with _ _________________________________________________________
[name of adult with whom child will travel], who is the____________________________[state adult’s
relationship with child] of my child. The purpose of the travel is______________________________
[specify vacation, touring, to visit relatives, to accompany adult on business trip, or other reason].
I have approved the following travel plans:
Dates of travel
Destinations/Accommodations
Furthermore, I hereby authorize_ ____________________________________________________
[name of adult with whom child will travel] to modify the travel plans specified above as he/she deems
necessary.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of
that the foregoing is true and correct.
Parent 1’s signature:____________________________________________ Date:_______________
Printed name:___________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Parent 2’s signature:____________________________________________ Date:_______________
Printed name:___________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
©nolo
Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
3
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
On
,
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
4
Housesitting Instructions
Home Owner(s)
Name(s)_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home address: __________________________________________________________________
Home phone: ___________________________________________________________________
Temporary address(es) and phone numbers while housesitter is staying at home (or attach schedule)
Plants and Garden What to water when.
Newspapers and Mail What to do about mail and newspapers; what to save, what to throw out.
Garbage and Recycling Details of garbage pickup and recycling—what, where, when.
Appliances Where to find manuals/booklets on different major and minor appliances, plus odds and ends
of information as to location and operation of DVD player, vacuum cleaner, stove, etc.
Lights Any special details on lights, timers, automatic night light, and external motion-sensitive lights.
Windows, Doors, Security Systems, and Keys Details on how locks and security system work, and who has extra keys.
Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers Details on location and functioning of smoke detectors and fire
extinguishers.
Utilities Details on location and use of thermostat, gas and water shut-off valves, fuse box, and spare fuses.
Tools and Supplies Location of house supplies, such as tools, light bulbs, batteries, iron, cleaning supplies,
and first aid kit.
Vehicles Details on cars, whether they need to be started once a week, etc.
Neighbors and Friends Names and phone numbers (home and work) of neighbors and friends who can
help with any questions.
Repair People and Service Contacts Names and phone numbers of repairperson, plumber, insurance agent, etc.
Miscellaneous Anything else you want housesitter to know.
Please don’t hesitate to call us if anything comes up or you have questions. And be sure to help yourself
to any food in the refrigerator or cupboards. Thanks!
Signature ©nolo
Date
Housesitting Instructions
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
5
Carpool Agreement
1. The purpose of this carpool is to transport children to
[address].
located at
2. The carpool will begin on
[name of activity],
[date] and end on
3. Inbound trip: The carpool will pick up
[time] and pick up the rest of the children in this order:
[date].
[the first child to be picked up] at
[list the pickup order].
[time] and deliver the children to the
4. Return trip: The carpool will meet the children at
addresses listed below in this order:
[list the drop-off order].
5. Special agreements (waiting time, alternate drop-off sites, etc.):
.
6. The members of the carpool and the riders are:
Child 1
Child’s name:
Inbound pick-up address:
Outbound drop-off address:
Parent(s)’ or guardian(s)’ name(s):
Parents’/guardians’ home address:
Parents’/guardians’ work address:
Parents’/guardians’ contact information:
Home phone:
Work phone:
Cell phone :
Email:
Driver’s name:
Drivers’ license number:
Driver’s address, if different from above:
Driver’s phone, if different from above:
Model, make, and license number of vehicle(s) driver expects to use:
Name of insurance company:
Names, phone numbers, and relationship to you/child of two people to call, other than those listed above, in
an emergency:
Name and phone number of child’s physician:
Child 2
Child’s name:
Inbound pick-up address:
Outbound drop-off address:
Parent(s)’ or guardian(s)’ name(s):
Parents’/guardians’ home address:
Parents’/guardians’ work address:
©nolo
©nolo
Carpool Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
5
Parents’/guardians’ contact information:
Home phone:
Work phone:
Cell phone:
Email:
Driver’s name:
Drivers’ license number:
Driver’s address, if different from above:
Driver’s phone, if different from above:
Model, make, and license number of vehicle(s) driver expects to use:
Name of insurance company:
Names, phone numbers, and relationship to you/child of two people to call, other than those listed above, in
an emergency:
Name and phone number of child’s physician:
Child 3
Child’s name:
Inbound pick-up address:
Outbound drop-off address:
Parent(s)’ or guardian(s)’ name(s):
Parents’/guardians’ home address:
Parents’/guardians’ work address:
Parents’/guardians’ contact information:
Home phone:
Work phone:
Cell phone:
Email:
Driver’s name:
Drivers’ license number:
Driver’s address, if different from above:
Driver’s phone, if different from above:
Model, make, and license number of vehicle(s) driver expects to use:
Name of insurance company:
Names, phone numbers, and relationship to you/child of two people to call, other than those listed above, in
an emergency:
Name and phone number of child’s physician:
©nolo
Carpool Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
8. By signing this Agreement, I agree to abide by its terms to the best of my ability. I understand that any member
of the carpool can cease participation without notice but agree to give as much notice as is possible under
the circumstances. I understand that if a member is not fulfilling his or her responsibilities, that member may
be asked to leave. I understand that this document is not a legally binding agreement and is entered into in a
spirit of cooperation and a shared desire to make the carpool work well for the benefit of the children and their
parents or guardians.
©nolo
Parent or Guardian Signature
Date
Parent or Guardian Signature
Date
Parent or Guardian Signature
Date
Carpool Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
5
Form
6
Pet Care Agreement
Pet Owner
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Home address:_ _________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Temporary address while pet is in Caregiver’s care:________________________________________
Phone:__________________ Cell phone or pager:_ __________________Email:________________
[if more than one temporary address, attach itinerary]
Caregiver
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Home address:_ _________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
1.Pet(s)
Caregiver will take care of:__________________________________________________________
[list name, species, breed, age, and, if necessary, any distinguishing characteristics]
2.Dates of Care
Caregiver will care for the animal(s) from_ _____________________ [beginning date]
until_ _______________________________ [ending date].
until Owner notifies Caregiver otherwise.
3.Reimbursement and Compensation
Owner will reimburse Caregiver for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, including veterinary bills incurred while
caring for the animal(s). Owner will also compensate Caregiver as follows [select none, one, or both]:
payment of $________________________
other:_ ____________________________
4.Care Instructions
Caregiver will exercise reasonable care to protect the animal(s) from sickness, injury, and theft, and will follow
these instructions:
Food
Type of food:____________________________________________________________________
Amount:_______________________________Frequency:________________________________
Special instructions:______________________________________________________________
©nolo
Pet Care Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
6
Medication
1. Name:
Dosage:
Special instructions:
2. Name:
Dosage:
Special instructions:
Exercise
Frequency and type:
Special instructions:
Grooming
Frequency and type:
Special instructions:
Veterinary Care
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Veterinary insurance company and policy no.
Special instructions:
5.Emergency Contact
If Caregiver becomes unable to care for the pet(s), Caregiver will contact
[name] at
number] to try to make substitute arrangements for their care and will promptly notify Owner.
[phone
If arrangements cannot be made, Caregiver will turn the pet(s) over to
[name] at
[phone
number] and promptly notify Owner.
6.Disputes
If any dispute arises under this agreement, the parties agree to select a mutually agreeable third party to help
them mediate it, and to share equally any costs of mediation.
7.Additional Terms
8.Entire Agreement
This agreement contains the entire agreement between Owner and Caregiver. Any modifications must be in
writing.
Signatures
Pet Owner’s name
Signature
Date
Caregiver’s name
Signature
©nolo
Date
Pet Care Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
7
Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle
Vehicle Owner (Owner)
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Vehicle
Make, model, and year of vehicle:_ ___________________________________________________
Vehicle license plate number:_ ______________________________________________________
State of registration:_ _____________________Vehicle identification number (VIN):_ ___________
Insurance company:_ _____________________________________________________________
Insurance policy number:_ _________________________________________________________
Person Authorized to Drive (Borrower)
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Cell phone or pager:_ _____________________Email:____________________________________
Driver’s license number:_ __________________________________________________________
Motor vehicle insurance company (if any):_ ____________________________________________
Insurance policy number (if any):_ ___________________________________________________
Authorization and Consent of Vehicle Owner
I am the lawful owner of the vehicle indicated above. I give my authorization and consent for Borrower
to use this vehicle as follows:
Dates of use:____________________________________________________________________
Area in which vehicle may be used:___________________________________________________
Any restrictions or conditions on use:_ ________________________________________________
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of_______________________________
that the foregoing is true and correct.
Owner’s signature
©nolo
Date
Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
8
Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)
I,
[your name],
of
[your city and state],
appoint
[name of your attorney-in-fact] to act in my place for the purposes of:
This power of attorney takes effect on
,
and shall continue until terminated in writing, or until
,
whichever comes first.
I grant my attorney-in-fact full authority to act in any manner both proper and necessary to the exercise of
the foregoing powers, and I ratify every act that my attorney-in-fact may lawfully perform in exercising those
powers.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the power of
attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the revocation. I agree
to indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power
of attorney.
Signed: This
day of
,
State of:_ ______________________________County of:_ _______________________________________
Signature:_ _____________________________________________________________________ , Principal
Social Security number:____________________________________________________________________
Witnesses
On the date written above, the principal declared to me that this instrument is his or her financial power
of attorney, and that he or she willingly executed it as a free and voluntary act. The principal signed this
instrument in my presence.
Witness 1
Signature
Name
Address
©nolo
Power of Attorney for Finances (LImited Power)
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
8
Witness 2
Signature
Name
Address
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
ss
On
,
, before me, ______________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _______________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of
My commission expires
[NOTARY SEAL]
Acknowledgment of Attorney-in-Fact
By accepting or acting under the appointment, the attorney-in-fact assumes the fiduciary and other legal
responsibilities and liabilities of an agent.
Name of Attorney-in-Fact:
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact:
©nolo
Power of Attorney for Finances (Limited Power)
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Page 2 of 2
Form
9
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
Recording requested by
and when recorded mail to
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
I,
,
name of principal
of
,
city
state
county
, appoint
name of attorney-in-fact
, of
county
,
,
city
,
state
,
to act in my place with respect to the real property described as follows:
©nolo
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
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Page 1 of 3
Form
9
My attorney-in-fact may act for me in any manner to deal with all or any part of any interest in the real property
described in this document, under such terms, conditions, and covenants as my attorney-in-fact deems proper. My
attorney-in-fact’s powers include but are not limited to the power to:
1. Accept as a gift, or as security for a loan, reject, demand, buy, lease, receive, or otherwise acquire
ownership of possession of any estate or interest in real property.
2. Sell, exchange, convey with or without covenants, quitclaim, release, surrender, mortgage, encumber,
partition or consent to the partitioning of, grant options concerning, lease, sublet, or otherwise dispose
of any interest in the real property described in this document.
3. Maintain, repair, improve, insure, rent, lease, and pay or contest taxes or assessments on any estate or
interest in the real property described in this document.
4. Prosecute, defend, intervene in, submit to arbitration, settle, and propose or accept a compromise with
respect to any claim in favor of or against me based on or involving the real property described in this
document.
However, my attorney in fact shall not have the power to:
I further grant to my attorney-in-fact full authority to act in any manner both proper and necessary to the exercise of the
foregoing powers, including
and I ratify every act that my attorney-in-fact may lawfully perform in exercising those powers.
©nolo
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
This power of attorney takes effect on
, and shall continue
until terminated in writing, or until
, whichever comes first.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the power of
attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the revocation. I agree to
indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of attorney.
Signed this
day of
,
, County of
State of
Signature
.
.
Social Security number
Witnesses
On the date written above, the principal declared to me that this instrument is his or her power of attorney for real
estate, and that he or she willingly executed it as a free and voluntary act. The principal signed this instrument in my
presence.
Name
Name
Address
Address
County
County
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ____________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _____________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of
[notary seal]
My commission expires:
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
By accepting or acting under the appointment, the attorney-in-fact assumes the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities
of an agent.
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
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Power of Attorney for Real Estate
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Page 3 of 3
9
Form
9
This power of attorney takes effect on
, and shall continue
until terminated in writing, or until
, whichever comes first.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the power of
attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the revocation. I agree to
indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of attorney.
Signed this
day of
,
, County of
State of
Signature
.
.
Social Security number
Witness
On the date written above, the principal declared to me that this instrument is his or her power of attorney for real
estate, and that he or she willingly executed it as a free and voluntary act. The principal signed this instrument in my
presence.
Name
Address
County
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ____________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _____________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of
[notary seal]
My commission expires:
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
By accepting or acting under the appointment, the attorney-in-fact assumes the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities
of an agent.
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
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Power of Attorney for Real Estate
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Form
9
This power of attorney takes effect on
, and shall continue
until terminated in writing, or until
, whichever comes first.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the power
of attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the revocation. I agree
to indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of
attorney.
Signed this
day of
,
, County of
State of
Signature
.
.
Social Security number
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ____________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _____________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of
[notary seal]
My commission expires:
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
By accepting or acting under the appointment, the attorney-in-fact assumes the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities
of an agent.
Signature of Attorney-in-Fact
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Power of Attorney for Real Estate
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Form
10
Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney
I,
[your name],
of
[your city and state],
revoke the power of attorney dated
, empowering
[name of your attorney-in-fact] to act
as my attorney-in-fact. I revoke and withdraw all power and authority granted under that power of attorney.
[if applicable]: That power of attorney was recorded on
,
in Book_____ , at Page_________ , of the Official Records, County of
,
State of
.
Signed: This
day of
State of:
County of:
Signature:
,
, Principal
Social Security number:
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of
©nolo
[notarial seal]
My commission expires:
Notice of Revocation of Power of Attoroney
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Page 1 of 1
Form
11
Property Worksheet
Property
Name of Any Existing Beneficiary
Real Estate (list each piece of real estate by address)
Cash and Other Liquid Assets
cash
checking accounts
savings and money market accounts
certificates of deposit
precious metals
Securities (not in retirement accounts)
mutual funds
listed and unlisted stocks
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Property Worksheet
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Form
11
Property
Name of Any Existing Beneficiary
Securities (continued)
government, corporate, and municipal bonds
annuities
Retirement Plan Assets (IRAs, Keoghs, Roth IRAs, 401(k) and 403(b) plans)
Vehicles
automobiles, trucks, and recreational vehicles
planes, boats, and other vehicles
Other Personal Property
household goods
valuable clothing, jewelry, and furs
collectibles, including artworks and antiques
tools and equipment
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Property Worksheet
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Page 2 of 3
Form
Property
11
Name of Any Existing Beneficiary
Other Personal Property (continued)
livestock or other valuable animals
money owed you (personal loans, etc.)
death benefits
life insurance (other than term insurance)
miscellaneous (any personal property not listed above)
Business Personal Property
business ownerships (partnerships, sole proprietorships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies,
corporations)
intellectual property (domain names, patents, copyrights, and trademarks—including the right to receive royalties)
miscellaneous receivables (mortgages, deeds of trust, or promissory notes held by you; any rents due from income
property owned by you; and payments due for professional or personal services or property sold by you that have
not been fully paid by the purchaser)
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Property Worksheet
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Form
12
Beneficiary Worksheet
Beneficiaries of Specific Gifts in Your Will
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Beneficiary Worksheet
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Page 1 of 2
Form
12
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Item:
Beneficiary(ies):______________________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Alternate Beneficiary(ies):_ _____________________________________________________________
Address(es):_________________________________________________________________________
Debts Forgiven
Amount Forgiven:_ ___________________________ Date of loan:_________________________________
Debtor:_______________________________________________________________________________
Amount Forgiven:_ ___________________________ Date of loan:_________________________________
Debtor:_______________________________________________________________________________
Amount Forgiven:_ ___________________________ Date of loan:_________________________________
Debtor:_______________________________________________________________________________
Amount Forgiven:_ ___________________________ Date of loan:_________________________________
Debtor:_______________________________________________________________________________
Residuary Beneficiary or Beneficiaries
Residuary beneficiary(ies) and percentage each one receives:
%
%
%
%
%
Alternate Residuary Beneficiary or Beneficiaries
Alternate Residuary beneficiary(ies) and percentage each one receives:
©nolo
%
%
%
%
%
Beneficiary Worksheet
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Page 2 of 2
Form
13
Do not just fill in and sign this form. To be legally valid, your will must be printed out (using the
CD-ROM that comes with this book) or typed, eliminating all items that don’t apply to you. You
cannot just fill in the blanks of this form and try to use the completed form as your will.
Will for Adult With No Child(ren)
Will of
I,
a resident of
[county], State of
,
declare that this is my will.
1.Revocation. I revoke all wills that I have previously made.
2.Marital Status. I am
married
single
in a registered domestic partnership or civil union.
3. Specific Gifts. I make the following specific gifts:
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
[repeat as needed]
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Will for Adult With No Chlid(ren)
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Page 1 of 3
Form
13
4.Residuary Estate. I leave my residuary estate, that is, the rest of my property not otherwise specifically and
validly disposed of by this will, including lapsed or failed gifts, to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
.
5. Beneficiary Provisions. The following terms and conditions apply to the beneficiary clauses of this will.
A. 45-Day Survivorship Period. As used in this will, the phrase “survive me” means to be alive or in existence as
an organization on the 45th day after my death. Any beneficiary, except any alternate residuary beneficiary,
must survive me to take property under this will.
B. Shared Gifts. If I leave property to be shared by two or more beneficiaries, it shall be shared equally by them
unless this will provides otherwise.
If any beneficiary of a shared specific gift left in a single paragraph of the Specific Gifts clause, above, does
not survive me, the gift shall be given to the surviving beneficiaries in equal shares.
If any beneficiary of a shared residuary gift does not survive me, the residue shall be given to the surviving
residuary beneficiaries in equal shares.
C. Encumbrances. All property that I leave by this will shall pass subject to any encumbrances or liens on the
property.
6. Executor. I name
as executor, to serve without bond. If he/she does not qualify, or ceases to serve, I name
as executor, also to serve without bond.
I direct that my executor take all actions legally permissible to probate this will, including filing a petition in
the appropriate court for the independent administration of my estate.
I grant to my executor the following powers, to be exercised as the executor deems to be in the best interests
of my estate:
A. To retain property, without liability for loss or depreciation resulting from such retention.
B. To sell, lease, or exchange property and to receive or administer the proceeds as a part of my estate.
C. To vote stock; convert bonds, notes, stocks, or other securities belonging to my estate into other
securities; and to exercise all other rights and privileges of a person owning similar property.
D. To deal with and settle claims in favor of or against my estate.
E. To continue, maintain, operate, or participate in any business which is a part of my estate, and to
incorporate, dissolve, or otherwise change the form of organization of the business.
F. To pay all debts and taxes that may be assessed against my estate, as provided under state law.
G. To do all other acts, which in the executor’s judgment may be necessary or appropriate for the proper
and advantageous management, investment, and distribution of my estate.
These powers, authority, and discretion are in addition to the powers, authority, and discretion vested in an
executor by operation of law, and may be exercised as often as deemed necessary, without approval by any
court in any jurisdiction.
©nolo
Will for Adult With No Chlid(ren)
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Page 2 of 3
Form
13
Signature
I subscribe my name to this will this
day of
,
, at
[county], State of
.
I declare that it is my will, that I sign it willingly, that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes
expressed, and that I am of the age of majority or otherwise legally empowered to make a will and under no
constraint or undue influence.
Signature:
Witnesses
On this
day of
,
, the testator,
declared to us, the undersigned, that this instrument was
his
her will and requested us to act as
witnesses to it. The testator signed this will in our presence, all of us being present at the same time. We now,
at the testator’s request, in the testator’s presence and in the presence of each other, subscribe our names as
witnesses and each declare that we are of sound mind and of proper age to witness a will. We further declare
that we understand this to be the testator’s will, and that to the best of our knowledge the testator is of the age
of majority, or is otherwise legally empowered to make a will, and appears to be of sound mind and under no
constraint or undue influence.
We declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, this
,
, at
day of
[county],
State of____________________________________________.
Witness 1
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
Witness 2
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Will for Adult With No Chlid(ren)
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Page 3 of 3
Form
14
Do not just fill in and sign this form. To be legally valid, your will must be printed out (using the
CD-ROM that comes with this book) or typed, eliminating all items that don’t apply to you. You
cannot just fill in the blanks of this form and try to use the completed form as your will.
Will for Adult With Child(ren)
Will of
I,
a resident of
[county], State of
,
declare that this is my will.
1.Revocation. I revoke all wills that I have previously made.
2.Marital Status. I am
married
single
in a registered domestic partnership or civil union.
3.Children. I have the following natural and legally adopted children:
Name
Date of Birth
[repeat as needed]
4. Specific Gifts. I make the following specific gifts:
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
©nolo
Will for Adult With Chlid(ren)
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 4
Form
14
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
I leave
to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
[repeat as needed]
5.Residuary Estate. I leave my residuary estate, that is, the rest of my property not otherwise specifically and validly
disposed of by this will, including lapsed or failed gifts, to
or, if he/she/they do/does not survive me, to
.
6. Beneficiary Provisions. The following terms and conditions apply to the beneficiary clauses of this will.
A. 45-Day Survivorship Period. As used in this will, the phrase “survive me” means to be alive or in existence as
an organization on the 45th day after my death. Any beneficiary, except any alternate residuary beneficiary,
must survive me to take property under this will.
B.Shared Gifts. If I leave property to be shared by two or more beneficiaries, it shall be shared equally by them
unless this will provides otherwise.
If any beneficiary of a shared specific gift left in a single paragraph of the Specific Gifts clause, above, does not
survive me, the gift shall be given to the surviving beneficiaries in equal shares.
If any beneficiary of a shared residuary gift does not survive me, the residue shall be given to the surviving
residuary beneficiaries in equal shares.
C. Encumbrances. All property that I leave by this will shall pass subject to any encumbrances or liens on the
property.
7. Executor. I name
as executor, to serve without bond. If he/she does not qualify, or ceases to serve, I name
as executor, also to serve without bond.
I direct that my executor take all actions legally permissible to probate this will, including filing a petition in the
appropriate court for the independent administration of my estate.
I grant to my executor the following powers, to be exercised as the executor deems to be in the best interests of
my estate:
A. To retain property, without liability for loss or depreciation resulting from such retention.
B. To sell, lease, or exchange property and to receive or administer the proceeds as a part of my estate.
C. To vote stock; convert bonds, notes, stocks, or other securities belonging to my estate into other
securities; and to exercise all other rights and privileges of a person owning similar property.
©nolo
Will for Adult With Chlid(ren)
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Page 2 of 4
Form
14
D. To deal with and settle claims in favor of or against my estate.
E. To continue, maintain, operate, or participate in any business which is a part of my estate, and to incorporate,
dissolve, or otherwise change the form of organization of the business.
F. To pay all debts and taxes that may be assessed against my estate, as provided under state law.
G. To do all other acts, which in the executor’s judgment may be necessary or appropriate for the proper and
advantageous management, investment, and distribution of my estate.
These powers, authority, and discretion are in addition to the powers, authority, and discretion vested in an executor
by operation of law, and may be exercised as often as deemed necessary, without approval by any court in any
jurisdiction.
8.Personal Guardian. If at my death any of my children are minors, and a personal guardian is needed, I nominate
he
to be appointed personal guardian of my minor children. If
nominate
to be appointed personal guardian.
she cannot serve as personal guardian, I
I direct that no bond be required of any personal guardian.
9.Property Guardian. If at my death any of my children are minors, and a property guardian is needed, I appoint
as the property guardian of my minor children. If
he
she cannot serve as property guardian, I appoint
as property guardian.
I direct that no bond be required of any property guardian.
10.Gifts Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. All property left by this will to
[name of minor]
[name of custodian]
[name of minor]
[your state].
shall be given to
as custodian for
under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act of
If
[name of custodian]
cannot serve as custodian,
[name of successor custodian] shall serve as custodian. If
[your state] allows testators to choose the age at which the custodianship ends, I choose the oldest age allowed by
my state’s Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.
[repeat as needed]
Signature
I subscribe my name to this will this
day of
,
[county], State of
, at
.
I declare that it is my will, that I sign it willingly, that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes
expressed, and that I am of the age of majority or otherwise legally empowered to make a will and under no
constraint or undue influence.
Signature:
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Page 3 of 4
Form
14
Witnesses
On this
day of
,
, the testator,
declared to us, the undersigned, that this instrument was
his
her will and requested us to act as
witnesses to it. The testator signed this will in our presence, all of us being present at the same time. We now,
at the testator’s request, in the testator’s presence and in the presence of each other, subscribe our names as
witnesses and each declare that we are of sound mind and of proper age to witness a will. We further declare
that we understand this to be the testator’s will, and that to the best of our knowledge the testator is of the
age of majority, or is otherwise legally empowered to make a will, and appears to be of sound mind and under
no constraint or undue influence.
We declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, this
,
, at
day of
[county],
State of____________________________________________.
Witness 1
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
Witness 2
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Will for Adult With Chlid(ren)
www.nolo.com
Page 4 of 4
Form
15
Do not just fill in and sign this form. To be legally valid, your will must be printed out (using the
CD-ROM that comes with this book) or typed, eliminating all items that don’t apply to you. You
cannot just fill in the blanks of this form and try to use the completed form as your will.
Will Codicil
First Codicil to the Will of
I,
a resident of
[county], State of
declare this to be the first codicil to my will dated
,
,
FIRST: I revoke the provision of Clause
.
of my will that provided:
[include the exact will language you wish to revoke]
of my will:
SECOND: I add the following provision to Clause
[add whatever is desired]
THIRD: In all other respects I confirm and republish my will dated
,
.
Dated_____________________________ ,________ .
Signature
I subscribe my name to this codicil this
day of
[county], State of
,
.
.
I declare under penalty of perjury that I sign and execute this codicil willingly, that I execute it as my free and
voluntary act for the purposes expressed, and that I am of the age of majority or otherwise legally empowered
to make a codicil and under no constraint or undue influence.
Signature:
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Will Codicil
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Form
15
Witnesses
On this
day of
,
,
[codicil maker’s name]
declared to us, the undersigned, that this instrument was a codicil to
his
her will and requested us
to act as witnesses to it. The testator signed this codicil in our presence, all of us being present at the same
time. We now, at the testator’s request, in the testator’s presence and in the presence of each other, subscribe
our names as witnesses and declare we understand this to be the testator’s codicil and that to the best of
our knowledge the testator is of the age of majority, or is otherwise legally empowered to make a codicil, and
appears to be of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
We declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, this
,
, at
day of
[county],
State of____________________________________________.
Witness 1
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
Witness 2
Signature:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
Typed or printed name:__________________________________________________________________
Residing at:___________________________________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_________________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Will Codicil
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Page 2 of 2
Form
16
Request for Death Certificate
Date:
[insert address of vital statistics office]
Name of deceased:_ ______________________________________________________________
Date of death:___________________________Place of death:_ ____________________________
Place of birth:_ __________________________Social Security number:_ _____________________
Please send me_ ________ certified copies of the death certificate of the above-named person. I have
enclosed a check in the amount of $__________ and a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The reason
for my request is to administer the affairs of the deceased’s estate.
Thank you for your assistance.
Signature:_ _____________________________________________________________________
Printed or typed name:____________________________________________________________
Relationship to deceased:_ _________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
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Request for Death Certificate
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Page 1 of 1
Form
17
Notice to Creditor of Death
Date:
[insert name and address of creditor]
Name of deceased:_ ______________________________________________________________
Deceased’s address:_______________________________________________________________
Account number:_ _______________________Date of death:______________________________
To whom it may concern:
I am the representative of the decedent. Please cancel this account at once.
Please also acknowledge that you received this notice by signing the duplicate of this letter and returning it
to me in the enclosed stamped, self-addressed envelope.
If there is any outstanding balance on this account, please promptly notify me at the address below.
Thank you for your assistance.
Signature:_ _____________________________________________________________________
Printed or typed name:____________________________________________________________
Relationship to deceased:_ _________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_ __________________________Work phone:_ _____________________________
Receipt acknowledged by:
Signature:_ _____________________________________________________________________
Printed or typed name:____________________________________________________________
Title:__________________________________________________________________________
Date of receipt of notice:___________________________________________________________
©nolo
Notice to Creditor of Death
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
18
Executor’s Checklist
Decide Whether or Not Probate Is Necessary
Probate isn’t necessary for many common assets. No probate is necessary to:
• pass real estate and other assets owned in joint tenancy to the surviving joint tenant
• transfer bank accounts and securities registered in “payable on death” form to beneficiaries
• transfer funds in IRAs and retirement plans to named beneficiaries
• transfer property left to the surviving spouse (in some states)
• transfer assets held in trusts (such as living trusts or AB marital bypass trusts) to named beneficiaries.
The deceased’s home state may also have streamlined probate procedures for small estates. Whether probate
is necessary commonly depends upon the size of the estate, minus all the non-probated assets—that is,
anything that can be transferred outside of probate.
• If probate is not required, go to “Handling an Estate that Doesn’t Go Through Probate,” below. If probate is
required, go to “Probating an Estate.”
Handling an Estate That Doesn’t Go Through Probate
• Locate and secure the deceased person’s assets and carefully manage them until you distribute them.
• Handle day-to-day details, such as terminating leases and other outstanding contracts, and notifying banks
and government agencies of the death—for example, the Social Security Administration, the post office,
Medicare, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
• Using money left by the deceased person, pay continuing expenses—for example, mortgage payments,
utility bills and homeowner’s insurance premiums.
• Using money left by the deceased person, pay any debts the deceased person owed. (If there isn’t enough
money to pay them all, consult a lawyer. State law gives certain creditors priority.)
• Pay income taxes. Income tax returns must be filed for the year in which the person died.
• Supervise the distribution of property to the people entitled to inherit it according to the will.
Probating an Estate
• File the will in the local probate court and ask the court to confirm you as executor. You may want to hire
a lawyer to prepare the paperwork or to help you with the process. (See “Decide Whether or Not to Hire a
Lawyer,” below.)
• Send notice of the probate proceeding to the beneficiaries named in the will and, if necessary, to certain
close relatives—in most cases, a surviving spouse and children—who would have been entitled to property
if there was no valid will.
• Locate and secure the deceased person’s assets and carefully manage them during the probate process,
which commonly takes about a year. Depending on the contents of the will and the financial condition of
the estate, this may involve deciding whether to sell real estate or securities owned by the deceased person.
• Handle day-to-day details, such as terminating leases and other outstanding contracts, and notifying banks
and government agencies of the death—for example, the Social Security Administration, the post office,
Medicare, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
• Set up an estate bank account to hold money that is owed to the deceased person—for example, paychecks
and stock dividends.
• Pay continuing expenses—for example, mortgage payments, utility bills, and homeowners’ insurance
premiums—if survivors or tenants are still living in a house owned by the deceased person.
©nolo
Executor’s Checklist
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
18
• Pay any debts that the estate is legally required to pay. You must also notify creditors of the probate
proceeding; the required method of notice will be set out by state law. Creditors then have a certain amount
of time—usually about four to six months—to file a claim for payment of any bills or other obligations you
haven’t voluntarily paid. As executor, you decide whether or not a claim is valid.
• Pay income taxes. Income tax returns must be filed for the year in which the person died.
• Pay estate taxes if necessary. It’s unlikely, but state and federal estate tax returns may be required. Only very
large estates owe federal estate tax; until 2008, if someone leaves less than $2 million worth of property, no
federal estate tax is due. (And any amount of property left to a surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen is estate
tax-free.) This exempt amount will rise to $3.5 million in 2009, and the federal estate tax is scheduled to be
repealed in 2010. However, the tax will reappear in 2011 unless Congress extends the repeal. More and more
states are collecting estate taxes of their own as well. Some states impose inheritance tax; rates depend on
who inherits the property. Check with your state’s taxing authority.
• Supervise the distribution of property—such as cash, personal belongings, and real estate—to the people or
organizations named in the will or entitled to inherit under state law.
• When debts and taxes have been paid and all the property distributed to the beneficiaries, ask the probate
court to formally close the estate.
Decide Whether or Not to Hire a Lawyer
Many people think that probate requires hiring a lawyer. Although this is often a sensible choice, especially for
estates with lots of different types of property, significant tax liabilities, or the potential for disputes among
inheritors, it is not mandatory, and you may decide to handle the paperwork yourself. This makes good sense if
you have access to good self-help materials (from private publishers or the probate court itself), particularly if
you are a main beneficiary and you don’t expect any complications collecting and transferring the assets.
Essentially, handling a probate court proceeding requires shuffling a lot of papers through the court clerk’s
office; in the vast majority of cases, there are no disputes that require a decision by a judge. You may even be able
to do everything by mail. Doing a good job requires persistence and attention to tedious detail—not necessarily
a law degree.
Here are some ways to get help if you decide against hiring a lawyer:
• Probate court clerks commonly answer basic questions about court procedure but they staunchly avoid
saying anything that could be construed as legal advice. Some courts, however, have lawyers on staff who
look over probate documents; they may point out errors in your papers and tell you how to fix them.
• In many law offices, lawyers delegate all the probate paperwork to paralegals. In some areas of the country,
experienced paralegals have set up shop to help people deal directly with probate paperwork. These
paralegals do not offer legal advice; they just prepare documents as you instruct them. They can also file
papers with the court for you. To find a probate paralegal, look in the yellow pages under Typing Services
or Attorney Services. Make sure that the person you hire has lots of experience in this field and can provide
you with references to check out.
• You may want to consult books written for nonlawyers. The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate
or Trust, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), is a complete guide to an executor’s duties. How to Probate an Estate in
California, by Julia Nissley (Nolo), leads you through the California probate process step by step. Although
the forms included with the book are used only in California, the book contains much information that
would be valuable background in any state.
©nolo
Executor’s Checklist
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
19
General Notice of Death
Date:
[insert name and address of organization]
This letter is to notify you that
[name]
of
[address]
died on
information.
[date]. Please let me know if you would like further
Signature:
Printed or typed name:
Relationship to deceased:
Address:
©nolo
General Notice of Death
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
20
Obituary Information Fact Sheet
Name of deceased:_______________________________________________________________________
Age at death:_ __________________________________________________________________________
Location and date of death:________________________________________________________________
Cause of death:__________________________________________________________________________
Birthplace of deceased:_ __________________________________________________________________
Address of deceased:_ ____________________________________________________________________
Length of time deceased lived in community:__________________________________________________
Religious affiliation or membership:_ ________________________________________________________
High school, college, or graduate degrees:_____________________________________________________
Professional degrees or affiliations:_ _________________________________________________________
Military service:_________________________________________________________________________
Profession:_____________________________________________________________________________
Interesting personal facts:_ ________________________________________________________________
Survived by: [Names of survivors—spouses, siblings, in-laws, children, grandchildren, etc—and their relationship to
deceased] ______________________________________________________________________________
Predeceased by: [Names of spouses, siblings, and children who predeceased and when deaths occurred]
Time and location of funeral arrangements and services: [often supplied by the funeral home]_ ______________
For further information, contact:_____________________________________________________________
©nolo
Obituary Information Fact Sheet
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
21
Notice to Deceased’s Homeowners’ Insurance Company
Date:
[insert insurance company name and address]
Name of deceased:
Deceased’s address:
Date of death:
Homeowners’ insurance policy number:
This letter is to notify you that your insured,
[deceased’s name], has died.
I am the executor of the estate and would like to be added as a named insured to this homeowners’
insurance policy. Enclosed with this letter you will find a certified death certificate for
[deceased’s name],
along with documentation that I am the executor.
Please contact me so that we may discuss this matter. I can be reached using the information below. Please sign
and return the second copy of this letter in the enclosed stamped and self-addressed envelope.
Thank you for your assistance.
Signature:
Printed or typed name:
Relationship to deceased:
Address:
Home phone:
Work phone:
Email:
Receipt acknowledged by:
Signature:
Printed or typed name:
Title:
Date of receipt of notice:
©nolo
Notice to Deceased’s Homeowners’ Insurance Company
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
22
Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company
Date:
[insert insurance company name and address]
Name of deceased:
Deceased’s address:
Date of death:
Vehicle insurance policy number:
Make, model, and year of vehicle:
This letter is to notify you that your insured,
[deceased’s name], has died.
I am the executor of the estate and would like to be added as a named insured to this insurance policy. Enclosed
with this letter you will find a certified death certificate for
[deceased’s name], documentation of my status as executor, and a state-certified copy of my driving record.
Please contact me so that we may discuss this matter. I can be reached using the information below. Please sign
and return the second copy of this letter in the enclosed stamped and self-addressed envelope.
Thank you for your assistance.
Signature:
Printed or typed name:
Relationship to deceased:
Address:
Home phone:
Work phone:
Email:
Receipt acknowledged by:
Signature:
Printed or typed name:
Title:
Date of receipt of notice:
©nolo
©nolo
Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
23
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist
Name of Company:
Address:
Phone number:
Hours:
Date:
1. Description of listings:
• geographic areas covered
• type of rentals
• total number of listings
• number of new listings/day
• exclusivity
• type of information available/listing
2. Type of access to listings, cost and duration of service:
phone
fax
email
pager
books available in office
3. Free phone available in office for members’ use?
Yes
No
4. Other services and costs:
roommate referrals
credit screening
other
5. Percentage of members who find a rental unit through service:
6. Refund if rental not found through company:
7. Length of time in business:
8. Other comments:
©nolo
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
24
Rental Application
Separate application required from each applicant age 18 or older.
This section to be completed by landlord
Address of property to be rented:
Rental Term: month-to-month
lease from
Amounts Due Prior to Occupancy
to
First month’s rent................................................................................................................ $ 
Security deposit................................................................................................................... $
Credit check fee................................................................................................................... $
$
Other (specify):
TOTAL........................................................... $
Applicant
Full name—include all names you use(d):
Home phone: (
Cell phone: (
)
Work phone: (
)
)
Email:
Social Security number:
Driver’s license number/state:
Vehicle make:
Model:
Color:
_Year:
License plate number/state:
Additional Occupants
List everyone, including children, who will live with you:
Full name Relationship to applicant
Rental History
Current address:
Dates lived at address:
Landlord/manager:
Reason for leaving:
Landlord/manager’s phone: (
)
Previous address:
Dates lived at address:
Landlord/manager:
©nolo
Reason for leaving:
Landlord/manager’s phone: (
)
Rental Application
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
24
Previous address:
Dates lived at address:
Reason for leaving:
Landlord/manager:
Landlord/manager’s phone: (
)
Employment History
Name and address of current employer:
Phone: (
)
Name of supervisor:
Supervisor’s phone: (
Hire date:
Position or title:
)
Name and address of previous employer:
Phone: (
)
Name of supervisor:
Supervisor’s phone: (
Dates employed at this job:
Position or title:
)
Income
1. Your gross monthly employment income (before deductions):
$
2. Average monthly amounts of other income (specify sources):
$
TOTAL:
$
Credit and Financial Information
Bank/financial accounts Account number
Bank/institution
Branch
Savings account:
Checking account:
Money market or similar account:
Type of account
Credit accounts & loans
(auto loan, Visa, etc.)
Account number
Name of
Amount
creditor owed
Monthly
payment
Major credit card:
Major credit card:
Loan (mortgage, car, student loan, etc.):
Other major obligation:
©nolo
Rental Application
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
24
Miscellaneous
Describe the number and type of pets you want to have in the rental property:
Describe water-filled furniture you want to have in the rental property:
yes
Do you smoke?
no
Have you ever: Filed for bankruptcy?
Been evicted?
yes
yes
no
no
Been sued?
yes
no
Been convicted of a crime?
yes
no
Explain any “yes” listed above:
References and Emergency Contact
Personal reference:
Relationship:
Address:
Phone: (
Personal reference:
)
Relationship:
Address:
Phone: (
Contact in emergency:
)
Relationship:
Address:
Phone: (
)
I certify that all the information given above is true and correct and understand that my lease or rental
agreement may be terminated if I have made any material false or incomplete statement in this application.
I authorize verification of the information provided in this application from my credit sources, credit bureaus,
current and previous landlords and employers, and personal references.
Applicant
Date
Notes (Landlord/Manager):
©nolo
Rental Application
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
25
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
Clause 1. Identification of Landlord and Tenant
This Agreement is entered into between
(“Tenant”) and
(“Landlord”). Each Tenant is
jointly and severally liable for the payment of rent and performance of all other terms of this Agreement.
Clause 2. Identification of Premises
Subject to the terms and conditions in this Agreement, Landlord rents to Tenant, and Tenant rents from
Landlord, for residential purposes only, the premises located at
(“the premises”),
together with the following furnishings and appliances:
.
Rental of the premises also includes
.
Clause 3. Limits on Use and Occupancy
The premises are to be used only as a private residence for Tenant listed in Clause 1 of this Agreement, and
their minor children. Occupancy by guests for more than
is prohibited without Landlord’s written consent and will be considered a breach of this Agreement.
Clause 4. Term of the Tenancy
The term of the rental will begin on
, and end on
. If Tenant vacates before the term ends, Tenant will be liable for
the balance of the rent for the remainder of the term.
Clause 5. Payment of Rent
Regular monthly rent.
Tenant will pay to Landlord a monthly rent of $
, payable in advance on the first day of
each month, except when that day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, in which case rent is due on the next
business day. Rent will be paid in the following manner unless Landlord designates otherwise:
Delivery of payment.
Rent will be paid:
by mail, to
in person, at
©nolo
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 6
Form
25
Form of payment.
Landlord will accept payment in these forms:
personal check made payable to
cashier’s check made payable to
credit card
money order
cash
Prorated first month’s rent.
For the period from Tenant’s move-in date,
, through the end of
the month, Tenant will pay to Landlord the prorated monthly rent of $
. This amount
will be paid on or before the date the Tenant moves in.
Clause 6. Late Charges
If Tenant fails to pay the rent in full before the end of the
day after it’s due, Tenant will pay
Landlord a late charge as follows:
.
Landlord does not waive the right to insist on payment of the rent in full on the date it is due.
Clause 7. Returned Check and Other Bank Charges
If any check offered by Tenant to Landlord in payment of rent or any other amount due under this Agreement
is returned for lack of sufficient funds, a “stop payment,” or any other reason, Tenant will pay Landlord a
returned check charge of $
.
Clause 8. Security Deposit
On signing this Agreement, Tenant will pay to Landlord the sum of $
as a security deposit.
Tenant may not, without Landlord’s prior written consent, apply this security deposit to the last month’s rent
or to any other sum due under this Agreement. Within
days after Tenant has
vacated the premises, Landlord will return the deposit in full or give Tenant an itemized written statement of
the reasons for, and the dollar amount of, any of the security deposit retained by Landlord, along with a check
for any deposit balance.
Additional terms of security deposit:
©nolo
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 6
Form
25
Clause 9. Utilities
Tenant will pay all utility charges, except for the following, which will be paid by Landlord:
.
Clause 10. Assignment and Subletting
Tenant will not sublet any part of the premises or assign this Agreement without the prior written consent of
Landlord.
Clause 11. Tenant’s Maintenance Responsibilities
Tenant will: (1) keep the premises clean, sanitary, and in good condition and, upon termination of the
tenancy, return the premises to Landlord in a condition identical to that which existed when Tenant took
occupancy, except for ordinary wear and tear; (2) immediately notify Landlord of any defects or dangerous
conditions in and about the premises of which Tenant becomes aware; and (3) reimburse Landlord, on
demand by Landlord, for the cost of any repairs to the premises damaged by Tenant or Tenant’s guests or
business invitees through misuse or neglect.
Tenant has examined the premises, including appliances, fixtures, carpets, drapes, and paint, and has found
them to be in good, safe, and clean condition and repair, except as noted in the Landlord-Tenant Checklist.
©nolo
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 6
Form
25
Clause 12. Repairs and Alterations by Tenant
a. Except as provided by law, or as authorized by the prior written consent of Landlord, Tenant will not make
any repairs or alterations to the premises, including nailing holes in the walls or painting the rental unit.
b. Tenant will not, without Landlord’s prior written consent, alter, rekey, or install any locks to the premises
or install or alter any burglar alarm system. Tenant will provide Landlord with a key or keys capable of
unlocking all such rekeyed or new locks as well as instructions on how to disarm any altered or new
burglar alarm system.
Clause 13. Violating Laws and Causing Disturbances
Tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the premises. Tenant and guests or invitees will not use the premises
or adjacent areas in such a way as to: (1) violate any law or ordinance, including laws prohibiting the use,
possession, or sale of illegal drugs; (2) commit waste (severe property damage); or (3) create a nuisance by
annoying, disturbing, inconveniencing, or interfering with the quiet enjoyment and peace and quiet of any
other tenant or nearby resident.
Clause 14. Pets
No animal, bird, or other pet will be kept on the premises, even temporarily, except properly trained dogs
needed by disabled persons and
under the following conditions:
.
Clause 15. Landlord’s Right to Access
Landlord or Landlord’s agents may enter the premises in the event of an emergency, to make repairs or
improvements or to show the premises to prospective buyers or tenants. Landlord may also enter the
premises to conduct an annual inspection to check for safety or maintenance problems. Except in cases of
emergency, Tenant’s abandonment of the premises, court order, or where it is impractical to do so, Landlord
shall give Tenant
notice before entering.
Clause 16. Extended Absences by Tenant
Tenant will notify Landlord in advance if Tenant will be away from the premises for
or more
consecutive days. During such absence, Landlord may enter the premises at times reasonably necessary to
maintain the property and inspect for needed repairs.
©nolo
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 4 of 6
Form
25
Clause 17. Possession of the Premises
a. Tenant’s failure to take possession.
If, after signing this Agreement, Tenant fails to take possession of the premises, Tenant will still be responsible
for paying rent and complying with all other terms of this Agreement.
b. Landlord’s failure to deliver possession.
If Landlord is unable to deliver possession of the premises to Tenant for any reason not within Landlord’s
control, including, but not limited to, partial or complete destruction of the premises, Tenant will have the
right to terminate this Agreement upon proper notice as required by law. In such event, Landlord’s liability to
Tenant will be limited to the return of all sums previously paid by Tenant to Landlord.
Clause 18. Tenant Rules and Regulations
Tenant acknowledges receipt of, and has read a copy of, tenant rules and regulations, which are attached to
and incorporated into this Agreement by this reference.
Clause 19. Payment of Court Costs and Attorney Fees in a Lawsuit
In any action or legal proceeding to enforce any part of this Agreement, the prevailing party
 shall not /
 shall recover reasonable attorney fees and court costs.
Clause 20. Disclosures
Tenant acknowledges that Landlord has made the following disclosures regarding the premises:
Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
Other disclosures:
Clause 21. Authority to Receive Legal Papers
The Landlord, any person managing the premises, and anyone designated by the Landlord are authorized to
accept service of process and receive other notices and demands, which may be delivered to:
The Landlord, at the following address:
The manager, at the following address:
The following person, at the following address:
©nolo
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 5 of 6
Form
25
Clause 22. Additional Provisions
Additional provisions are as follows:
Clause 23. Validity of Each Part
If any portion of this Agreement is held to be invalid, its invalidity will not affect the validity or enforceability
of any other provision of this Agreement.
Clause 24. Grounds for Termination of Tenancy
The failure of Tenant or Tenant’s guests or invitees to comply with any term of this Agreement, or the
misrepresentation of any material fact on Tenant’s Rental Application, is grounds for termination of the
tenancy, with appropriate notice to Tenant and procedures as required by law.
Clause 25. Entire Agreement
This document constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties, and no promises or representations, other
than those contained here and those implied by law, have been made by Landlord or Tenant. Any modifications
to this Agreement must be in writing signed by Landlord and Tenant.
Date
Landlord or Landlord’s Agent
Title
Street Address
©nolo
City, State & Zip
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Fixed-Term Residential Lease
www.nolo.com
Page 6 of 6
Form
26
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
Clause 1. Identification of Landlord and Tenant
This Agreement is entered into between
(“Tenant”) and
(“Landlord”). Each Tenant is
jointly and severally liable for the payment of rent and performance of all other terms of this Agreement.
Clause 2. Identification of Premises
Subject to the terms and conditions in this Agreement, Landlord rents to Tenant, and Tenant rents from
Landlord, for residential purposes only, the premises located at
(“the premises”),
together with the following furnishings and appliances:
.
Rental of the premises also includes
.
Clause 3. Limits on Use and Occupancy
The premises are to be used only as a private residence for Tenant(s) listed in Clause 1 of this Agreement, and
their minor children. Occupancy by guests for more than
is prohibited without Landlord’s written consent and will be considered a breach of this Agreement.
Clause 4. Term of the Tenancy
The rental will begin on
, and continue on a month-to-month
basis. Landlord may terminate the tenancy or modify the terms of this Agreement by giving the Tenant
days’ written notice. Tenant may terminate the tenancy by giving the Landlord
days’ written notice.
Clause 5. Payment of Rent
Regular monthly rent.
Tenant will pay to Landlord a monthly rent of $
, payable in advance on the first day of
each month, except when that day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, in which case rent is due on the next
business day. Rent will be paid in the following manner unless Landlord designates otherwise:
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 6
Form
26
Delivery of payment.
Rent will be paid:
by mail, to
in person, at
Form of payment.
Landlord will accept payment in these forms:
personal check made payable to
cashier’s check made payable to
credit card
money order
cash
Prorated first month’s rent.
For the period from Tenant’s move-in date,
, through the end of the
month, Tenant will pay to Landlord the prorated monthly rent of $
. This amount will
be paid on or before the date the Tenant moves in.
Clause 6. Late Charges
If Tenant fails to pay the rent in full before the end of the
day after it’s due, Tenant will pay
Landlord a late charge as follows:
.
Landlord does not waive the right to insist on payment of the rent in full on the date it is due.
Clause 7. Returned Check and Other Bank Charges
If any check offered by Tenant to Landlord in payment of rent or any other amount due under this
Agreement is returned for lack of sufficient funds, a “stop payment,” or any other reason, Tenant will pay
Landlord a returned check charge of $
.
Clause 8. Security Deposit
On signing this Agreement, Tenant will pay to Landlord the sum of $
as a security deposit.
Tenant may not, without Landlord’s prior written consent, apply this security deposit to the last month’s rent
or to any other sum due under this Agreement. Within
days after Tenant has
vacated the premises, Landlord will return the deposit in full or give Tenant an itemized written statement
of the reasons for, and the dollar amount of, any of the security deposit retained by Landlord, along with a
check for any deposit balance.
Additional terms of security deposit:
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 6
Form
26
Clause 9. Utilities
Tenant will pay all utility charges, except for the following, which will be paid by Landlord:
.
Clause 10. Assignment and Subletting
Tenant will not sublet any part of the premises or assign this Agreement without the prior written consent of
Landlord.
Clause 11. Tenant’s Maintenance Responsibilities
Tenant will: (1) keep the premises clean, sanitary, and in good condition and, upon termination of the tenancy,
return the premises to Landlord in a condition identical to that which existed when Tenant took occupancy,
except for ordinary wear and tear; (2) immediately notify Landlord of any defects or dangerous conditions in
and about the premises of which Tenant becomes aware; and (3) reimburse Landlord, on demand by Landlord,
for the cost of any repairs to the premises damaged by Tenant or Tenant’s guests or business invitees through
misuse or neglect.
Tenant has examined the premises, including appliances, fixtures, carpets, drapes, and paint, and has found
them to be in good, safe, and clean condition and repair, except as noted in the Landlord-Tenant Checklist.
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 6
Form
26
Clause 12. Repairs and Alterations by Tenant
a. Except as provided by law, or as authorized by the prior written consent of Landlord, Tenant will not make
any repairs or alterations to the premises, including nailing holes in the walls or painting the rental unit.
b. Tenant will not, without Landlord’s prior written consent, alter, rekey, or install any locks to the premises
or install or alter any burglar alarm system. Tenant will provide Landlord with a key or keys capable of
unlocking all such rekeyed or new locks as well as instructions on how to disarm any altered or new
burglar alarm system.
Clause 13. Violating Laws and Causing Disturbances
Tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the premises. Tenant and guests or invitees will not use the premises
or adjacent areas in such a way as to: (1) violate any law or ordinance, including laws prohibiting the use,
possession, or sale of illegal drugs; (2) commit waste (severe property damage); or (3) create a nuisance by
annoying, disturbing, inconveniencing, or interfering with the quiet enjoyment and peace and quiet of any
other tenant or nearby resident.
Clause 14. Pets
No animal, bird, or other pet will be kept on the premises, even temporarily, except properly trained dogs
needed by disabled persons and
under the following conditions:
.
Clause 15. Landlord’s Right to Access
Landlord or Landlord’s agents may enter the premises in the event of an emergency, to make repairs or
improvements, or to show the premises to prospective buyers or tenants. Landlord may also enter the
premises to conduct an annual inspection to check for safety or maintenance problems. Except in cases of
emergency, Tenant’s abandonment of the premises, court order, or where it is impractical to do so, Landlord
shall give Tenant
notice before entering.
Clause 16. Extended Absences by Tenant
Tenant will notify Landlord in advance if Tenant will be away from the premises for
or more
consecutive days. During such absence, Landlord may enter the premises at times reasonably necessary to
maintain the property and inspect for needed repairs.
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
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Page 4 of 6
Form
26
Clause 17. Possession of the Premises
a. Tenant’s failure to take possession.
If, after signing this Agreement, Tenant fails to take possession of the premises, Tenant will still be responsible
for paying rent and complying with all other terms of this Agreement.
b. Landlord’s failure to deliver possession.
If Landlord is unable to deliver possession of the premises to Tenant for any reason not within Landlord’s
control, including, but not limited to, partial or complete destruction of the premises, Tenant will have the
right to terminate this Agreement upon proper notice as required by law. In such event, Landlord’s liability to
Tenant will be limited to the return of all sums previously paid by Tenant to Landlord.
Clause 18. Tenant Rules and Regulations
Tenant acknowledges receipt of, and has read a copy of, tenant rules and regulations, which are attached to
and incorporated into this Agreement by this reference.
Clause 19. Payment of Court Costs and Attorney Fees in a Lawsuit
In any action or legal proceeding to enforce any part of this Agreement, the prevailing party
 shall not /
 shall recover reasonable attorney fees and court costs.
Clause 20. Disclosures
Tenant acknowledges that Landlord has made the following disclosures regarding the premises:
Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards
Other disclosures:
Clause 21. Authority to Receive Legal Papers
The Landlord, any person managing the premises, and anyone designated by the Landlord are authorized to
accept service of process and receive other notices and demands, which may be delivered to:
The Landlord, at the following address:
The manager, at the following address:
The following person, at the following address:
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 5 of 6
Form
26
Clause 22. Additional Provisions
Additional provisions are as follows:
Clause 23. Validity of Each Part
If any portion of this Agreement is held to be invalid, its invalidity will not affect the validity or enforceability
of any other provision of this Agreement.
Clause 24. Grounds for Termination of Tenancy
The failure of Tenant or Tenant’s guests or invitees to comply with any term of this Agreement, or the
misrepresentation of any material fact on Tenant’s Rental Application, is grounds for termination of the
tenancy, with appropriate notice to Tenant and procedures as required by law.
Clause 25. Entire Agreement
This document constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties, and no promises or representations,
other than those contained here and those implied by law, have been made by Landlord or Tenant. Any
modifications to this Agreement must be in writing signed by Landlord and Tenant.
Date
Landlord or Landlord’s Agent
Title
Street Address
©nolo
City, State & Zip
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Date
Tenant
Phone
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
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Page 6 of 6
Form
27
Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease
Landlord: __________________________________________________________________________ and
Tenant:________________________________________________________________________________
agree that the lease they entered into for the time period of__________________________ ,____________ ,
to___________________________ ,____________, for premises at_ ________________________________
,
will terminate on_ ______________________________________________________________________ .
Additional conditions for cancellation of lease:__________________________________________________
Landlord’s signature
Date
Print name
Tenant 1’s signature Date Print name
Tenant 2’s signature Date Print name
Tenant 3’s signature Date Print name
©nolo
Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease
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Page 1 of 1
Form
28
Consent to Assignment of Lease
Landlord: ___________________________________________________________________________
Tenant:_____________________________________________________________________________
Assignee: _ __________________________________________________________________________
Landlord, Tenant, and Assignee agree as follows:
1. Location of Premises
Tenant has leased the premises located at_ __________________________________________________
from Landlord.
2. Lease Beginning and Ending Dates
The lease was signed on___________________________,______________ .
It will expire on_ ________________________________,______________ .
3. Assignment
Tenant is assigning the balance of Tenant’s lease to Assignee, beginning on__________________________ ,
. It will end on_________________________ ,_ ___________ .
4. Tenant’s Future Liability
Tenant’s financial responsibilities under the terms of the lease are ended by this assignment. Specifically,
Tenant’s responsibilities for future rent and future damage are ended.
5. Tenant’s Right to Occupy
As of the effective date of the assignment, Tenant permanently gives up the right to occupy the premises.
6. Binding Nature of Agreement
Assignee is bound by every term and condition in the lease that is the subject of this assignment.
Landlord’s signature
Date
Print name
Tenant’s signature
Date
Print name
Assignee’s signature
Date
Print name
©nolo
Month-to-Month Residential Rental Agreement
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Page 6 of 6
©nolo
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Other
Smoke Detector
Sink & Plumbing
Garbage Disposal
Dishwasher
Refrigerator
Stove/Oven
Counters
Cabinets
Light Fixtures
Walls & Ceilings
Floors & Floor Coverings
Kitchen
Other
Fireplace
Smoke Detector
Front Door & Locks
Windows, Screens, & Doors
Light Fixtures
Walls & Ceilings
Drapes & Window Coverings
Floors & Floor Coverings
Living Room
Street Address
Condition on Arrival
City
Condition on Departure
Unit Number
Condition on Initial
Move-Out Inspection
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
General Condition of Rental Unit and Premises
Actual or Estimated Cost of
Cleaning, Repair/Replacement
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 1 of 6
©nolo
www.nolo.com
Other
Other
Other
Smoke Detector
Light Fixtures
Walls & Ceilings
Windows, Screens, & Doors
Floors & Floor Coverings
Bedroom
Other
Other
Toilet
Sinks & Counters
Bathtub/Shower
Light Fixtures
Windows, Screens, & Doors
Walls & Ceilings
Floors & Floor Coverings
Bathroom
Other
Smoke Detector
Windows, Screens, & Doors
Light Fixtures
Walls & Ceilings
Floors & Floor Coverings
Dining Room
Condition on Arrival
Condition on Initial
Move-Out Inspection
Condition on Departure
Actual or Estimated Cost of
Cleaning, Repair/Replacement
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 2 of 6
©nolo
www.nolo.com
Condition on Initial
Move-Out Inspection
Condition on Departure
Actual or Estimated Cost of
Cleaning, Repair/Replacement
Notes:
o Tenants acknowledge that all smoke detectors and fire extinguishers were tested in their presence and found to be in working order, and that the testing procedure was
explained to them. Tenants agree to test all detectors at least once a month and to report any problems to Landlord/Manager in writing. Tenants agree to replace all smoke
detector batteries as necesssary.
Other
Other
Other
Other
Other
Parking Area
Basement
Patio,Terrace, Deck, etc.
Stairs & Hallway
Lawn/Garden
Air Conditioning
Heating System
Other Areas
Condition on Arrival
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 3 of 6
©nolo
www.nolo.com
Other
Hamper
Shower Curtain
Mirrors
Bathroom
Other
Other
Table
Stools
Chairs
Dining Area
Other
Other
Ice Trays
Broiler Pan
Kitchen
Other
Other
Sofa
Chairs
Lamps
End Tables
Coffee Table
Living Room
Condition on Arrival
Condition on Initial
Move-Out Inspection
Furnished Property
Condition on Departure
Actual or Estimated Cost of
Cleaning, Repair/Replacement
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 4 of 6
©nolo
www.nolo.com
Use this space to provide any additional explanation:
Other
Other
Pictures
Desks
Bookcases
Other Areas
Other
Other
Night Tables
Mirrors
Lamps
Dressing Tables
Chests
Chairs
Beds (double)
Beds (single)
Bedroom
Condition on Arrival
Condition on Initial
Move-Out Inspection
Condition on Departure
Actual or Estimated Cost of
Cleaning, Repair/Replacement
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 5 of 6
©nolo
www.nolo.com
Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_ ______________________________________________
Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_ ______________________________________________
Landlord/Manager
___________________________________________________ and Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_______________________________________________
Tenant
_ ______________________________________________
Landlord-Tenant Checklist completed on moving out on ____________________ , 20 ____.
Landlord/Manager
___________________________________________________ and Landlord-Tenant Checklist completed at Initial Move-Out Inspection on ____________________ , 20 ____.
Landlord/Manager
___________________________________________________ and Landlord-Tenant Checklist completed on moving in on ____________________ , 20 ____.
Form
29
Landlord-Tenant Checklist
Page 6 of 6
Form
30
Notice of Needed Repairs
To:_ _______________________________________________________________ [name of landlord or manager]
At:_ ______________________________________________________________________________________
From:_______________________________________________________________________________ [tenant]
At: _______________________________________________________________________________________
[address]
I am writing to inform you of the following problem(s) in my rental unit:
.
I would very much appreciate it if you would promptly look into the problem(s). Please call me so that I’ll know
when to expect you or a repair person. You can reach me as follows:
Home (evenings):
Work (daytime):
Thank you very much for your attention to this problem.
Signature
©nolo
Date
Notice of Needed Repairs
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Page 1 of 1
Form
31
Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out
Date:
Landlord/Manager:
Street address:
City and state:
Regarding rental unit address:
Dear
:
This is to notify you that the undersigned tenant(s) will be moving from the above-noted rental unit on
,
, or
days from today.
This notice provides you with at least _____________ days’ written notice, as required in our rental agreement.
Tenant 1’s signature
Print name
Tenant 2’s signature
Print name
Tenant 3’s signature
Print name
©nolo
Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out
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Page 1 of 1
Form
32
Demand for Return of Security Deposit
Date:
[insert landlord’s name and address]
Dear
[name of landlord]:
On
[date], we vacated the rental unit at
[address] and gave you our new address and phone number.
[amount of security deposit owed] security deposit,
As of today, we haven’t received our $
nor any accounting from you for that money. We were entitled to receive our deposit by
[number of days or weeks] late.
[date when deposit was due]. You are now
We left our rental unit clean and undamaged, paid all of our rent, and gave you proper notice of our intention to
move. In these circumstances, it’s difficult to understand your oversight in not promptly returning our money.
Perhaps your check is in the mail. If not, please put it there promptly. Should we fail to hear from you by
[date], we’ll take this matter to small claims court. And please understand that if we are
compelled to do this, we shall also sue you for any costs and additional punitive damages allowed by state law.
Please mail our deposit immediately to the above address. If you have any questions, please contact us at the
number below.
Very truly yours,
Signature of tenant
Date
Signature of tenant
Date
Address
Home phone
©nolo
Cell or other phone
Demand for Return of Security Deposit
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Page 1 of 1
Form
33
Loan Comparison Worksheet
Purpose of loan:_ ________________________________________________________________________
Amount looking to borrow: $_ ______________________________________________________________
Loan 1Loan 2Loan 3
General Information
Lender:
Contact:
Address:
Phone:
Loan Terms
APR:
%
%
%
Interest rate:
%
%
%
%
%
Adjustable?
Cap:
No. of months:
Monthly payment:
%
$
$
$
$
Loan application fee: $
Credit check fee:
$
$
$
$
$
Credit insurance:
$
$
$
Other:
$
$
$
$
Total payments (# of mos.
X monthly payment):$
Other Costs
Other Features
©nolo
Collateral required?
If yes, specify:
Balloon payment?
Prepayment penalty?
If yes, amount:
Cosigner required?
Payment due date:
Grace period?
Late fee?
Possible loan
discounts:
Account with lender:
Automatic deduction:
On-time payments:
Loan Comparison Worksheet
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Page 1 of 1
Form
34
Authorization to Check Credit and Employment References
I, the undersigned borrower,
, authorize (name)
(phone)
(address)
employment, financial, and credit information provided on this form.
to verify my
Borrower
Full name—include generations (Jr., Sr., III):
Other names used:
Street address:
Mailing address:
City, state, and zip code:
Date moved into current address:
Home phone:
Previous address:
City, state, and zip code:
Dates there:
Date of birth:
Social Security number:
Driver’s license number:
Employment History
Name and address of current employer:
Position/title:
Name of supervisor:
Supervisor’s phone:
Annual gross income:
Previous employment (if at current job fewer than 18 months):
Credit and Financial Information
Bank/Financial Accounts
Account Number
Bank/Institution
Branch Address
Bank savings account:
Bank checking account:
Bank certificate of deposit:
Mutual fund account:
Brokerage account:
Other:
Other:
Other:
©nolo
Authorization to Check Credit and Employment References
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Page 1 of 2
Form
34
Credit accounts & loans
Type of account
(auto loan, Visa, etc.) AccountName/address
number of creditor
AmountMonthly
owed payment
Credit card:
Credit card:
Loan (specify type):
Loan (specify type):
Loan (specify type):
Other (specify type):
I certify that the information given above is true and correct. I authorize the above employers, financial institutions,
and creditors to verify my employment, financial, and credit information provided above, and to provide correct
information if the above is incorrect. A copy of this signed form is valid for this purpose.
Signature of Borrower
©nolo
Date
Authorization to Check Credit and Employment References
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Page 2 of 2
Form
35
Monthly Payment Record
Name of lender:____________________________________________________________________________
Name of borrower:__________________________________________________________________________
Original amount borrowed:_ ______________________ Date loan made:_______________________________
(A)
Beginning
balance
(or prior month
Month
ending balance) ©nolo
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
Annual
interest
Interest
Amount of
Principal
rate divided
due
payment
reduction
by 12
(A)
x
(B)
made
(D)–(C)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
(F)
New
balance
(A)–(E)
Monthly Payment Record
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Page 1 of 1
Form
36
Promissory Note
Loan repayable in installments with interest
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. For value received, Borrower promises to pay to Lender the amount of $
on
of
[due date] at
[address where payments are to be sent] at the rate
% per year from the date this note was signed until the date it is [choose one]:
paid in full (Borrower will receive credits for prepayments, reducing the total amount of interest to be
repaid).
due or paid in full, whichever date occurs last (Borrower will not receive credits for prepayments).
2. Borrower agrees that this note will be paid in installments, which include principal and interest, of not less than
per month, due on the first day of each month, until the principal and interest are
$
paid in full.
days of its due
3. If any installment payment due under this note is not received by Lender within
date, the entire amount of unpaid principal will become immediately due and payable at the option of Lender
without prior notice to Borrower.
4. If Lender prevails in a lawsuit to collect on this note, Borrower agrees to pay Lender’s attorney fees in an amount
the court finds to be just and reasonable.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 2
Form
36
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, _________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ __________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Promissory Note
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
37
Promissory Note
Loan repayable in installments with interest and balloon payment
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. For value received, Borrower promises to pay to Lender the amount of $_______________________________
on
[due date] at_________________________________________________________
[address where payments are to be sent] at the rate of
% per year from the date this note was signed until the date it is [choose one]:
paid in full (Borrower will receive credits for prepayments, reducing the total amount of interest to be
repaid).
due or paid in full, whichever date occurs last (Borrower will not receive credits for prepayments).
2. Borrower agrees that this note will be paid in installments, which include principal and interest, of not less
per month, due on the first day of each month, until the principal and
than $
interest are paid in full.
3. Borrower agrees to make one final payment for the entire balance owed on or before_ ____________________
[date balloon payment is due].
4. If any installment payment due under this note is not received by Lender within______________ days of its due
date, the entire amount of unpaid principal will become immediately due and payable at the option of Lender
without prior notice to Borrower.
5. If Lender prevails in a lawsuit to collect on this note, Borrower agrees to pay Lender’s attorney fees in an amount
the court finds to be just and reasonable.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 2
Form
37
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, _________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ __________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Promissory Note
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
38
Promissory Note
Loan repayable in installments without interest
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. For value received, Borrower promises to pay to Lender the amount of $_______________________________
on
[due date] at_________________________________________________________
[address where payments are to be sent].
2. Borrower agrees that this note will be paid in equal installments of $
due on the first day of each month, until the principal is paid in full.
per month,
3. Borrower agrees to make one final payment for the entire balance owed on or before_ ____________________
[date balloon payment is due].
4. If any installment payment due under this note is not received by Lender within_ _____________ days of its due
date, the entire amount of unpaid principal will become immediately due and payable at the option of Lender
without prior notice to Borrower.
5. If Lender prevails in a lawsuit to collect on this note, Borrower agrees to pay Lender’s attorney fees in an amount
the court finds to be just and reasonable.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 2
Form
38
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, _________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ __________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Promissory Note
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
39
Promissory Note
Loan repayable in lump sum with interest
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. For value received, Borrower promises to pay to Lender the amount of $_______________________________
on
[due date] at_________________________________________________________
[address where payments are to be sent].
2. Simple interest will be charged on the sum specified in Clause 1 at the rate of ___________ % per year
from the date this note was signed until the date it is [choose one]:
paid in full (Borrower will receive credits for prepayments, reducing the total amount of interest to be
repaid).
due or paid in full, whichever date occurs last (Borrower will not receive credits for making prepayments).
3. If Lender prevails in a lawsuit to collect on this note, Borrower agrees to pay Lender’s attorney fees in an amount
the court finds to be just and reasonable.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Promissory Note
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
39
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, _________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ __________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Power of Attorney for Real Estate
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Page 2 of 2
Form
40
Promissory Note
Loan repayable in lump sum without interest
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. For value received, Borrower promises to pay to Lender the amount of $_______________________________
on
[due date] at_________________________________________________________
[address where payments are to be sent].
2. If Lender prevails in a lawsuit to collect on this note, Borrower agrees to pay Lender’s attorney fees in an amount
the court finds to be just and reasonable.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 2
Form
40
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, _________________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ __________________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Promissory Note
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
41
Cosigner Provision
Name of Cosigner 1: _________________________________________________________________________
Name of Cosigner 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. Borrower has agreed to pay Lender the amount indicated in the attached Promissory Note under the terms
specified in that Note.
2. Cosigner agrees to guarantee this debt and understands this obligation means the following:
• If Borrower doesn’t pay the debt on time, that fact may become a part of Cosigner’s credit record.
• If Borrower doesn’t pay the debt at all, Cosigner will be legally obligated to do so.
• Cosigner may have to pay late fees or collection costs, which will increase the amount due.
• Lender can collect this debt from Cosigner without first trying to collect from Borrower.
• Lender can use the same collection methods against Cosigner that can be used against Borrower,
including filing a lawsuit awgainst Cosigner, and if the lawsuit is successful, garnishing Cosigner’s wages,
seizing other personal property of Cosigner, and putting a lien against Cosigner’s house.
The term Cosigner refers to one or more cosigner. If there is more than one cosigner, they agree to be jointly and severally liable.
Cosigner 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Cosigner 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
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Cosigner Provision
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Page 1 of 1
Form
42
Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note
Here are some examples of the kind of language to include in the security agreement provision.
If a vehicle is security, use this language:
Borrower agrees that until the principal and interest owed under this note are paid in full, the note is secured by
the following security agreement:
Security agreement signed by:
[name of owner]
[date signed], which gives title to:
on:
[date, make, model, and VIN of vehicle].
If other valuable personal property is security, use this language:
Borrower agrees that until the principal and interest owed under this note are paid in full, the note is secured by
the following security agreement:
Security agreement signed by:
[name of owner]
[date signed], which gives a security interest in:
on:
[description of the personal property used as collateral].
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Security Agreement Provision for Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 1
Form
43
Security Agreement for Borrowing Money
Name of Borrower: _________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender: _ _________________________________________________________________________
1. Grant of Security Interest. Borrower grants to Lender a continuing security interest in the following personal
property:
(the Secured Property). Borrower grants this security interest to secure performance of the promissory note
that Borrower executed in favor of Lender (the Note), which obligates Borrower to
dated
with interest at the rate of
% per year, on the terms stated in the Note.
pay Lender $
2. Financing Statement. Until the amount due under the Note is paid in full, the Note will be further
secured by a Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) Financing Statement. Borrower agrees to sign any other
documents that Lender reasonably requests to protect Lender’s security interest in the Secured Property.
3. Use and Care of Secured Property. Until the amount due under the Note is paid in full, Borrower agrees to:
A. Maintain the Secured Property in good repair.
B. Refrain from selling, transfering, or releasing the Secured Property without Lender’s prior written consent.
C. Pay all taxes on the Secured Property as they become due.
D. Allow Lender to inspect the Secured Property at any reasonable time.
4. Borrower’s Default. If Borrower is more than ____days late in making any payment due under the Note,
or if Buyer fails to correct any violations of paragraph 3 within ____ days of receiving written notice from
Lender, Borrower will be in default.
5. Lender’s Rights. If Borrower is in default, Lender may exercise the remedies contained in the U.C.C. for
and any other remedies legally available to Lender.
the state of
Before exercising such remedies, Lender will provide at least ten days advance notice, as provided in
paragraph 6. Lender may, for example:
A. Remove the Secured Property from the place where it is then located.
B. Require Borrower to make the Secured Property available to Lender at a place designated by Lender that
is reasonably convenient to Borrower and Lender.
C. Sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the Secured Property.
6. Notice. Any notice may be delivered to a party at the address that follows a party’s signature below, or to a
new address that a party designates in writing. A notice may be delivered in person, by certified mail, or by
overnight courier.
7. Entire Agreement. This is the entire agreement between the parties. It replaces and supersedes any and all
oral agreements between the parties, as well as any prior writings.
8. Successors and Assigns. This agreement binds and benefits the parties’ heirs, successors, and assigns.
9. Governing Law. This agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state
.
of
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©nolo
Security Agreement for Borrowing Money
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Page 1 of 2
Form
43
10. Modification. This agreement may be modified only in writing.
11. Waiver. If one party waives any term or provision of this agreement at any time, that waiver will be effective
only for the specific instance and specific purpose for which the waiver was given. If either party fails to
exercise or delays exercising any of its rights or remedies under this agreement, that party retains the right
to enforce that term or provision at a later time.
12. Severability. If any court determines that any provision of this agreement is invalid or unenforceable, any
such invalidity or unenforceability will affect only that provision and will not make any other provision of
this agreement invalid or unenforceable, and such provision shall be modified, amended, or limited only to
the extent necessary to render it valid and enforceable.
Lender’s signature
Date
Print name
Address
Address
Borrower’s signature
Date
Print name
Address
Address
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Security Agreement for Borrowing Money
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Page 2 of 2
Form
44
U.C.C. Financing Statement
This Financing Statement is presented for filing under the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in
[name of your state].
Name of Borrower:
Address of Borrower:
Name of Lender/Secured party:
Address of Lender/Secured party:
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
The property listed as collateral in the security agreement is as follows [identify or describe]:
This Financing Statement secures the following debt:
Promissory note dated:
Amount of debt:
Payback due date:
All other terms and conditions are stated in the promissory note, a copy of which is attached.
Borrower’s signature:
Print name:
Date:
(For Use of the Filing Officer)
Date of filing:
Time of filing:
File number and address of filing office:
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U.C.C. Financing Statement
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Page 1 of 1
Form
45
Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement
This Release of Financing Statement is presented for filing under the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in
[name of your state].
Name of Borrower:
Address of Borrower:
Name of Lender/Secured party:
Address of Lender/Secured party:
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. The term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer
in due course.
The property listed as collateral in the security agreement is as follows [identify or describe]:
File number of Financing Statement:
Date filed:
Address of filing office:
Borrower’s signature:
Print name:
Date:
(For Use of the Filing Officer)
Date of filing:
Time of filing:
File number and address of filing office:
©nolo
Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement
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Page 1 of 1
Form
46
Agreement to Modify Promissory Note
Name of Borrower 1:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Borrower 2:_________________________________________________________________________
Name of Lender:____________________________________________________________________________
1. This Agreement modifies the original promissory note dated________________________ ,_ ______________,
at the rate of
under which Borrower promised to pay to Lender the amount of $
% per year from the date the note was signed until
,
.
2. Lender and Borrower agree to the following modifications [choose all that apply]:
Borrower has until
to pay the note in full.
Borrower will make interest-only payments beginning on
,
until
,
,
, at which time the remaining principal balance
will be reamortized over the remaining months of the note.
Beginning on
,
, the interest rate will change to
%. The new monthly payments will be in the amount of $
.
Other:
.
The term Borrower refers to one or more borrowers. If there is more than one borrower, they agree to be jointly and severally liable. The
term Lender refers to any person who legally holds this note, including a buyer in due course.
Borrower 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Borrower 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Lender’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
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Agreement to Modify Promissory Note
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Page 1 of 1
Form
47
Overdue Payment Demand
Date:
To:
[insert name and address of person who borrowed money]
Re: Promissory Note dated: Dear:
This is to notify you that I have not received the following payment(s) due under the Promissory Note referenced
above (“the Note”).
Amount:
$
Due date:
Amount:
$
Due date:
Total:
$
Please let me know at once if there is a problem. If I do not hear from you within 15 days, I will have no choice
but to assume that you do not intend to repay the amount that is due under the Note. I will proceed to enforce
my rights under the Note, including possibly filing a lawsuit, to collect the entire balance.
Sincerely,
Signature of Lender
Print name of Lender
Address
Home phone
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Overdue Payment Demand
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Page 1 of 1
Form
48
Demand to Make Good on Bad Check
Date:
To:
[insert name and address of check writer]
Re: Check #
Dated
,
Issuing financial institution:
Dear
:
Your check was returned to my bank and refused payment for the following reason [choose one]:
insufficient funds in the account on which the check was drawn to cover the amount of the check.
the account on which the check was drawn has been closed.
you stopped payment on the check.
Please let me know at once if there is a problem. If I do not hear from you within 30 days, I will have no choice
but to assume that you do not intend to make this check good. I will proceed to enforce my rights, which may
include filing a lawsuit. I will request that the court award me the maximum monetary damages allowed under
state law, as well as:
the amount of the check
the bad check processing fee charged by my bank
the expenses incurred in attempting to collect on the check as allowed under state law
Sincerely,
Signature of check recipient
Print name of check recipient
Address
Home phone
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Work phone
Demand to Make Good on Bad Check
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Page 1 of 1
Form
49
Ideal House Profile
Upper price limit:
Maximum down payment:
Special financing needs:
Must Have
Hope to Have
Neighborhood or location:
School needs:
Desired neighborhood features:
Length of commute:
Access to public transportation:
Size of house:
Number and type of rooms:
Condition, age, and type of house:
Type of yard and grounds:
Other desired features:
Absolute no ways:
©nolo
Ideal House Profile
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Page 1 of 1
Form
50
House Priorities Worksheet
Date visited:
Address:
Price: $
Contact:
Phone #:
Must have:
Hope to have:
Absolutely no way:
Comments about the house:
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House Priorities Worksheet
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Page 1 of 1
Form
51
House Comparison Worksheet
House 1
House 2
House 3
House 4
1
2
3
4
Must have:
Hope to have:
Absolutely no ways:
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House Comparison Worksheet
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Page 1 of 1
Form
52
Family Financial Statement
Name:
Address:
Home phone number:
Employer:
Employer’s address:
Work phone number:
Borrower
Coborrower
Worksheet 1: Income and Expenses
I. INCOME
Borrower ($)
A. Monthly gross income
1. Employment
2. Public benefits
3. Dividends
4. Royalties
5. Interest and other
investment income
6. Other (specify):
B. Total monthly gross income
II. Monthly expenses
©nolo
Total ($)
Coborrower ($)
Total ($)
Borrower ($)
A. Nonhousing
1. Child care
2. Clothing
3. Food
4. Insurance
a. Auto
b. Life
c. Medical & dental
5. Other medical
6. Personal
7. Education
8. Taxes (nonhousing)
9. Transportation
10. Other (specify):
B. Current Housing
1. Mortgage
2. Taxes
3. Insurance
4. Utilities
5. Rent
6. Other (specify):
C. Total monthly expenses
Coborrower ($)
Family Financial Statement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
52
Worksheet 2: Assets and Liabilities
I. Assets (Cash or Market Value)
Borrower ($)
A. Cash & cash equivalents
1. Cash
2. Deposits (list):
B. Marketable securities
1. Stocks/bonds (bid price)
2. Other securities
3. Mutual funds
4. Life insurance
5. Other (specify):
C. Total cash & marketable securities
D. Nonliquid assets
1. Real estate
2. Retirement funds
3. Business
4. Motor vehicles
5. Other (specify):
E. Total nonliquid assets
Coborrower ($)
Total ($)
F. Total all assets
II. Liabilities
A. Debts
1. Real estate loans
2. Student loans
3. Motor vehicle loans
4. Child or spousal support
5. Personal loans
6. Credit cards (specify):
7. Other (specify):
B. Total liabilities
III. NET WORTH
(Total assets minus total liabilities) ©nolo
Family Financial Statement
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Page 2 of 2
Form
53
Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet
1. Estimated purchase price
$
2. Down payment
$
3. Loan amount: First loan
$
Second loan (if any)
$
%
4. Interest rate: First loan
Second loan (if any)
5. Mortgage payment factor
%
First loan
Second loan
6. Monthly mortgage payment
(divide line 3 by $1,000, then)
multiply by line 5)
First loan $
Second loan $
7. Homeowner’s insurance (monthly)
$
8. Property taxes (monthly)
$
9. Total monthly housing costs (add lines 6-8) $
10. Other monthly debts
$
$
$
$
Total monthly debts
$
11. Private mortgage insurance (if any)
$
12. Homeowners’ association fee (if a condo)
$
13. Total monthly housing costs and other debts (add lines 9-12)
$
14. Lender qualifying ratio (between 28% and 44%)
15. Monthly gross income to qualify (divide line 13 by line 14)
%
$
16. Yearly gross income to qualify (multiply line 15 by 12 (months)) $
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Monthly Carrying Costs Worksheet
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Form
54
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
Lender:_____________________________________________________________________
Loan agent:__________________________________________________________________
Phone number:_______________________________________________________________
Date:______________________________________________________________________
1. General Information
Fixed or adjustable
Fixed interest rate
Government financing
Minimum down payment
F
A
F
A
F
A
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
PMI required
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Impound account
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Term of mortgage
_____________Years _____________Years _____________Years
Assumable
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Prepayment penalty
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Negative amortization
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Rate lock-in available
Y
N
Y
N
Y
N
Cost to lock in
21 Days $_________
21 Days $_________
21 Days $_________
30 Days $_________
30 Days $_________
30 Days $_________
45 Days $_________
45 Days $_________
45 Days $_________
2. Debt-to-Income Ratios Information
Allowable monthly carrying costs as
% of income
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Allowable monthly carrying costs
plus long-term debts as % of
monthly income
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Maximum loan you qualify for
based on debt-to-income ratios
$________________ $________________ $________________
3. Loan Costs
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Number of points
$________________ $________________ $________________
Cost of points
$________________ $________________ $________________
PMI
$________________ $________________ $________________
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
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Page 1 of 3
Form
54
Additional loan fee
$________________ $________________ $________________
Credit report
$________________ $________________ $________________
Application fee
$________________ $________________ $________________
Appraisal fee
$________________ $________________ $________________
Miscellaneous fees
$________________ $________________ $________________
Estimated total loan costs
$________________ $________________ $________________
4. Time Limits
Credit/employment check
_____________ Days _____________ Days _____________ Days
Lender appraisal
_____________ Days _____________ Days _____________ Days
Loan approval
_____________ Days _____________ Days _____________ Days
Loan funding
_____________ Days _____________ Days _____________ Days
Loan due date each month
_________________ _________________ _________________
Grace period
_____________ Days _____________ Days _____________ Days
Late fee
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
5. Other Features
[such as a discount for having an account with a
certain bank, or a lender discount of interest rate
on initial payments]
_ _____________________________ _________________ _________________ _________________
_ _____________________________ _________________ _________________ _________________
_ _____________________________ _________________ _________________ _________________
6. Fixed Rate Two-Step Loans
Initial annual interest rate
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Over how many years
_____________Years _____________Years _____________Years
7. Fixed Rate Balloon Payment Loans
Interest rate
Monthly payment
Term of loan
Amount of balloon payment
©nolo
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
$_______________
$_______________
$_______________
_____________Years _____________Years _____________Years
$_______________
$_______________
$_______________
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
54
8. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
Index: 11th District COFI
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
6 Mo. T-Bills
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
1 Yr. T-Bills
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
Other ___________________
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
 ____________ %
Margin
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Initial interest rate
How long
_____ Mos. ____ Yrs. _____ Mos. ____ Yrs. ______ Mos._ ___ Yrs.
Interest rate cap
(with negative amortization) or
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Interest rate cap
(without negative amortization)
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Adjustment period
___________Months ___________Months ___________Months
Life-of-loan (overall) cap
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Initial payment
___________Months ___________Months ___________Months
Payment cap
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Payment cap period
___________Months ___________Months ___________Months
Highest payment or interest rate in:
6 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
12 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
18 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
24 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
30 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
36 months
%  $
%  $
%  $
9. Hybrid Loans
Initial interest rate
_______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
Term as a fixed rate loan
_____________Years _____________Years _____________Years
Interest rate at first adjustment period _______________ % _______________ % _______________ %
©nolo
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
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Page 3 of 3
Form
55
Moving Checklist
[Not all items on this list will apply to you. If you’re moving within the same town, you probably won’t have to
transfer your kids to a new school, get references for a new job, or have your car serviced for travel. So just focus
on the applicable items.]
I. Two Weeks Before Moving
Check with your children’s new school about what records and transcripts it will need; arrange for their
transfer.
Close or transfer bank and safe deposit box accounts.
Cancel deliveries—newspaper, diapers, laundry.
Cancel utilities—gas, electric, cable, phone, water, garbage; transfer services (if possible) or arrange new
services; request deposit refunds.
Get recommendations or find in advance (especially if a medical condition needs regular attention) new
doctors, dentist, and veterinarian. If possible, photocopy important medical records to have with you.
Get reference letters, if you’ll need to find a job.
Cancel membership (or transfer membership, if relevant) in religious, civic, and athletic organizations.
Have car serviced for travel.
Arrange to move pets.
Finalize arrangements with moving company. (You should have gotten bids and made preliminary
arrangements weeks earlier.)
Tell close friends and relatives your schedule.
II. Things to Remember While Packing
Before you pack, take the time to do a good inventory and sort through things. This way you can move
less and won’t end up throwing things away at your new home or taking up storage space.
Label boxes on top and side—your name, new city, room of house, and contents.
Pack phone books.
Assemble moving kit—hammer, screwdriver, pliers, tape, nails, tape measure, scissors, flashlight,
cleansers, cleaning cloths, rubber gloves, garbage bags, light bulbs, and extension cords. If you’re driving
to your new home, pack a broom and pail in your car. Larger items that are handy when moving in, such
as a step stool or vacuum cleaner, should go in the moving van, unless your new house is nearby and
you’re moving lots of things by car.
Keep the basics handy—comfortable clothes, toiletries, towels, alarm clock, disposable plates, cups and
utensils, can opener, one pot, one pan, sponge, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic containers, and toys for
kids.
Consider carrying jewelry, extremely fragile items, currency, and important documents.
Make other arrangements if moving company won’t move antiques, art collections, crystal, other
valuables, or plants.
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Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
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Page 1 of 2
Form
55
III. To Whom to Send Change of Addresses
Friends and relatives
Subscriptions
Government agencies you regularly deal with—Veterans’ Administration, IRS, Social Security
Administration, etc.
Charge and credit accounts
Installment debt—such as student loan or car loan
Frequent flyer programs
Brokers and mutual funds
Insurance agent/companies
Medical providers—if you’ll be able to use them after moving
Catalogues you want to keep receiving
Charities you wish to continue donating to
Post office (If you’re trying to get off of catalogue and other direct mailing lists, have only first-class mail
forwarded. Give your new address to those catalogue companies on whose lists you want to remain, and
don’t forget to tell them not to trade or sell your name.)
IV. Things to Do After Moving In
Open bank accounts.
Open safe deposit box account.
Begin deliveries—oil, newspaper, diapers, laundry.
Register to vote.
Change (or get new) driver’s license.
Change auto registration.
Install new batteries in existing smoke detectors (and install any additionally needed smoke detectors);
buy fire extinguisher.
Hold party for the people who helped you find your house and your moving helpers, and take yourself
out for a congratulatory dinner!
©nolo
Mortgage Rates and Terms Worksheet
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Page 2 of 2
Form
56
Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
Seller 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Seller 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 1:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 2:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one buyer or seller, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Seller hereby sells the vehicle (Vehicle) described here to Buyer [specify vehicle year, make, and model]:_
Its body type is:_________________________________________________________________ .
It carries the following vehicle identification number (VIN):________________________________ .
Vehicle includes the following personal property items:____________________________________
.
2. The full purchase price for Vehicle is $_ _____________ . In exchange for Vehicle, Buyer has paid Seller
[choose one]:
single payment of the full purchase price.
$_____________as a down payment, balance of the purchase price due by_____________ [date].
$_____________as a down payment and has executed a promissory note for the balance of the
purchase price.
3. Seller warrants that Seller is the legal owner of Vehicle and that Vehicle is free of all legal claims (liens or
encumbrances) by others except:_____________________________________________________
.
Seller agrees to remove any lien or encumbrance specified in this clause with the proceeds of this sale and
other funds if necessary within_____________ days of the date of this bill of sale.
has been
has not been inspected by an independent mechanic at Buyer’s request. If an
4. Vehicle
is attached to and made part of this bill of sale
inspection has been made, the inspection report
is not attached.
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Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
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Page 1 of 2
Form
56
5. Seller believes Vehicle to be in good condition except for the following defects:__________________
.
6. To the best of Seller’s knowledge, Vehicle:
is
is not a salvage vehicle.
has
has not been declared a total loss by an insurance company.
has
has not been repaired under the terms of a Lemon Law.
7. The odometer reading for Vehicle is:_ _________________________________________________ .
8. Additional terms of sale for Vehicle are as follows:_ _______________________________________
Seller 1’s signature
Date
Seller 2’s signature
Date
Buyer 1’s signature
Date
Buyer 2’s signature
Date
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
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Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale
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Page 2 of 2
Form
57
Boat Bill of Sale
Seller 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Seller 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 1:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 2:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one buyer or seller, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Seller sells the boat (Boat) described here to Buyer:
Year:_ _________________________________ Make:_ __________________________________
Model:_________________________________ Length:_ _________________________________
Serial or hull ID number:_ __________________ General type:______________________________
Registration, CF, or document number:_ _______________________________________________
2. Boat has the following types of engine(s) (Engines) [provide details on Engines including year, make,
type, model, hours, and serial numbers]:
3. Boat contains the following equipment (Equipment) included in this sale [list and describe all that apply,
including sails and rigging, safety equipment, electronics and navigation equipment, and deck equipment]:
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Boat Bill of Sale
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Page 1 of 3
Form
57
4. Seller believes Boat, Engines, and Equipment to be in good condition except for the following defects:_
.
have been
have not been independently inspected or surveyed at Buyer’s request. If
5. Boat and Engines
an independent inspection or Marine Survey has been made, the inspection report or Marine Survey
is attached to and made part of this bill of sale is not attached.
6. The full purchase price for Boat, Engines, and Equipment is $_______________ . In exchange for Boat,
Engines, and Equipment, Buyer has paid Seller [choose one]:
single payment of the full purchase price.
$____________ as a down payment, balance of the purchase price due by______________ [date].
$____________ as a down payment and has executed a promissory note for the balance of the
purchase price.
7. Seller warrants that Seller is the legal owner of Boat, Engines, and Equipment and that Boat, Engines, and
Equipment are free of all liens and encumbrances except___________________________________
.
Seller agrees to remove any lien or encumbrance specified in this clause with the proceeds of this sale and
other funds as necessary within____________ days of the date of this bill of sale.
8. Additional terms of sale for Boat, Engines, and Equipment are as follows:_ _____________________
©nolo
Seller 1’s signature
Date
Seller 2’s signature
Date
Buyer 1’s signature
Date
Buyer 2’s signature
Date
Boat Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
57
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Boat Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
58
Computer System Bill of Sale
Seller 1:__________________________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________________
Seller 2:__________________________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 1:_ ________________________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 2:_ ________________________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one buyer or seller, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Seller sells the goods (Goods) described here to Buyer:
Hardware [provide the brand name and, wherever possible, the serial number]:
computer (boards, cpu, bus, I/O ports):_ ___________________________________________________
monitor:____________________________________________________________________________
external floppy disk drive:_______________________________________________________________
external hard drive:____________________________________________________________________
CD-ROM:___________________________________________________________________________
DVD:______________________________________________________________________________
external mass storage device:_ ___________________________________________________________
printer:_____________________________________________________________________________
modem:_ ___________________________________________________________________________
multimedia system:____________________________________________________________________
furniture or other items as follows:_ _______________________________________________________
©nolo
Computer System Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
58
Software [provide the titles of the software and, wherever possible, the serial number]:
2. The full purchase price for Goods is $________________. In exchange for Goods, Buyer has paid Seller
[choose one]:
the single payment of the full purchase price.
$________________ as a down payment, balance of the purchase price due by_ _________ [date].
$_______________ as a down payment and has executed a promissory note for the balance of the
purchase price.
3. Seller warrants that Seller is the legal owner of Goods and that Goods are free of all liens and encumbrances
except_________________________________________________________________________
.
Seller agrees to remove any lien or encumbrance specified in this clause with the proceeds of this sale and
other funds as necessary within _________________ days of the date of this bill of sale.
4. Seller believes Goods to be in good condition except for the following defects:_ _________________
.
5. Additional terms of sale for Goods are as follows:_________________________________________
©nolo
Seller 1’s signature
Date
Seller 2’s signature
Date
Buyer 1’s signature
Date
Buyer 2’s signature
Date
Computer System Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
58
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Computer System Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
59
General Bill of Sale
Seller 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Seller 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 1:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 2:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one buyer or seller, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Seller sells the goods (Goods) described here to Buyer:_____________________________________
2. The full purchase price for Goods is $________________. In exchange for Goods, Buyer has paid Seller
[choose one]:
single payment of the full purchase price.
$________________ as a down payment, balance of the purchase price due by_ _________ [date].
$_______________ as a down payment and has executed a promissory note for the balance of the
purchase price.
3. Seller warrants that Seller is the legal owner of Goods and that Goods are free of all liens and encumbrances
except_________________________________________________________________________
Seller agrees to remove any lien or encumbrance specified in this clause with the proceeds of this sale and
other funds as necessary within __________________ days of the date of this bill of sale.
4. Seller believes Goods to be in good condition except for the following defects:_ _________________
5. Goods will be delivered to Buyer in the following manner [choose one]:
Buyer will take immediate possession of Goods.
Buyer assumes responsibility for picking up Goods from_________________________________
©nolo
within_________________________________________ days.
General Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
59
In exchange for an additional delivery charge of $_________________ , receipt of which is hereby
acknowledged, Seller will deliver Goods within_________________days to the following location:
.
6. Additional terms of sale for Goods are as follows:_________________________________________
.
Seller 1’s signature
Date
Seller 2’s signature
Date
Buyer 1’s signature
Date
Buyer 2’s signature
Date
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
General Bill of Sale
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
60
Bill of Sale for Dog
Seller 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Seller 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 1:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Buyer 2:_ _________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one buyer or seller, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Seller sells to Buyer the dog (Dog) described as follows:
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Breed:_ __________________________________ Sex:___________________________________
Birth date [estimate if specific date not known]:___________________________________________
2. The full purchase price for Dog is $____________________ .
3. Buyer has paid Seller [choose one]:
single payment of the full purchase price
a down payment of $
with the balance of $
due
[date], or
other: _______________________________________________________________ [explain].
4. Seller warrants that:
a. Seller is the legal owner of Dog.
b. Dog has had the following vaccinations [list all the vaccinations Dog has received, including the date the
vaccination was given and the name of the vet who gave it]: _______________________________
.
c. Dog was [choose one]:
bred by the Seller
bought from a breeder _ ________________________________________ [name of breeder]
on ________________________ [date].
acquired from a previous private party owner ___________________________ [name].
©nolo
Bill of Sale for Dog
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
60
d. Dog has had the following special training:___________________________________________
.
e. Dog
is
is not purebred.
f. Dog is [check one]:
registered with the American Kennel Club or another entity [provide details as appropriate]
.
not registered with the American Kennel Club or another entity and is not eligible to be registered.
not registered with the American Kennel Club or another entity but is eligible to be registered
[explain] _________________________________________________________________ .
Seller will provide buyer with the necessary papers to process registration.
5. Seller believes that Dog is healthy and in good condition, except for the following known problems:
.
6. If a licensed veterinarian certifies, in writing, that Dog has a serious disease or congenital defect that was
present when Buyer took possession of Dog, Buyer may, within 14 days of taking possession of Dog
[choose one]:
return Dog to Seller. In this case, Seller will refund the purchase price plus any sales tax and reimburse
Buyer for the cost of reasonable veterinary services directly related to the examination that showed the
Dog was ill, and emergency treatment to relieve suffering plus any sales tax.
keep Dog. In this case, Seller will reimburse Buyer for the cost of reasonable veterinary services directly
related to the examination that showed Dog was ill, and emergency treatment to relieve suffering, up to
the amount of the purchase price plus any sales tax.
7. Dog will be delivered to Buyer in the following manner [choose one]:
Buyer will take immediate possession of Dog.
Buyer assumes responsibility for picking up Dog from _ _________________________________
by ______________________ [date].
In exchange for an additional delivery charge of $__________________ , Seller will deliver Dog by
[date] to the following location:____________________________
.
8. Additional terms: _ _______________________________________________________________
.
©nolo
Bill of Sale for Dog
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
60
Seller 1’s signature
Date
Seller 2’s signature
Date
Buyer 1’s signature
Date
Buyer 2’s signature
Date
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Bill of Sale for Dog
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
61
Personal Property Rental Agreement
Owner’s name:_____________________________ Telephone:________________________________
Address:__________________________________
Renter’s name:_ ____________________________ Telephone: _______________________________
Address:__________________________________
If there is more than one owner or renter, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Property Being Rented, Use
Owner agrees to rent to Renter, and Renter agrees to rent from Owner, the following property
(“the Property”):_ ________________________________________________________________
.
Renter will use the Property for the following purpose only: _ _______________________________
.
Owner may cancel this agreement and require that Renter return the Property immediately if it is used for
any other purpose.
2. Duration of Rental Period
This rental will begin at_ ________ o’clock a.m./p.m. on_______________________ ,_____________
and will end at________________ o’clock a.m./p.m. on_______________________ ,____________ .
3. Rental Amount
The rental amount will be $___________________________ per [specify hour, day, week, or month].
4. Payment
Renter has paid $_____________________ to Owner to cover the rental period specified in Clause 2.
Security deposit [optional]. In addition to the rent, Renter has deposited $_ _____________ with
Owner. This deposit will be applied toward any additional rent, late return fees, and any amounts owed
for damage to or loss of the Property, which Owner and Renter agree has the current value stated in
Clause 8. Owner will return to Renter any unused portion of the deposit within 24 hours of the return
of the Property. Owner will deposit in the U.S. mail a refund check made out to Renter at the address
shown above.
5. Delivery
Renter will pick up the Property from Owner at [specify address]_ _________________________
.
Owner will deliver the Property to Renter
©nolo
at no charge
for a fee of $___________________
on___________________________________ ,___________at:__________________________
[specify address].
Personal Property Rental Agreement
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Page 1 of 3
Form
61
Other delivery arrangements:_____________________________________________________
.
6. Late Return
If Renter returns the Property to Owner after the time and date when the rental period ends, Renter will pay
per day for each day or partial day beyond the end of
Owner a rental charge of $
the rental period until the Property is returned. Owner may subtract this charge from the security deposit (if
any).
7. Condition of Property
Renter acknowledges receiving the Property in good condition, except for the following defects or damage:
.
8. Damage or Loss
Renter will return the Property to Owner in good condition except as noted in Clause 7. If the Property
is damaged while in Renter’s possession due to Renter’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act, Renter will
be responsible for the cost of repair, up to the current value of the Property. If the Property is lost while in
Renter’s possession, Renter will pay Owner its current value. Owner and Renter agree that the current value
of the Property is [list value of items individually as well as total] $_ __________________________ .
9. Disputes. (This clause applies only to disputes regarding damage to the property or failure to return it, but not to disputes
regarding personal injuries or damage to other property.)
[choose one]:
Litigation. If a dispute arises, either Owner or Renter may take the matter to court.
Mediation and possible litigation. If a dispute arises, Owner and Renter will try in good faith to settle it
through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
__________________________________________________________[name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
Owner and Renter will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within 30
days after it is referred to the mediator, either Owner or Renter may take the matter to court.
Mediation and possible arbitration. If a dispute arises, Owner and Renter will try in good faith to settle
it through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
__________________________________________________________[name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
Owner and Renter will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within 30
days after it is referred to the mediator, it will be arbitrated by [choose one]:
_________________________________________________________ [name of arbitrator].
an arbitrator to be mutually selected.
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Personal Property Rental Agreement
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Page 2 of 3
Form
61
Judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court that has jurisdiction over the matter. Costs of
arbitration, including lawyers’ fees, will be allocated by the arbitrator.
©nolo
Owner’s signature
Date
Renter’s signature
Date
Personal Property Rental Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
62
Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental Agreement
To [name of person to whom notice is being sent]:
1. Notice of Termination
This is a notice that as of_ ___________________________________________,______________ ,
I am terminating the following rental agreement:
Name of Owner:_ ________________________________________________________________
Name of Renter:__________________________________________________________________
Property covered by agreement:_ ____________________________________________________
Date agreement signed:_____________________________________________,_______________
2. Reason for Termination
The reasons for the termination are as follows [optional, unless a reason to terminate is required by the
rental agreement]:_ _______________________________________________________________
.
3. Return of Property
[choose one]:
I will return the Property to Owner on or before____________________,_________ [for renters].
Please return the Property to Owner on or before___________________,_________ [for owners].
4. Return of Security Deposit
Renter has deposited $________________ with Owner. Owner agrees to inspect the Property for
damage and refund Renter any unused portion of the security deposit. Within 24 hours of the return of
the Property, Owner will deposit in the U.S. mail a refund check made out to Renter at the
following address:______________________________________________________________
.
Signature
Date
Owner
Print name
©nolo
Renter
Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental Agreement
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Page 1 of 1
Form
63
Storage Contract
Property Owner:____________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Property Custodian:_________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one owner or custodian, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Property
Owner desires to store with Custodian, and Custodian agrees to accept and store for Owner, the following
(“the Property”):_ ________________________________________________________________
__________________________________ Photographs of
some
all of the items are attached.
2. Storage Location
The Property will be stored at the following location:______________________________________
Custodian agrees that the Property will not be removed from this location without prior written notice to
and written consent of Owner.
3. Storage Term and Payment
[choose one]:
Custodian agrees to store the Property on a_ _________________ [daily, weekly, or monthly] basis
in exchange for payment of $_ ________________ per________________________, payable on
the first day of each such period.
Custodian agrees to store the Property for payment of $____________________ . Payment will be
made on or before_ _______________________________,______________ .
4. Beginning and Ending Dates
[choose one]:
Storage will begin on________________________________ ,_, and will continue until Owner claims
the Property or Custodian serves Owner with a_ _____________-day written notice terminating this
storage agreement.
Storage will begin on_____________________________ ,_____________, and will continue until
__________________________ , _______ _, or until Owner claims the Property, whichever occurs first.
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Storage Contract
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Page 1 of 4
Form
63
5. Use of Property
Custodian will not use the Property, or permit it to be used by anyone else, without Owner’s prior written
consent. Notwithstanding Clause 10, Custodian is liable for any damage to the Property during use without
Owner’s prior written consent.
6. Reclaiming Property
Owner may reclaim the Property at any time, but not later than the date specified in Clause 4, or the date
specified in the Custodian’s notice of termination under that clause. Custodian will make the Property
available to Owner, but may first require Owner to pay Custodian any unpaid charges allowed by Clauses 3
and 7.
Custodian may refuse delivery if Custodian has received any notice of attachment, levy, or similar notice
and has given notice to Owner under Clause 12, or is instructed to withhold delivery by a court or law
enforcement officer.
7. Failure to Reclaim Property
If Owner fails to reclaim the Property on or before the last day of storage indicated in the Custodian’s notice
of termination or in Clause 4, Custodian shall [choose one]:
continue to store the Property at the rate of $_______________ per_ ______________________
until Owner reclaims the Property. Custodian may require owner to pay accrued storage fees before
turning over the Property.
send to Owner’s last known address by first-class mail a notice to reclaim the Property, and wait 30
days; if Owner does not make arrangements to reclaim the Property during the 30 days, Custodian may
deem the Property abandoned, sell it to pay for outstanding storage fees, and hold the balance (minus
reasonable costs of sale) for Owner.
8. Early Reclaiming
If Owner reclaims the Property during a period for which payment has been made, no pro rata refund will
be made.
9. Delivery to Someone Other Than Owner
Custodian will not deliver the Property to any person other than Owner without prior written permission
from Owner. If Owner dies while this agreement is in effect, Owner instructs Custodian to deliver the
Property to __________________________________ upon proper proof of that person’s identity and
documentation of Owner’s death, unless Custodian is instructed otherwise by a court or law enforcement
official.
10. More Than One Owner
If more than one Owner is listed at the beginning of this form [choose one]:
Custodian may deliver the Property only to all of the Owners.
Custodian may deliver the Property to ______________________________________ (state Owner’s
name) rather than all of the Owners.
11. Value of the Property
Owner and Custodian agree that the approximate
replacement value
fair market value of each item
of Property on the date this agreement is signed is: [list items and their value]
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Storage Contract
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Page 2 of 4
Form
Item
63
Value
_____________________________________ _____________________________________
_____________________________________ _____________________________________
_____________________________________ _____________________________________
12.Condition of the Property
The Property being stored appears to be in good condition except for the following defects or damage
[provide details on each item of property being stored]:_ ____________________________________
13.Care During Storage Period
[choose one]:
Custodian agrees to exercise reasonable care to protect the Property from loss, theft, or damage.
Custodian agrees to be liable for loss, theft, or damage to the Property caused by Custodian’s negligent,
reckless, or intentional act. Owner agrees to be liable for damage to the Property or the storage location
caused by inherent or defective condition of the Property.
In exchange for the compensation paid by Owner, Custodian agrees to (a) be fully responsible for
returning the Property to Owner in the same condition as it was when the storage commenced; and (b)
obtain insurance to protect the Property against all commonly insurable losses, except_ ________
14.Title to the Property
The title to the Property will remain at all times in Owner.
15.Notice of Attachment
Custodian agrees to notify Owner promptly in writing if Custodian receives any notice of attachment, levy, or
similar notice.
16.Disputes
[choose one]:
Litigation. If a dispute arises, either Owner or Custodian may take the matter to court.
Mediation and possible litigation. If a dispute arises, Owner and Custodian will try in good faith to settle it
through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
__________________________________________________________[name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
Owner and Custodian will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within
30 days after it is referred to the mediator, either Owner or Custodian may take the matter to court.
©nolo
Storage Contract
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Page 3 of 4
Form
63
Mediation and possible arbitration. If a dispute arises, Owner and Custodian will try in good faith to settle
it through mediation conducted by [choose one]:
__________________________________________________________[name of mediator].
a mediator to be mutually selected.
Owner and Custodian will share the costs of the mediator equally. If the dispute is not resolved within
30 days after it is referred to the mediator, it will be arbitrated by [choose one]:
_________________________________________________________ [name of arbitrator].
an arbitrator to be mutually selected.
Judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court that has jurisdiction over the matter.
Costs of arbitration, including lawyers’ fees, will be allocated by the arbitrator.
17.Modification of This Agreement
All agreements between the parties related to storage of the Property are incorporated in this contract. Any
modification to this contract must be in writing signed by Owner and Custodian.
18.Additional Terms
Additional terms for the storage of the Property are as follows:_ _____________________________
.
©nolo
Owner’s signature
Date
Custodian’s signature
Date
Storage Contract
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Page 4 of 4
Form
64
Home Maintenance Agreement
Homeowner’s name:________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_____________________ Work: ___________________ Cell:_ ___________________
Contractor’s name:_________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________
Phone number:____________________________________________________________________
Business phone:_ _______________________________Cell: ________________________________ Contractor’s license number (if applicable):______________________________________________
Homeowner desires to contract with Contractor to perform certain work on property located at:
.
1. Work to Be Done
The work to be performed under this agreement consists of the following:
.
2. Payment
In exchange for the work specified in Clause 1, Homeowner agrees to pay Contractor as follows [choose one]:
$________________ , payable upon completion of the specified work by
cash
check.
$________________ , payable one half at the beginning of the specified work and one half at the
completion of the specified work by
cash
check.
$________________ per hour for each hour of work performed, up to a maximum of $________ ,
payable at the following times and in the following manner:______________________________
.
©nolo
Home Maintenance Agreement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
64
3. Time
The work specified in this contract shall [check the boxes and provide dates]:
begin on
,
.
be completed on
,
.
4. Additional Terms
Homeowner and Contractor additionally agree that:______________________________________
.
All agreements between Homeowner and Contractor related to the specified work are incorporated in
this contract. Any modification to the contract must be in writing.
©nolo
Homeowner’s signature
Date
Contractor’s signature
Date
Home Maintenance Agreement
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Page 2 of 2
Form
65
Home Repairs Agreement
Homeowner’s name:________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________
Home phone:_____________________ Work: ___________________ Cell:_ ___________________
Contractor’s name:_________________________________________________________________
Address:_________________________________________________________________________
Phone number:____________________________________________________________________
Business phone:_ _______________________________Cell: ________________________________ Homeowner desires to contract with Contractor to perform certain work on property located at:
.
1. Work to Be Done
The work to be performed under this agreement consists of the following:
.
2. Payment
In exchange for the work specified in Clause 1, Homeowner agrees to pay Contractor as follows [choose one]:
$________________ , payable upon completion of the specified work by
$________________ , payable by
cash
cash
check.
check as follows:
________________ % payable when the following occurs:_______________________________
% payable when the following occurs:______________________________________________
% payable when the following occurs:_____________________________________________ .
$________________ per hour for each hour of work performed, up to a maximum of $________ ,
payable at the following times and in the following manner:______________________________
.
3. Time
The work specified in Clause 1 will [check the boxes and provide dates]:
begin on
be completed on
Time is of the essence.
©nolo
,
.
,
.
Home Repairs Agreement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
65
4. Licensing and Registration Requirements
Contractor will comply with all state and local licensing and registration requirements for type of activity
involved in the specified work [check one box and provide description]:
Contractor’s state license or registration is for the following type of work and carries the following
number: _____________________________________________________________________
.
Contractor’s local license or registration is for the following type of work and carries the following
number:_____________________________________________________________________
.
Contractor is not required to have a license or registration for the specified work, for the following
reasons:_ ____________________________________________________________________
.
5. Permits and Approvals
[check all appropriate boxes]:
Contractor
Homeowner will be responsible for determining which permits are necessary and for
obtaining those permits.
Contractor
work.
Homeowner will pay for all state and local permits necessary for performing the specified
Contractor
Homeowner will be responsible for obtaining approval from the local homeowner’s
association, if required.
6. Injury to Contractor
Contractor will carry his or her own insurance. If Contractor is injured in the course of performing the
specified work, Homeowner will be exempt from liability for those injuries to the fullest extent allowed by
law.
7. Additional Terms
Homeowner and Contractor additionally agree that:______________________________________
.
All agreements between Homeowner and Contractor related to the specified work are incorporated in
this contract. Any modification to the contract must be in writing.
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Homeowner’s signature
Date
Contractor’s signature
Date
Home Repairs Agreement
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Page 2 of 2
Form
66
Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet
Date
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Issue/
Question
Response
Additional cost?
Resolved?
Initials
Contractor Mid-Job Worksheet
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Page 1 of 1
Form
67
Daily Expenses
Week of
Sunday’sMonday’sTuesday’s
ExpensesCost
ExpensesCost
ExpensesCost
Wednesday’s
ExpensesCost
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Thursday’s
ExpensesCost
Friday’s
ExpensesCost
Saturday’sOther
ExpensesCost
ExpensesCost
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Daily Total:
Total for the Week $
©nolo
Daily Expenses
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Page 1 of 1
Form
68
Monthly Income
Time period
Amount of
covered by Monthly
Source of Income
each payment
each payment
income
A. Wages or Salary
Job 1:_ ________________ Gross pay, including overtime:
$
Subtract:
Federal taxes
State taxes
Social Security (FICA)
Medicare
Union dues
Insurance payments
Child support withholding
Other deductions
(specify):
Subtotal Job 1
Job 2:_ ________________ Gross pay, including overtime:
$
$
$
Subtract:
Federal taxes
$
State taxes
$
Social Security (FICA)
$
Medicare
Union dues
$
Insurance payments
$
Child support withholding
$
Other deductions
(specify):
$
Subtotal Job 2
Job 3:_ ________________ Gross pay, including overtime:
$
$
$
Subtract:
Federal taxes
$
State taxes
$
Social Security (FICA)
$
Union dues
$
Insurance payments
$
Child support withholding
$
Medicare
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Monthly Income
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Page 1 of 2
Form
68
Other deductions
(specify):
Subtotal Job 3
$
$
$
Total Wages or Salary
$
B. Self-Employment Income
Job 1:_ ________________ Gross pay, including overtime:
$
Subtract:
Federal taxes
State taxes
Self-employment taxes
Other deductions
(specify):
Subtotal Job 1
$
$
Job 2:_ ________________ Gross pay, including overtime:
$
Subtract:
Federal taxes
State taxes
Self-employment taxes
Other deductions
(specify):
Subtotal Job 2
$
$
Total Self-Employment Income
C.Investment Income
$
Dividends
$
$
Interest
$
$
Leases
$
$
Licenses
$
$
Rent
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
Royalties
Other (specify):
Total Investmenst Income
D.Other Income
Bonuses
$
$
Note or trust income
$
$
Alimony or child support
$
$
Pension/retirement income
$
$
Social Security
$
$
Other public assistance
$
$
Other (specify):
©nolo
$
$
$
$
$
Total Other Income
$
Grand Total Monthly Income
$
Monthly Income
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Page 2 of 2
Form
69
Monthly Budget
Proj.
Jan.
Feb.Mar.AprilMay
June
JulyAug.
Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.
Home
rent/mortgage
property taxes
renter’s ins.
homeowner’s ins.
homeowner’s
association dues
telephone
gas & electric
water & sewer
cable TV
Internet access
garbage
household supplies
housewares
furniture &
appliances
cleaning
yard or pool care
maintenance & repairs
Credit and Loans
credit card payments
personal loan
payments
other loan payments
Food
groceries
breakfast out
lunch out
dinner out
coffee/tea
snacks
Clothing
clothing, shoes &
accessories
laundry, dry cleaning
& mending
Self Care
toiletries &
cosmetics
haircuts
massage
health club
membership
donations
Health Care
insurance
medications
vitamins
doctors
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Monthly Budget
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Page 1 of 3
Form
69
Proj.
Jan.
Feb.Mar.AprilMay
June
JulyAug.
Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.
dentist
eye care
therapy
Transportation
car payment
insurance
road service club
registration
gasoline
maintenance & repairs
car wash
parking & tolls
public transit & cabs
parking tickets
Entertainment
music
movies &
rentals
concerts, theater,
& ballet
museums
sporting events
hobbies & lessons
club dues or
membership
film development
books, magazines,
& newspapers
software & games
Dependent Care
child care
clothing
allowance
school expenses
toys
entertainment
Pet Care
grooming
vet
food
toys & supplies
Education
tuition or loan
payments
books & supplies
Travel
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Monthly Budget
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Page 2 of 3
Form
Proj.
Jan.
Feb.Mar.AprilMay
June
JulyAug.
69
Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.
Gifts & Cards
holidays
birthdays &
anniversaries
weddings & showers
Personal Business
supplies
photocopying
postage
bank & credit card fees
lawyer
accountant
taxes
savings
Savings and Investments
deposit to savings
deposit to retirement
account
deposit to annuity
purchase of stock
purchase of mutual
funds
other
Total Expenses
Total Income
Difference
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Monthly Budget
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Page 3 of 3
Form
70
Statement of Assets and Liabilities
(as of
)
AssetsDate of PurchaseAccount Number (if relevant)Current Market Value ($)
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash
Checking accounts
Savings accounts
Money market accounts
Other
Subtotal
Real Estate
House/condo/co-op
Vacation home
Income properties
Unimproved lot
Other lot
Subtotal
Personal Property
Motor vehicles
Furniture
Home furnishings
Electronic equipment
Computer system
Jewelry
Clothing
Collections (coin, stamp)
Animals
Other
Subtotal
Investments and Miscellaneous Assets
Life ins. (term cash value)
Life ins. (whole policies)
Stocks
Bonds
Mutual funds
Annuities
IRAs
Keoghs
401(k) plans
Other retirement plans
Partnerships
Accounts receivable
Other
Subtotal
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Statement of Assets and Liabilities
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Page 1 of 2
Form
Liabilities
70
Date IncurredAccount NumberTotal Balance Due ($)
Secured
Mortgage
Mortgage
Deeds of trust
Home equity loans
Liens
Motor vehicle loans
Bank loans
Personal loans
Other
Subtotal
Unsecured
Student loans
Bank loans
Personal loans
Credit card balances
Judgments
Taxes
Support arrears
Other
Subtotal
Net Worth Summary
Total Assets
Cash Subtotal
$
Real Estate Subtotal
Personal Property Subtotal
Investments Subtotal
$
Total Assets
Total Liabilities
Secured Subtotal
Unsecured Subtotal
$
Total Liabilities
Net Worth
(Assets minus liabilities)
©nolo
$
Statement of Assets and Liabilities
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Page 2 of 2
Form
71
Assignment of Rights
Assignor 1’s name:_ _________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Assignor 2’s name:_ _________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Assignee 1’s name:_ _________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Assignee 2’s name:_ _________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
If there is more than one assignor or assignee, the use of the singular incorporates the plural.
1. Assignor transfers to Assignee all of the following rights of Assignor [describe the rights you are assigning]:
.
2. Evidence of Assignor’s rights can be found in the following document [describe the document, such as a
promissory note, providing details of document name, parties, and date]:
.
Evidence of Assignor’s right
is
is not attached to this Assignment of Rights form.
3. This assignment takes effect on: _ ___________________________ .
4. This assignment lasts until: _ _______________________________ [specify date or event that ends
assignment].
Assignor 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
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Assignment of Rights
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Page 1 of 2
Form
71
Assignor 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Assignee 1’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
Assignee 2’s signature
Date
Print name
Location [city or county where signed]
Address
©nolo
Assignment of Rights
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Page 2 of 2
Form
72
Notice to Terminate Joint Account
Date:
[name and address of creditor]
Names on account:
Account number:
To Whom It May Concern:
With this letter, I am requesting that you close the account referenced above, effective immediately.
I am requesting a “hard close” of the account so that neither party to the account may incur new charges.
If you do not hard close the account, please be informed that as of the date of this letter, I will not be
responsible for any new charges made to this account.
If my account has an outstanding balance, you may keep the account open for billing purposes only.
Nevertheless, I request that you keep the account inactive so that neither party to the account can incur
new charges.
Please acknowledge receipt of this notice by signing the duplicate of this letter and returning it to me in the
enclosed stamped, self-addressed envelope
Thank you for your assistance with this matter.
Signature
Date
Printed or typed name
Address
Home phone
Work phone
Receipt acknowledged by:
Signature
Date
Printed or typed name
Title
Outstanding balance:
©nolo
As of:
Notice to Terminate Joint Account
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Page 1 of 1
Form
73
Notice to Stop Payment of Check
Date:
[name and address of financial institution]
Re: Stop payment of check
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is to confirm my telephone request of___________________[date] that you stop payment
on the following check:
Name(s) on account:_____________________________________________________________
Account number:____________________________________ Check number:_ _______________
Payable to:_____________________________________________________________________
Date written:_ _____________________________ Amount of check:_ ______________________
Please acknowledge receipt of this notice by signing the duplicate of this letter and returning it to me in
the enclosed stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Thank you for your assistance.
Signature
Date
Printed or typed name
Address
Home phone
Work phone
Receipt acknowledged by:
Signature
Date
Printed or typed name
Title
©nolo
Notice to Stop Payment of Check
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Page 1 of 1
Form
74
Request for Credit Report
Date:
[name and address of credit bureau]
To Whom It May Concern:
Please send me a copy of my credit report.
Full name:________________________________________________________________________
Date of birth:____________________________Social Security number:_ _______________________
Spouse’s name:_ ___________________________________________________________________
Telephone number:_________________________________________________________________
Current address:_ __________________________________________________________________
Previous address:___________________________________________________________________
[check one]:
I was denied credit on_ ________________________ by_________________________________
. Enclosed is a copy of the denial letter.
I hereby swear that I am unemployed and intend to apply for a job within the next 60 days. Enclosed is a
copy of a document verifying my unemployment.
I hereby swear that I receive public assistance/welfare. Enclosed is a copy of my most recent public
assistance check as verification.
I hereby swear that I believe there is erroneous information in my file due to fraud.
I am requesting my annual free credit report.
I am not entitled to a free copy of my report. Enclosed is a copy of a document identifying me by my name
and address and a check for $_ ______________ .
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Signature
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Request for Credit Report
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Page 1 of 1
Form
75
Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry
Date:
[name and address of credit bureau]
This is a request for you to reinvestigate the following items which appear on my credit report:
_ The following personal information about me is incorrect:
Erroneous Information
Correct Information
_ The following accounts are not mine:
Creditor’s Name
Account Number
Explanation
_ The account status is incorrect for the following accounts:
Creditor’s Name
Account Number
Correct Status
_ The following information is too old to be included in my report:
Creditor’s Name
Account Number
Date of Last Activity
_ The following inquiries are older than two years:
Creditor’s Name
Date of Inquiry
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Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry
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Page 1 of 2
Form
75
_ The following inquiries were not authorized:
Creditor’s Name
Date of Inquiry
Explanation
_ The following accounts were closed at my request and should say so:
Creditor’s Name
Account number
Other errors:
Explanation
I understand that you will check each specified item, above, with the credit grantor reporting the
information, remove any information the credit grantor cannot verify, or modify information that is
incorrect or incomplete. I further understand that under 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a), you must complete your
reinvestigation within 30 days of receipt of this letter. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
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Social Security number
Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry
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Page 2 of 2
Form
76
Dispute Credit Card Charge
Date:
[name and address of the company or financial institution that issued credit card]
Re: Account number:
Names(s) on account:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to dispute the following charge that appears on my billing statement dated_________________ .
Merchant’s name:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Amount in dispute:__________________________________________________________________. I am
withholding payment of $ _____________ , which represents the unpaid balance on the disputed item.
I am disputing this amount for the following reason(s):
.
As required by law, I have tried in good faith to resolve this dispute with the merchant. [Describe your
efforts]
.
[For purchases made with a credit card, such as Visa or MasterCard, not issued by the seller]:
This purchase was for more than $50 and was made in the state in which I live or within 100 miles of
my home.
Please remove the charge for this item, and all associated late and interest charges from my account.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
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Dispute Credit Card Charge
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Page 1 of 1
Form
77
Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact
Date:
[name and address of collection agency, including name of individual collector, if known]
Name(s) on account:______________________________________________________________
Account number:_ _______________________________________________________________
Creditor:_______________________________________________________________________
To
:
Since______________________________ [date], I have received several phone calls and letters from
you concerning my account with the above-named creditor.
Under 15 U.S.C. § 1692c, this is my formal notice to you to cease all further communications with me
except for the reasons specifically set forth in the federal law.
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
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Demand Collection Agency Cease Contact
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Page 1 of 1
Form
78
Notice to Remove Name From List
Date:
[name and address of list maintainer]
To Whom It May Concern:
Please permanently remove all members of this household from all lists you maintain, sell, trade, share,
or use in any other capacity for direct marketing, telemarketing, credit card prescreening, or any other
promotional purpose.
Name 1
Address
Home phone (with area code)
Date of birth
Social Security no. (provide only when contacting a credit bureau)
Name 2
Address
Date of birth Social Security no.
Name 3
Address
Date of birth
Social Security no.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
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Notice to Remove Name From List
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Page 1 of 1
Form
79
Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It
Date:
[name and address of list maintainer]
To Whom It May Concern:
Please
add
retain my name on your mailing list. Please do not sell, trade, or share my name or address
with any other company or business.
I will accept telemarketing phone calls from your company.
I do not wish to receive telemarketing phone calls from your company. Put me on your “do not call” list.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
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Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It
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Page 1 of 1
Form
80
Telemarketing Phone Call Log
Telemarketer’s name
DateTimeCompany
and phone numberProduct
Said “Put
me on a
‘do not
call’ list”
Followed
up with
letter
✔
✔
Example:
9/11/XX
©nolo
6:15pm
AT&T
Terri (800-555-1234)
Long Distance
Telemarketing Phone Call Log
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Page 1 of 1
Form
81
Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List
Date:
[name and address of company on whose behalf call was made]
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is a follow up to the telemarketing phone call I received from_ ______________________
[name of person who placed the call to you] on behalf of your company on_ _______________ [date].
As I stated at that time, I do not wish to receive telemarketing phone calls. Please put me on your “do not call”
list immediately.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
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©nolo
Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List
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Page 1 of 1
Form
82
Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls
Date:
[name and address of company on whose behalf the calls were made]
To Whom It May Concern:
Since_____________________________________ [date], I have received multiple phone calls from
telemarketers calling on behalf of your company. I am giving your company the opportunity to settle my
claim against you before I sue you in small claims court.
On or about___________________________ [date], I received a telephone call at my home from
a telemarketer by the name of_______________________________________________________ ,
he
she was calling on behalf of your company. I told this person that I was not
who stated that
interested in your company’s product, and asked that my name be placed on the “do not call” list for calls
made on behalf of your company. I was assured that this would be done.
On or about_________________________ [date], I received a second telephone call at my home
from a telemarketer by the name of___________________________________________________ ,
he
she was calling on behalf of your company. I told this person that I was not
who stated that
interested in your company’s product, and asked that my name be placed on a “do not call” list for calls
made on behalf of your company. Again, I was assured that this would be done.
[Repeat the above paragraph as needed, changing the word “second” to “third,” “fourth,” etc.]
Section 64.1200(d)(3) of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations states, in pertinent part:
If a person or entity making a call for telemarketing purposes (or on whose behalf such a call is
made) receives a request from a residential telephone subscriber not to receive calls from that
person or entity, the person or entity must record the request and place the subscriber’s name, if
provided, and telephone number on the do-not-call list at the time the request is made. Persons
or entities making calls for telemarketing purposes (or on whose behalf such calls are made)
must honor a residential subscriber’s do-not-call request within a reasonable time from the date
such request is made… If such requests are recorded or maintained by a party other than
the person or entity on whose behalf the telemarketing call is made, the person or entity on
whose behalf the telemarketing call is made will be liable for any failures to honor the donot-call request… [47 CFR § 64.1200(d)(3) as amended 10-1-04.]
A violation of this regulation is actionable under 47 U.S.C. § 227(c)(5). That section provides that:
©nolo
Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls
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Page 1 of 2
Form
82
A person who has received more than one telephone call within any 12-month period by or on
behalf of the same entity in violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection may …
bring in an appropriate court of that state
(A) an action based on a violation of the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin
such violation,
(B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive up to $500 in
damages for each such violation, whichever is greater, or
(C) both such actions.
In addition, treble damages may be awarded for knowing and willful violations.
Your company clearly violated the law on__________ separate occasions. I am entitled to $500 for
each violation, for a total of $_ ______________________________________________________ .
[Optional] Your company also violated state law. I am entitled to damages and/or civil penalties for those
violations as well.
I am willing to forego my right to seek an injunction and treble damages against your company if you send
me a cashier’s check for the amount stated above within the next 30 days. If I do not hear from you within
that time, I will seek all appropriate remedies in a court of law.
Sincerely,
Signature
Print name
Address
Home phone
©nolo
Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls
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Page 2 of 2
Form
83
Child Care Agreement
1. Parent or Legal Guardian
Parent(s)’ name(s): _______________________________________________________________
Address(es):_ ___________________________________________________________________
Home phone number(s): _ _________________________________________________________
Work phone number(s): ___________________________________________________________
Cell phone: _____________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
2. Child Care Provider
Child Care Provider’s name: _ _______________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________________
Home phone number: _________________
Cell phone: _____________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
3. Children
Parent(s) desire(s) to contract with Child Care Provider to provide child care for:_ _______________
_________________________________________________ [names and birthdates of the children].
4. Location and Schedule of Care
Care will be provided at:_ __________________________________________________________
________________________________________ [your adress or other location where care is given].
Days and hours of child care will be as follows: __________________________________________
.
5. Beginning Date
Employment will begin on _ _______________________ [date].
6. Training or Probation Period
There will be a training/probation period during the first________________ [length of training period]
of employment.
7. Responsibilities
The care to be provided under this agreement consists of the following responsibilities [describe and provide
details]: .
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Child Care Agreement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
83
8. Wage or Salary
Child Care Provider will be paid as follows:
$
per hour
$
per month
other:___________________________________________
9. Payment Schedule
Child Care Provider will be paid on the following intervals and dates:
once a week on every _______________________________
twice a month on __________________________________
once a month on __________________________________
other: ___________________________________________
10. Benefits
Parent(s) will provide Child Care Provider with the following benefits: [describe and provide details]:
11. Termination Policy
Either Parent(s) or Child Care Provider may terminate this agreement at any time, for any reason, without
notice.
12. Additional Provisions
Parent(s) and Child Care Provider agree to the following additional terms: ______________________
.
13. Modifications in Writing
To be binding, any modifications to this contract must be in writing and signed by both parties to the
agreement.
Signatures
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Parent 1’s Signature: Date
Parent 2’s Signature: Date
Child Care Provider’s Signature
Date
Child Care Agreement
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Page 2 of 2
Form
84
Child Care Instructions
1. Home and Family Information
Parent(s)’ name(s) [list any parents who live at this address; other parents may be listed under Emergency
Contacts]:_ _____________________________________________________________________
Names of Children:_______________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Home phone number:________________
Cell phone:_ ____________________________________________________________________
Email:_ ________________________________________________________________________
2. Parent(s)’ Work Information
[list name and address of employer, work phone number, and regular work hours for each parent]
3. Temporary Contact Information
[specify the address and phone number where you can be reached at a temporary location, such as a
restaurant, movie, or friend’s house, plus the times you will be at each location]
4. Child’s Personal and Care Information
[provide the following information for each child]
Name of child:___________________________________________________________________
Date of birth:____________________________________________________________________
Allergies and other medical conditions:________________________________________________
Medications:____________________________________________________________________
Meals, naps, and bedtime schedule:___________________________________________________
Other comments:________________________________________________________________
5. Child’s Health Care Providers
[list names, addresses, and phone numbers]
Doctor:________________________________________________________________________
Dentist:________________________________________________________________________
Other medical providers:___________________________________________________________
6. Emergency Contacts
[list names, addresses, and phone numbers of people who babysitter can contact if they can’t reach you
in case of emergency; specify their relationship to your family, such as children’s aunt or neighbor]
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL 911.
7. Other Important Information_________________________________________________________________
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Child Care Instructions
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Page 1 of 1
Form
85
Elder Care Agreement
1. Employer
Employer(s)’ name(s): Address(es): Home phone number(s): Work phone number(s): Cell phone: Email: 2. Elder Care Provider
Elder Care Provider’s name: Address: Home phone number: Cell phone: Email: 3. Older Adult(s) to Be Cared For
Employer(s) desire(s) to contract with Elder Care Provider to provide elder care for:
[names and birthdates of person(s) in need of elder care].
4. Location and Schedule of Care
Care will be provided at:
[your address or other location where care is to be given].
Days and hours of elder care will be as follows:
.
5. Beginning Date
Employment will begin on _ ___________________________________________________ [date].
6. Training or Probation Period
There will be a training/probation period during the first___________________________________
[length of training period] of employment, ending on _______________________________ [date].
7. Responsibilities
The care to be provided under this agreement consists of the following responsibilities [describe and
provide details]: .
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Elder Care Agreement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
85
8. Wage or Salary
Elder Care Provider will be paid as follows:
$
per hour
$
per month
other:___________________________________________
9. Payment Schedule
Elder Care Provider will be paid on the following intervals and dates:
once a week on every _______________________________
twice a month on __________________________________
once a month on __________________________________
other: ___________________________________________
10. Benefits
Employer(s) will provide Elder Care Provider with the following benefits: [describe and provide details]:
.
11. Termination Policy
Either Employer(s) or Elder Care Provider may terminate this agreement at any time, for any reason, without
notice.
12. Additional Provisions
Employer(s) and Elder Care Provider agree to the following additional terms:_ __________________
.
13. Modifications in Writing
To be binding, any modifications to this contract must be in writing and signed by both parties to the
agreement.
Signatures
©nolo
Employer(s)’ signature(s): Date
Elder Care Provider’s signature
Date
Elder Care Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
86
Housekeeping Services Agreement
1. Employer
Employer(s)’ name(s): _____________________________________________________________
Address(es): ____________________________________________________________________
Home phone number(s): _ _________________________________________________________
Work phone number(s): ___________________________________________________________
Cell phone: _____________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
2. Housekeeper
Housekeeper’s name: _ ____________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________________
Home phone number: _ __________________
Cell phone: _____________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
3. Location and Schedule of Work
Employer desires to contract with Housekeeper to work at: _ _______________________________
___________________________________________________________________ [your address].
Days and hours of cleaning will be as follows: _ __________________________________________
.
4. Beginning Date
Employment will begin on _ _______________________ [date].
5. Housecleaning Responsibilities
The responsibilities to be provided under this agreement consist of cleaning the following rooms and areas
[describe and provide details]: _______________________________________________________
.
6. Other Responsibilities
Housekeeper also agrees to do the following types of work [describe and provide details regarding
cooking, laundry, and other noncleaning responsibilities]:____________________________________
.
©nolo
Housekeeping Services Agreement
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Page 1 of 2
Form
86
7. Wage or Salary
Housekeeper will be paid as follows:
$
per hour
$
per month
other:___________________________________________
8. Payment Schedule
Housekeeper will be paid on the following intervals and dates:
once a week on every _______________________________
twice a month on __________________________________
once a month on __________________________________
other: ___________________________________________
9. Benefits
Employer(s) will provide Housekeeper with the following benefits: [describe and provide details]
.
10. Termination Policy
Either Employer(s) or Housekeeper may terminate this agreement at any time, for any reason, without notice.
11. Additional Provisions
Employer(s) and Housekeeper agree to the following additional terms: .
12. Modifications in Writing
To be binding, any modifications to this contract must be in writing and signed by both parties to the
agreement.
Signatures
©nolo
Employer(s)’ signature(s): Date
Housekeeper’s signature
Date
Housekeeping Services Agreement
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
87
Agreement to Keep Property Separate
Partner 1’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
Partner 2’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
We agree as follows:
1. This contract sets forth our rights and obligations toward each other. We intend to abide by them in a spirit of
cooperation and good faith.
2. All property owned by either of us as of the date of this agreement will remain the separate property of its
owner and cannot be transferred to the other person unless this is done in writing. We have each attached a
list of our major items of separate property to this contract.
3. The income each of us earns—as well as any items or investments either of us purchases with our income—
belongs absolutely to the person who earns the money unless there is a written joint ownership agreement as
provided in Clause 6.
4. We shall each maintain our own separate bank, credit card, investment, and retirement accounts, and neither
of us shall in any way be responsible for the debts of the other (if we register legally as domestic partners and,
by so doing, the law requires us to be responsible for each other’s basic living expenses, we agree to assume
the minimum level of reciprocal responsibility required by the law).
5. Expenses for routine household items and services, which include groceries, utilities, rent, and cleaning
supplies, shall be shared equally.
6. From time to time, we may decide to keep a joint checking or savings account for a specific purpose (for
example, to pay household expenses), or to own some property jointly (for example, to purchase a television).
If so, the details of our joint ownership agreement shall be put in writing in a written contract or a deed, title
slip, or other joint ownership document.
7. Should either of us receive real or personal property by gift or inheritance, the property belongs absolutely to
the person receiving the gift or inheritance and cannot be transferred to the other except in writing.
8. In the event we separate, each of us shall be entitled to immediate possession of our separate property.
9. Any dispute arising out of this contract will be mediated by a third person mutually acceptable to both of us.
The mediator’s role will be to help us arrive at our solution, not to impose one on us. If good-faith efforts to
arrive at our own solution to all issues in dispute with the help of a mediator prove to be fruitless, either of us
may pursue other legal remedies.
10. This agreement represents our complete understanding regarding our living together and replaces any and all
prior agreements, written or oral. It can be amended, but only in writing, and any amendment must be signed
by both of us.
11. If a court finds any portion of this contract to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the
contract is still in full force and effect.
©nolo
Partner 1’s signature
Date
Partner 2’s signature
Date
Agreement to Keep Property Separate
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
87
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or her
authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon behalf of
which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
Attachment A
Separate personal property of___________________________________________________________ :
©nolo
Agreement to Keep Property Separate
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
87
Attachment B
Separate personal property of________________________________________________________ :
©nolo
Agreement to Keep Property Separate
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
88
Agreement for a Joint Purchase
Partner 1’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
Partner 2’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
We agree as follows:
1. We will jointly acquire and own______________________________________________________
[describe the property] at a cost of $____________________ .
2. We will own the Property in the following shares:
Partner 1 will own
% of the Property and Partner 2 will own_
% of the Property.
3. Should we separate and stop living together, one of the following will occur:
(a)If one of us wants the Property and the other doesn’t, the person who wants the Property will pay the
other fair market value (see Clause 4) of the Property.
(b)If both of us want the Property, the decision will be made in the following way [choose one]:
Right of First Refusal.
[specify either Partner 1 or 2] shall have the
’s [specify either Partner 1
right of first refusal and may purchase
or 2] share of the Property for its fair market value (see Clause 4).
[specify either Partner 1 or 2] will then become sole owner of the Property.
Coin Toss Method. We will flip a coin to determine who is entitled to the Property. The winner, upon
paying the loser fair market value for the loser’s share of ownership, will become the sole owner of the
Property.
Other: ___________________________________________________________________ .
4. Should either of us decide to end the relationship, we will do our best to agree on the fair current market
value of the Property. If we can’t agree on a price, we will jointly choose a neutral appraiser and abide by his
or her decision.
5. Should we separate and neither of us want the Property—or if we can’t agree on a fair price—we will
advertise it to the public, sell it to the highest bidder, and divide the money according to our respective
ownership shares as set forth in Clause 2.
6. Should either of us die while we are living together, the Property will belong absolutely to the survivor. If
either of us makes a will or other estate plan, this agreement shall be reflected in that document.
7. This agreement can be changed, but only in writing, and any changes must be signed by both of us.
8. Any dispute arising out of this contract will be mediated by a third person mutually acceptable to both of us.
The mediator’s role will be to help us arrive at our solution, not to impose one on us. If good faith efforts to
arrive at our own solution to all issues in dispute with the help of a mediator prove to be fruitless, either of us
may pursue other legal remedies.
9. If a court finds any portion of this contract to be illegal or otherwise enforceable, the remainder of the
contract is still in full force and effect.
©nolo
Partner 1’s signature
Date
Partner 2’s signature
Date
Agreement for Joint Purchase
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
89
Agreement to Share Property
Partner 1’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
Partner 2’s name:_ __________________________________________________________________
We agree as follows:
1. This contract sets forth our rights and obligations toward each other. We intend to abide by them in a spirit
of cooperation and good faith.
2. All earned income received by either of us after the date of this contract and all property purchased with this
income belongs in equal shares to both of us with the following exceptions:_ ___________________
.
3. All real or personal property earned or accumulated by either of us before the date of this agreement (except
jointly owned property listed in Attachment C of this agreement), including all future income such property
produces, is the separate property of the person who earned or accumulated it and cannot be transferred to
the other except in writing. Attached to this agreement in the form of Attachments A, B, and C, respectively,
are lists of the major items of property each of us owns separately and both of us own jointly.
4. Should either of us receive real or personal property by gift or inheritance, that property, including all
future income it produces, belongs absolutely to the person receiving the gift or inheritance and cannot be
transferred to the other except in writing.
5. In the event we separate, all jointly owned property shall be divided equally.
6. Any dispute arising out of this contract will be mediated by a third person mutually acceptable to both of us.
The mediator’s role will be to help us arrive at our solution, not to impose one on us. If good faith efforts to
arrive at our own solution to all issues in dispute with the help of a mediator prove to be fruitless, either of us
may pursue other legal remedies.
7. This agreement represents our complete understanding regarding our living together and replaces any and
all prior agreements, written or oral. It can be amended, but only in writing, and any amendments must be
signed by both of us.
8. If a court finds any portion of this contract to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the
contract is still in full force and effect.
©nolo
Partner 1’s signature
Date
Partner 2’s signature
Date
Agreement to Share Property
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 3
Form
89
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Agreement to Share Property
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 3
Form
89
Attachment A
Separate personal property of________________________________________________________ :
Attachment B
Separate personal property of________________________________________________________ :
Attachment C
Jointly owned property acquired prior to
©nolo
[date of this Agreement]:
Agreement to Share Property
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 3
Form
90
Declaration of Legal Name Change
I, the undersigned, declare that I am 18 years of age or older and further declare:
1. I,_ ___________________________________________________________ [name presently used],
was born___________________________________________________ [name on birth certificate]
in the County of_ _________________________________________________ [county where born]
in the State of_ ____________________________________________________ [state where born]
on________________________________________________________ [birthdate, including year].
2. I hereby declare that I have changed my legal name, and will be henceforth exclusively known as
[new name].
3. My legal name change was completed by order of the __________________ County Superior Court in case
no. __________________on ________________, ___________. A copy of the court order is attached to
this declaration.
4. Notice is hereby given to all agencies of the State of___________________________________
[state where you reside], all agencies of the federal government, all creditors, and all private persons, groups,
businesses, corporations, and associations of said legal name change.
5. Please revise all relevant records accordingly.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of_ ____________________________
[state where you reside] that the foregoing is true and correct.
©nolo
Signature, new name
Date
Signature, old name
Date
Declaration of Legal Name Change
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
91
Demand Letter
Date:
[name and address of party with whom you have a dispute]
I am requesting compensation for the following problem:
[Describe in your own words exactly what happened. Specify dates, names of people with whom you dealt, and the
damages you have suffered.]
.
Please send me a check or money order in the amount of: $______________________________
on or before_ _________________________________________________________[specify date].
If I don’t receive payment by this date, I will take this case to court immediately unless you notify me
that you are willing to try to resolve this dispute through mediation. In that case, I am willing to meet with
a neutral third party agreed to by both of us in a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute without court
action.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Signature
Daytime phone
©nolo
Evening phone
Email
Demand Letter
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Page 1 of 1
Form
92
Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter
Date:
[your address]__________________________________________
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
To: __________________________________________ [name of seller]
I am writing to you regarding a dispute over ______________________________________ [description of
item purchased] for which I was high bidder on the auction at ________________ [name of auction site] as
Item No. _____________________ [number of item at auction site].
A dispute exists because [describe the reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase in as much detail as
possible]_ ______________________________________________________________________
I would like to resolve the matter as follows: [choose one]
I will return the item to you via [describe the shipping method] _______________________________
and request a ____________________ refund from you in the amount of $____________________ ,
which includes the following costs [list all costs for which you are seeking compensation, for example,
shipping item to you, shipping item back to seller, amount paid for item, etc.]___________________
I will keep the item, but for the following reasons [specify reasons for price reduction, for example, partial
damage or not as advertised, and include proof such as photos of item] I request a partial refund of
$________________.
I seek a full refund of all monies paid as I never received the item.
Please make payment by [specify the method by which payment shall be made to you. For example, if
payment to seller was made by credit card, seek a charge back. If payment was made by money order, seek a
money order, etc.] _______________________________________________.
If you disagree with my request and would like to resolve the matter through a third-party dispute resolution
procedure, I am prepared to use online dispute resolution procedures at:
Squaretrade (www.squaretrade.com)
iCourthouse, (www.i-courthouse.com)
myADR (www.namadr.com)
other [list online dispute resolution website] _______________________________________________
©nolo
Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
92
If I do not hear back from you by [date]____________________ I will conclude that you do not wish to
resolve the matter and I will [check as many as apply]
[if payment was made by credit card] seek a charge back on my credit card
file an online incident report at the National Fraud Information Center (www.fraud.org)
post negative feedback at your online auction site
Signature: ______________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________________
Email: _________________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
93
Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty
Date:
[name and address of seller or manufacturer]
ATTN: Customer Service Department
Re: ____________________________ [description of item purchased, including serial number, if any]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to request compensation for the above-named item which I purchased for $__________
on
[date] from_
[specify place of purchase].
My reason for demanding redress is as follows [describe the reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, in
as much detail as possible. List anything included with this request, such as a copy of the warranty, purchase
receipt, or the item itself]:___________________________________________________________
.
Specifically, I would like to request the following compensation [explain what you want, such as a refund of
the full purchase price, a replacement item, or a repair]: ____________________________________
.
Please process this request by_ ______________________________________ [specify a deadline for
processing this request, such as date within 30 days]. If I don’t receive compensation by then, I will take further
action, which may include filing a court action.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Signature
Address
Daytime phone
©nolo
Evening phone
Email
Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 1
Form
94
Accident Claim Worksheet
What Happened
Date of accident:_________________________________________________________________
Description of accident:_ __________________________________________________________
Names of parties involved:__________________________________________________________
Names of witnesses:_ _____________________________________________________________
Location of accident:______________________________________________________________
Time of accident:_________________________________________________________________
Weather condition (if outside):______________________________________________________
People Responsible for the Accident
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):________________________(home):_ _________________________________
Insurance company:_ _____________________________________________________________
Policy number:_ _________________________Auto license:_______________________________
What person did:_ _______________________________________________________________
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):________________________(home):_ _________________________________
Insurance company:_ _____________________________________________________________
Policy number:_ _________________________Auto license:_______________________________
What person did:_ _______________________________________________________________
©nolo
Accident Claim Worksheet
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 5
Form
94
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):________________________(home):_ _________________________________
Insurance company:_ _____________________________________________________________
Policy number:_ _________________________Auto license:_______________________________
What person did:_ _______________________________________________________________
Witnesses
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):
(home):_ _____________________________
Date of first contact:______________________________________________________________
Written statement:
yes
no
What person saw:________________________________________________________________
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):
(home):_ _____________________________
Date of first contact:______________________________________________________________
Written statement:
yes
no
What person saw:________________________________________________________________
©nolo
Accident Claim Worksheet
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 5
Form
94
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone (work):
(home):_______________________________
Date of first contact:______________________________________________________________
Written statement:
yes
no
What person saw:________________________________________________________________
Medical Treatment Providers
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone:______________________________
Date of first visit:_________________________Date of most recent or last visit:________________
Person to be contacted for medical records:_ ___________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Person to be contacted for medical billing:_ ____________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Reason for treatment and prognosis:__________________________________________________
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone:_ ____________________________
Date of first visit:_________________________Date of most recent or last visit:________________
Person to be contacted for medical records:_ ___________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Person to be contacted for medical billing:_ ____________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Reason for treatment and prognosis:__________________________________________________
©nolo
Accident Claim Worksheet
www.nolo.com
Page 3 of 5
Form
94
Name:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone:_ ____________________________
Date of first visit:_________________________Date of most recent or last visit:________________
Person to be contacted for medical records:_ ___________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Person to be contacted for medical billing:_ ____________________________________________
Date requested:__________________________Date received:______________________________
Reason for treatment and prognosis:__________________________________________________
Other Party’s Insurance Company (First Party)
Company name:_ ________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone:_ ____________________________Claim number:_____________________________
Insured:________________________________________________________________________
Adjuster:_______________________________________________________________________
Date demand letter was sent:_ ______________________________________________________
Settlement amount:_ _____________________Date accepted:_____________________________
Other Party’s Insurance Company (Second Party)
Company name:_ ________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Telephone:_ ____________________________Claim number:_____________________________
Insured:________________________________________________________________________
Adjuster:_______________________________________________________________________
Date demand letter was sent:_ ______________________________________________________
Settlement amount:_ _____________________Date accepted:_____________________________
Communications With Insurer
Date:__________________________________________________________________________
If oral, what was said:______________________________________________________________
©nolo
Accident Claim Worksheet
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Page 4 of 5
Form
94
Communications With Insurer
Date:__________________________________________________________________________
If oral, what was said:______________________________________________________________
Communications With Insurer
Date:__________________________________________________________________________
If oral, what was said:______________________________________________________________
Communications With Insurer
Date:__________________________________________________________________________
If oral, what was said:______________________________________________________________
Communications With Insurer
Date:__________________________________________________________________________
If oral, what was said:______________________________________________________________
Losses
Describe damage to your property:___________________________________________________
Do you have photos showing damage?
yes
no
If Repairable
Estimates for repairs (name of repair shop and amounts of estimates):_________________________
Actual
Repair bills (name of repair shop and amounts of bills):____________________________________
If totaled:
Value at the time destroyed:_ _______________________________________________________
Documentation of value:___________________________________________________________
©nolo
Accident Claim Worksheet
www.nolo.com
Page 5 of 5
Form
95
General Release
Releasor:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Releasee:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. Releasor voluntarily and knowingly signs this release with the express intention of eliminating Releasee’s legal
liabilities and obligations as described below.
2. Releasor hereby releases Releasee from all claims, known or unknown, that have arisen or may arise from the
following occurrence:______________________________________________________________
Releasor understands that, as to claims that are known to the parties when the release is signed, any
statutory provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this general release are hereby waived. Releasor also
understands that this release extends to claims arising out of this incident that are not known by Releasor at
the time this release is signed.
3. In exchange for granting this release, Releasor has received the following payment or other consideration:_
4. By signing this release, Releasor additionally intends to bind his or her spouse, heirs, legal representatives,
assigns, and anyone else claiming under him or her. Releasor has not assigned any claim covered by this
release to any other party. Releasor intends that this release apply to the heirs, personal representatives,
assigns, insurers, and successors of Releasee as well as to the Releasee.
©nolo
Releasor’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasor’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
General Release
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
95
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
General Release
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
96
General Mutual Release
Party 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Party 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. We voluntarily and knowingly sign this mutual release with the express intention of eliminating the liabilities
and obligations described below.
2. Disputes and differences that we mutually desire to settle exist between us with respect to the following:
.
3. The value (consideration) for this mutual release consists of our mutual relinquishment of our respective legal
rights involved in the disputes described above.
4. In addition, either party will receive the following payment or other consideration from the other [check and
explain any that apply]:
Party 1 will receive from Party 2:___________________________________________________
.
Party 2 will receive from Party 1:___________________________________________________
.
5. By signing this release, we both intend to bind our spouses, heirs, legal representatives, assigns, and anyone
else claiming under us, in addition to ourselves. Each party understands that, as to claims that are known
to that party when the release is signed, any statutory provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this
general release are hereby waived. Each party also understands that this release extends to claims arising out
of this incident that are not known at the time this release is signed.
Party 1’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 1’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 2’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 2’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
©nolo
County of residence
General Mutual Release
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
96
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ________________________________
My commission expires_ _____________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
General Mutual Release
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
97
Release for Damage to Real Estate
Releasor:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Releasee:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. Releasor is the owner of certain property (Property) located at_ _____________________________
, which specifically consists of the following:
2. Releasor voluntarily and knowingly signs this release with the intention of eliminating Releasee’s liabilities and
obligations as described below.
3. Releasor hereby releases Releasee from all claims, known or unknown, that have arisen or may arise from the
transaction described in Clause 4. Releasor understands that, as to claims that are known to the parties when
the release is signed, any statutory provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this general release are
hereby waived. Releasor also understands that this release extends to claims arising out of this incident that
are not known by Releasor at the time this release is signed.
4. Releasor has alleged that Property suffered damage in the approximate amount of $______________
as a result of the following activity of Releasee:___________________________________________
5. By signing this release, Releasor additionally intends to bind his or her spouse, heirs, legal representatives,
assigns, and anyone else claiming under him or her. Releasor has not assigned any claim arising from the
transaction described in Clause 4 to another party. Releasor intends that this release apply to the heirs,
personal representatives, assigns, insurers, and successors of Releasee as well as to the Releasee.
6. Releasor has received good and adequate value (consideration) for this release in the form of:
Releasor’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasor’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
©nolo
County of residence
Release for Damage to Real Estate
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
97
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose
name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in
his or her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity
upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Release for Damage to Real Estate
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
98
Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident
Releasor:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Releasee:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. Releasor voluntarily and knowingly signs this release with the express intention of eliminating Releasee’s
liabilities and obligations as described below.
2. Releasor hereby releases Releasee from all liability for claims, known and unknown, arising from property
damage sustained by Releasor in an automo­bile accident that occurred on _____________________
[date] at________________________________________________________________________
[location] involving a vehicle owned by Releasee or driven by Releasee or Releasee’s agent. Releasor
understands that, as to claims that are known to the parties when the release is signed, any statutory
provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this general release are hereby waived. Releasor also
understands that this release extends to claims arising out of this incident that are not known by Releasor at
the time this release is signed.
3. By signing this release, Releasor does not give up any claim that he or she may now or hereafter have against
any person, firm, or corporation other than Releasee and those persons and entities specified in Clause 6.
4. Releasor understands that Releasee does not, by providing the value described below, admit any liability or
responsibility for the accident described in Clause 2 or its consequences.
5. Releasor has received good and adequate value (consideration) for this release in the form of:
.
6. By signing this release, Releasor additionally intends to bind his or her spouse, heirs, legal representatives,
assigns, and anyone else claiming under him or her. Releasor has not assigned any claim arising from the
accident described in Clause 2 to any other party. This release applies to Releasee’s heirs, legal representatives,
insurers, and successors, as well as to Releasee.
©nolo
Releasor’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasor’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident
www.nolo.com
Page 1 of 2
Form
98
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
©nolo
Release for Property Damage in Auto Accident
www.nolo.com
Page 2 of 2
Form
99
Release for Personal Injury
Releasor:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Releasee:__________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. Releasor voluntarily and knowingly executes this release with the intention of eliminating Releasee’s liabilities
and obligations as described below.
2. Releasor hereby releases Releasee from all liability for claims, known and unknown, arising from injuries,
mental and/or physical, sustained by Releasor as follows:___________________________________
.
Releasor understands that, as to claims that are known to the parties when the release is signed, any
statutory provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this general release are hereby waived. Releasor also
understands that this release extends to claims arising out of this incident that are not known by Releasor at
the time this release is signed.
3. Releasor has been examined by a licensed physician or other health care professional competent to diagnose
[choose one or both]:
physical injuries and disabilities.
mental and emotional injuries and disabilities.
Releasor has been informed by this physician or health care professional that the injury described in
Clause 2 has completely healed without causing permanent damage.
4. By executing this release Releasor does not give up any claim that he or she may now or hereafter have
against any person, firm, or corporation other than Releasee and those persons specified in Clause 7.
5. Releasor understands that Releasee does not, by providing the value described in Clause 6 below, admit any
liability or responsibility for the above described injury or its consequences.
6. Releasor has received good and adequate value (consideration) for this release in the form of:
.
7. By signing this release, Releasor additionally intends to bind his or her spouse, heirs, legal representatives, assigns,
and anyone else claiming under him or her. Releasor has not assigned any claim arising from the accident
described in Clause 2 to any other party. This release applies to Releasee’s heirs, legal representatives, insurers,
and successors, as well as to Releasee.
©nolo
Releasor’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasor’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s signature
Date
Release for Personal Injury
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Form
99
Print name
County of residence
Releasee’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
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Form
100
Mutual Release of Contract Claims
Party 1:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
Party 2:___________________________________________________________________________
Address:__________________________________________________________________________
1. We voluntarily and knowingly sign this mutual release with the intention of eliminating the liabilities and
obligations described below.
2. Disputes and differences have arisen between us with respect to an agreement entered into between us on
[date], under which we agreed to the following:
This agreement is hereby made a part of this release and incorporated by reference. A copy of the
agreement (if written) is attached to this release.
3. We each hereby expressly release the other from all claims and demands, known and unknown, arising out of
the agreement specified in Clause 2. Each party understands that, as to claims that are known to that party
when the release is signed, any statutory provisions that would otherwise apply to limit this general release
are hereby waived. Each party also understands that this release extends to claims arising out of this incident
that are not known at the time this release is signed.
4. This release additionally applies to our heirs, legal representatives, and successors and is binding on our
spouses, heirs, legal representatives, assigns, and anyone else claiming under us. Neither of us has assigned to
another party any claim arising under or out of the contract specified in Clause 2.
5. The value (consideration) for this mutual release binds our mutual agreement to forgo our respective legal
rights with reference to the disputes and differences described above.
6. We also agree that the contract specified in Clause 2 shall be and is hereby rescinded, terminated, and
canceled as of_ _____________________________________________________________ [date].
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Party 1’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 1’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 2’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Party 2’s spouse’s signature
Date
Print name
County of residence
Mutual Releaseof Contract Claims
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Form
100
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
State of________________________________
County of ______________________________
,
On
ss
, before me, ________________________________ ,
a notary public in and for said state, personally appeared_ _________________________________ ,
personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person whose name
is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in his or
her authorized capacity and that by his or her signature on the instrument, the person, or the entity upon
behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
Notary Public for the State of _ ______________________________ My commission expires_ ___________________________________
[NOTARY SEAL]
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Mutual Releaseof Contract Claims
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Form
101
Complaint Letter
Date:
[name and address of consumer protection office]
To Whom It May Concern:
I wish to lodge a complaint about the following company:
Name:______________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Phone number:_______________________________________________________________
Name of person with whom I dealt:________________________________________________
The details of my complaint are as follows [attach additional sheets if necessary]:
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________ .
Please investigate this matter and inform me of the results.
Sincerely,
Signature
Printed name
Address
Daytime phone
Evening phone
Email
cc:
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Complaint Letter
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Form
102
Notice of Insurance Claim
Date:
[name and address of insurance company]
Name of your insured:_____________________________________________________________
Policy number:_ _________________________________________________________________
To Whom It May Concern:
Please be advised that
I received injuries
,
I sustained property damage in an accident on
, at the following location:_ _____________________________
.
The accident involved:
_ two or more motor vehicles
_ motor vehicle and pedestrian
_ motor vehicle and bicycle
_ motor vehicle and property
[for all motor vehicles involved other than your own, give]:
Make, model, year, and color of vehicle:_ __________________________________________
License plate number and state of issuance:_ _______________________________________
Vehicle identification number:__________________________________________________
Name of driver (if different from name of insured above):______________________________
Driver’s license number and state of issuance:_______________________________________
slip and fall
animal bite, claw, knockdown, etc.
dangerous or defective product
other (specify):_ ____________________________________________________________
The person named above was involved in the incident. Please confirm in writing to the address below
your liability coverage of the insured identified above. Please also advise whether your insured contends that
anyone other than your insured may be in whole or in part legally responsible for accidents on or near the
premises or for this accident.
As requested, please respond in writing. If necessary, I may be reached by telephone at the below number.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Signature
Date
Printed name
Address
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Phone
Notice of Insurance Claim
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Form
103
Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter constitutes written notice to you that I am canceling the following contract:
Seller:_ ________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Buyer:_________________________________________________________________________
Address:_ ______________________________________________________________________
Contract pertains to the following goods/services purchased:_______________________________
.
Date contract signed for these goods/services:__________________ ,__________
Please acknowledge receipt of this letter by signing below and returning the acknowledgment to me in the
enclosed envelope. I understand that under the law, you must refund my money within___________
days. Furthermore, if applicable, I understand that you must either pick up the items purchased, or
reimburse me within__________ days for my expense of mailing the goods back to you. If you do not
pick up the goods within that time, I am entitled to keep them.
Buyer signature
Date
Print name
Acknowledgment
Seller’s signature
Date
Print name
©nolo
Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts
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Form
104
Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice
Date:
[name and address of publication or organization; include name of department if available]
Re: _________________________________ [subscription or membership number]
This letter is to notify you that I would like to cancel my_ __________________________________
[specify what you are canceling, such as a subscription to publication or
membership in organization] effective ________________________________ [date of cancellation].
The reason for this cancellation is ____________________________________________________
[specify reason for cancellation].
Thank you for your prompt assistance.
Signature
Address
Subscription or account number
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Form
105
Request to Begin Special Education Process
Date:
[name and address of special education administrator]
Re: _______________________________________________________________ [name of child]
Child’s school:___________________________________________________________________
Child’s teacher:_ ___________________________________________ Child’s grade:_ __________
I am writing because my child is experiencing difficulties in school, including [describe difficulties]
I am formally requesting that the school immediately begin its special education process, including initial
assessment for eligibility. I understand that you will send me an assessment plan explaining the tests that
may be given to my child. Because I realize the assessment can take some time, I would appreciate receiving
the assessment plan within ten days. I would also appreciate any other information you have regarding
assessments, how eligibility is determined, and the general IEP process.
I am also requesting that you make available to me a complete copy of my child’s school file, including all
tests, reports, assessments, grades, notes by teachers or other staff members, and any other information
contained in the file. I understand that I am entitled to these records under the Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. Section 1232 [g]). I would greatly appreciate having these files within the
next five days. I will call you to discuss how and when I will get the copies.
Thank you very much for your assistance. I look forward to working with you and your staff.
Sincerely,
Signature of parent
Printed name
Address
Daytime phone
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Evening phone
Email
Request to Begin Special Education Process
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Page 1 of 1
Form
106
Identity Theft Worksheet
Credit Bureaus
Experian: 888-397-3742
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Contact Person
Comments
Contact Person
Comments
Equifax: 800-525-6285
Date of Contact
TransUnion: 800-680-7289
Date of Contact
Financial Institutions
Credit Card Companies
Name of Company
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Date of Contact
Name of
Contact/Officer
Contacted
Comments
Banks
Name of Bank
Other Service Providers
Name of Institution
Law Enforcement Agencies
Local Police Department
Name of
Department
©nolo
Phone Number
Identity Theft Worksheet
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Page 1 of 3
Form
106
Federal Trade Commission: 877-438-4338
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Other Law Enforcement Agencies
Name of Institution
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Other Contacts
Local Postal Inspector: Call 800-275-8777 for the phone number of your local inspector
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Social Security Administration: 800-269-0271
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Debt Collectors
Name of
Collection Agency
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
U.S. State Department: 202-955-0430
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Department of Motor Vehicles
DMV Location
Phone Number
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Date of Contact
Contact Person
Comments
Additional Conversations/Correspondence
Name of Institution
©nolo
Phone Number
Identity Theft Worksheet
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Page 2 of 3
Form
106
Expenses Incurred
Date Expense
Incurred
Reason for Expense
Cost
Total Costs:
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Identity Theft Worksheet
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Page 3 of 3
Index
A
finding, 10, 38
real estate, 62
Acceleration, of loan payments, 59
when to use, 10
Accidents
Attorneys General (state), consumer complaints to, 107,
claims worksheet, 132, Appendix B Form 94
139
notice of insurance claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Attorneys-in-fact (agents)
Form 102
additional powers, 23
release for property damage, auto accident, 135,
legal obligations, 17–18
Appendix B Form 98
limiting powers granted to, 23
Addendum sheets, 5
naming in forms, 22
Adjustable rate loans, 54, 55
signature requirements, 19, 20, 24
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), 76, 77
See also Power of attorney for finances; Power of attorney
Administrators. See Executors
for real estate
Agents. See Attorneys-in-fact
Auctions, online
Agreement for a Joint Purchase, 123–124, Appendix B
danger signs, 129
Form 88
demand letter to seller, 129–130, Appendix B Form 92
Agreement to Keep Property Separate, 122–123, Appendix
dispute resolution services, 129
B Form 87
Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor, 13,
Agreement to Modify Promissory Note, 64–65, Appendix
Appendix B Form 3
B Form 46
Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment, 12–13, 14,
Agreement to Share Property, 124–125, Appendix B Form
118, Appendix B Form 2
89
Authorization to Check Credit and Employment
Alternate beneficiaries, 29
References, 54, 56, Appendix B Form 34
American Kennel Club, 83
Authorization to Drive a Motor Vehicle, 15, 16–17,
Amortization calculators, 59
Appendix B Form 7
Amortization charts, 73
Autocheck, 81
Amortization, negative, 75, 77
Automobiles. See Motor vehicles
Animal bites, insurance claim for, 132, 139–140,
Appendix B Form 102
Animals. See Pets
Annual percentage rate (APR), 54
Babysitters. See Child care providers
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist, 44–45, Appendix B Bad checks, demand for payment, 65–66, Appendix B
Form 23
Form 48
Arbitration, 9, 10, 128
Balloon payments
Architectural review committees, home repairs and, 91
defined, 55, 60
ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages), 76, 77
mortgage loans with, 76, 77
“As is” sales, 80
promissory note with, 59–60, Appendix B Form 37
Assets
Bankruptcy, on credit reports, 102
current market value, 98
Banks
of home buyer, 72–73, Appendix B Form 52
acceptance of power of attorney, 25
statement of, 98, Appendix B Form 70
ATM/debit card theft, 144
Assignment of lease, consent form, 49, Appendix B Form
credit checks by, 54, 56
28
debt collection by, 104
Assignment of Rights, 98–99, Appendix B Form 71
identity theft report to, 143–146, Appendix B Form 106
releases and, 134
joint account, notice to terminate, 99–100, Appendix B
Assumable loans, defined, 77
Form 72
ATM/debit card theft, 144
notice of death sent to, 37, Appendix B Form 17
Attachment pages, 6
payable-on-death accounts, 29
Attorney fees
power of attorney and, 19, 21
contract clauses, 46–47
stop payment notice, 100–101, Appendix B Form 73
promissory note clauses, 59
Beneficiaries
strategies for reducing, 10
alternate, 29
Attorneys
of deed of trust, 62
as “coaches,” 38
of life insurance policies, 29
estate planning, 38
residuary, 29, 31
filing complaints against, 139
B
358 | 101 law forms for personal use
of retirement plans, 28, 29
rights of unmarried couples, 122
of will, worksheet, 29, Appendix B Form 12
Better Business Bureau, 132
Bilateral Credit Corporation, 65
Bill collectors
danger of ignoring, 104
demand to cease contact, 104, Appendix B Form 77
do not call exemptions for, 107
Bill of sale, 80–83
for boat, 80, 81–82, Appendix B Form 57
for computer system, 82, Appendix B Form 58
contents of, 80
for dog, 83, Appendix B Form 60
for general personal property, 80, 82, Appendix B Form
59
for motor vehicle, 80–81, Appendix B Form 56
Boats
bill of sale for, 80, 81–82, Appendix B Form 57
as collateral for loans, 63
loan repayment, 82
Borrowing money. See Debts; Loans; Mortgages;
Promissory notes
Budgets, 96, 97–98, Appendix B Form 69
Building permits and approvals, for home repair work, 91
Buyer in due course, defined, 59, 64
C
Cancel Membership or Subscription Notice, 141–142,
Appendix B Form 104
Cap, on adjustable rate loans, 55, 76, 77
Car accidents
Accident Claim Worksheet, 132, Appendix B Form 94
claims worksheet, 132, Appendix B Form 94
notice of insurance claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Form 102
release for property damage, 135, Appendix B Form 98
Carfax Vehicle Reports, 81
Carpool Agreement, 15–16, Appendix B Form 5
Carrying costs, monthly
debt-to-income ratio and, 75
worksheet, 73–74, Appendix B Form 53
Cars. See Motor vehicles
CD-ROM forms
how to use, 3, 148–150
list of, 151–153
Certificate of Acknowledgment of Notary Public
for bills of sale, 80
See also instructions for specific forms
Charities, do not call exemptions for, 107
Checks, bad
demand for payment, 65–66, Appendix B Form 48
stopping payment, 100–101, Appendix B Form 73
Check verification companies, 144
Child care providers
agreement with, 116–118, Appendix B Form 83
choosing, 12
as employees, 114–116
instructions for, 118–119, Appendix B Form 84
shared in-home care, 118
through placement agencies, 114
Child care tax credit, 116
Children
adult, as executors, 31–32
carpool agreement, 15–16, Appendix B Form 5
foreign travel, authorization for, 13, Appendix B Form 3
guardians named in will, 30, 33
medical treatment, authorization of, 12–13, 14, 118,
Appendix B Form 2
schools for, as house-buying criterion, 69
special education request, 142–143, Appendix B Form
105
special needs, describing, 143
temporary guardianship of, 12–13, 15, Appendix B
Form 1
trusts for, 34
as will beneficiaries, 29, 33
will for adult with, 32–34, Appendix B Form 14
Child support, locating parent to collect, 115
Cleaning, household
by child care providers, 117
by employees, 114–116, Appendix B Form 86
by independent contractors, 91–92, Appendix B Form
64
through placement agencies, 114
Closing costs, for mortgage, 75
Club memberships, notice to cancel, 141–142, Appendix
B Form 104
Codicil to will, 34, Appendix B Form 15
Cohabitation. See Living together
Collateral
boats as, 63
defined, 55
house as, 62, 141
motor vehicles as, 62
promissory note provision, 57
See also Security agreements
Collection agencies
danger of ignoring, 104
demand to cease contact, 104, Appendix B Form 77
do not call exemptions for, 107
Community property states, responsibility for debt, 58,
134
Complaints to government agencies
about marketing practices, 107, 110
about products or services, 132, 138–139, Appendix B
Form 101
how to word, 138
index | 359
Computer systems
bill of sale for, 82, Appendix B Form 58
“Cooling-Off Rule” and, 140
lender’s security interest in, 63–64
Condominium complexes
architectural review committees, 91
homeowner associations, 74, 91
Consent to Assignment of Lease, 49, Appendix B Form 28
Consideration, in contracts, 134
Consumer complaints
about defective products or services, 130–132, Appendix
B Form 93
to government agencies, 107, 110, 132, 138–139,
Appendix B Form 101
Consumer fraud
enforcement agencies, 138, 139
identity theft fraud alerts, 144, 146
online auctions and, 129
telemarketing and, 106
Consumer Protection Office (state), 90, 139
Contractors, 90–93
filing complaints against, 139
Home Maintenance Agreement, 91–92, Appendix B
Form 64
Home Repairs Agreement, 92, Appendix B Form 65
Mid-Job Worksheet, 92–93, Appendix B Form 66
payment options, 92
state licensing/registration requirements, 90–91
when to use, 90
Contracts
assignment of rights under, 98–99, 134, Appendix B
Form 71
attachment pages, 6
canceling consumer contracts, 140–141, Appendix B
Form 103
consideration in, 134
“Cooling-Off Rule,” 140–141
dispute resolution clauses, 9–10
disputes involving, 2, 3, 7, 8–10, 134, 136
evaluating, 4
importance of written, 2, 92, 114
legal advice, 10
for living together, 122–125, Appendix B Forms 87–89
oral, 2, 92, 122, 136
release from, 134, Appendix B Form 95
releases as, 133, 136
for remodeling, 90
requirements of, 2–3
for storage, 87–88, Appendix B Form 63
storing signed copies, 7
See also Forms
“Cooling-Off Rule,” 140–141
Co-payees, of motor vehicle policies, 40
Cosigners
defined, 55
promissory note provisions, 61, Appendix B Form 41
risks of cosigning, 61
when to use, 58
County land records office, 24, 62
Court costs, contract clauses, 46–47
Credit bureaus
identity theft report to, 144, Appendix B Form 106
major national, 101, 102
marketing lists, 106
Notice to Remove Name From List, 108, Appendix B
Form 78
Credit cards
credit reports and, 101
disputing charges, 103–104, Appendix B Form 76
identity theft and, 143–146, Appendix B Form 106
joint account, notice to terminate, 99–100, Appendix B
Form 72
leaving number with vet, 16
offers in mail, 106
unauthorized use of, 103
Credit checks
authorization for, 54, 56, Appendix B Form 34
cosigners and, 58
defined, 55
See also Credit reports
Credit insurance, defined, 55
Creditors
giving financial statements to, 70–71
“hard close” of accounts, 100
identity theft and, 144, Appendix B Form 106
illegal evasion by changing name, 125
illegal evasion by giving property away, 125
joint account, notice to terminate, 99–100, Appendix B
Form 72
notice of death sent to, 37–39, Appendix B Form 17
release of U.C.C. Financing Statement to, 64, Appendix
B Form 45
right to seize property, 57
See also Debts; Loans
Credit reports
as basis for refusal to rent, 45
dispute of incorrect entry, 102–103, Appendix B Form
75
free annual copy of, 101
of home buyer, 75
identity theft and, 102, 144, Appendix B Form 106
information resources, 96
request for, 101–102, Appendix B Form 74
See also Credit checks
Credit scores, of home buyers, 74
Current market value, of assets, 98
Custodians, under Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, 33
360 | 101 law forms for personal use
D
Daily Expenses, 96–97, Appendix B Form 67
Death
credit insurance in case of, 55
final arrangements documents, 19
notice of, general, 38–39, Appendix B Form 19
notice to creditor of, 37, Appendix B Form 17
notice to homeowner’s insurance company, 39–40,
Appendix B Form 21
notice to vehicle insurance company, 40–41, Appendix
B Form 22
obituary information, 39, Appendix B Form 20
termination of power of attorney and, 18
things to do after, 36–41
Death certificate, request for, 36–37, Appendix B Form 16
Debts
collection agency, demand to cease contact, 104,
Appendix B Form 77
in community property states, 58, 134
“do not call” registries and, 107
forgiven at death, 29
of home buyer, 73, 74
information resources, 96
passing with property at death, 29, 31
release form, 134–135
See also Creditors; Liabilities; Loans; Mortgages;
Promissory notes
Debt-to-income ratios, 75, 77
Declaration of Legal Name Change, 125, Appendix B
Form 90
Deeds of trust
assignment of, 99
as security for loans, 62, 141
Defective products. See Consumer complaints; Warranties
Deferred interest. See Negative amortization
Demand for Damages for Excessive Calls, 111, Appendix
B Form 82
Demand for Return of Security Deposit, 51–52, Appendix
B Form 32
Demand letters
to collection agency, to cease contact, 104, Appendix B
Form 77
for damages for excessive calls, 111, Appendix B Form
82
to online auction sellers, 129–130, Appendix B Form 92
for overdue loan payment, 65, Appendix B Form 47
for payment on bad checks, 65–66, Appendix B Form
48
to resolve disputes, 128–129, Appendix B Form 91
for return of security deposit, 51–52, Appendix B Form
32
wording of, 129
Demand to Make Good on Bad Check, 65–66, Appendix
B Form 48
Department of Motor Vehicles
name changes, 125
reporting stolen driver’s license, 145–146
Direct Marketing Association, 108
Disabled persons
describing child’s special needs, 143
Individualized Education Program, 142–143
Individuals with Disabilities Act, 142
lease termination by, 48
Request to Begin Special Education Process, 142–143,
Appendix B Form 105
as will beneficiaries, 28, 30
Disclosures, by landlord, 47
Discount periods, for adjustable rate mortgages, 77
Discrimination, in rentals, 45
Dispute Credit Card Charge, 103–104, Appendix B Form
76
Dispute Incorrect Credit Report Entry, 102–103,
Appendix B Form 75
Dispute resolution clauses, 9–10, 91, 123, 124
Disputes
arbitration to resolve, 9, 10, 128
contract disputes, 2, 3, 7, 8–10
credit card charges, 103–104, Appendix B Form 76
credit report entries, 102–103, Appendix B Form 75
information resources, 10
mediation to resolve, 8, 10, 123, 124, 128–129
online resolution services, 129
overview, 128
settlement with release, Appendix B Forms 95–100
See also instructions for specific forms; Lawsuits
Divorce
ex-spouse as attorney-in-fact, 18
terminating joint accounts, 99–100, Appendix B Form
72
Dogs
agreement for care of, 15, 16, Appendix B Form 6
bill of sale for, 83, Appendix B Form 60
insurance claim for animal bite, 132, 139–140,
Appendix B Form 102
Domestic partners, 32, 123
Domestic workers, 114–119, Appendix B Forms 83–86
Donnelly Marketing, Inc., 108
“Do Not Call” registries, notice to put name on, 110–111,
Appendix B Form 81
“Do not write” lists, 108
Door-to-door sales contracts, notice to cancel, 140–141,
Appendix B Form 103
Durable power of attorney, 19
E
Elder care providers
agreement for, 119, Appendix B Form 85
as employees, 114–116
index | 361
Electrical work, 90, 91
Employees
household, legal obligations for, 114–116
vs. independent contractors, 91, 114
of placement agencies, 114
Employer identification numbers (EINs), 115
Employment references, authorization to check, 54, 56,
Appendix B Form 34
Equifax, 101, 108
Equipment, rental agreement, 86–87, Appendix B Forms
61–62
Estate planning, 28–34
Beneficiary Worksheet, 29, Appendix B Form 12
information resources, 28, 30
overview, 28
Property Worksheet, 28–29, Appendix B Form 11
See also Wills
Events, forms describing, 6
Executors
added to homeowners’ insurance policies, 39–40
added to vehicle insurance policies, 40–41
checklist for, 38, Appendix B Form 18
documenting role as, 41
documents for use by, 36–41, Appendix B Forms 16–22
information resources, 36
named in will, 30, 31–32
Expenses
daily record, 96–97, Appendix B Form 67
for monthly budget, 97–98
Experian, 101, 108
F
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 101, 102, 106
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 104
Fair market value, of personal property, 87–88
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 142
Family Financial Statement, 70–73, Appendix B Form 52
Family pot trusts, 34
Farm machinery, sale of, 80
Federal Communications Commission
consumer complaints to, 107, 139
National Do Not Call Registry, 106
Federal Consumer Information website, 107
Federal laws
cosigner requirements, 61
Fair Credit Reporting Act, 102
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 104
on identity theft, 146
Individuals with Disabilities Act, 142
minimum wage, 115
National Do Not Call Registry, 106–107
residential landlord-tenant relations, 45, 47
Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 109–110
Truth in Lending Act, 141
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
consumer complaints to, 107, 138, 139
“Cooling-Off Rule,” 140–141
credit card disputes, 103
identify theft reports to, 144, 145, Appendix B Form
106
National Do Not Call Registry, 106
Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), 115
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), 141
FICA (Social Security) taxes, for household employees, 91,
114–116
Filing systems, importance of good, 70
Final arrangements documents, 19
Finances. See Budgets; Income; Loans; Power of attorney
for finances
Financial institutions
acceptance of power of attorney, 25
credit checks by, 54, 56
debt collection by, 104
identity theft report to, 143–146, Appendix B Form 106
notice of death sent to, 37, Appendix B Form 17
power of attorney and, 19, 21
stop payment notice, for check, 100–101, Appendix B
Form 73
use of personal information by, 109
Financial statement, of home buyer, 70–73, Appendix B
Form 52
Fixed rate loans, defined, 55
Fixed rate mortgages, 76, 77
Fixed-Term Residential Lease, 46–47, Appendix B Form
25
Foreign travel with minor, authorization for, 13, Appendix
B Form 3
Formal vs. informal guardianship, 12
Forms
attachment pages, 6
on CD-ROM, 3, 5, 148–153
as contracts, 2–3
describing people, property, and events, 5–6
dispute resolution clauses, adding, 9–10
editing, 4–5, 149–150
evaluating, 4
filling in, 3–4
notarizing, 7–8
opening, 149
printing, 150
saving, 150
signing, 7
tear-out, 3, 5, Appendix B
See also Contracts
Fraud alerts, 144, 145–146
FTC. See Federal Trade Commission
Funding loans, 75
362 | 101 law forms for personal use
G
Gardening work
by employees, 7
by independent contractor, 91–92, Appendix B Form 64
Gay couples
as domestic partners, 123
legal protections, 122
See also Unmarried couples
General Bill of Sale, 80, 82, Appendix B Form 59
General Mutual Release, 134–135, Appendix B Form 96
General Notice of Death, 38–39, Appendix B Form 19
General Release, 134, Appendix B Form 95
Gifts, tax-free, 99
Government agencies
for consumer fraud complaints, 132, 138–139, 144, 146
for marketing complaints, 107, 110, Appendix B Form
101
Grace periods, loan repayment, 55, 75
Guardian of child
named in will, 30, 33
temporary, Appendix B Form 1
H
Handyman jobs, 91–92, Appendix B Form 64
“Hard close,” of credit accounts, 100
Hauling jobs, 91–92, Appendix B Form 64
Health care directives, software for creating, 19
Home equity lines of credit, 100, 141
Home health aids
agreement for, 119, Appendix B Form 85
as employees, 114–116
Home improvement loans, canceling, 141
Home Maintenance Agreement, 91–92, Appendix B Form
64
Homeowner associations
home repair approval, 91
monthly fees, 74
Homeowners’ insurance
for home buyers, 74, 77
notice of insurance claim, 139–140
notifying company of death, 39–40, Appendix B Form
21
Home repairs, 90–93, Appendix B Forms 65–66
canceling home improvement loans, 141
local permits and approvals, 91
state licensing/registration requirements, 90–91
Home Repairs Agreement, 92, Appendix B Form 65
Hoover’s Handbook of American Business, 110–111
House buying, 68–78
carrying costs, 73–74, Appendix B Form 53
comparing mortgages, 74–76, Appendix B Form 54
comparison worksheet, 70, Appendix B Form 51
financial statement for, 70–73, Appendix B Form 52
ideal house profile, 68–69, Appendix B Form 49
moving checklist, 78, Appendix B Form 55
priorities worksheet, 69–70, Appendix B Form 50
web resources, 68
See also Mortgages; Real estate
Household workers, 114–119, Appendix B Forms 83–86
Housekeeping Services Agreement, Appendix B Form 86
Houses
joint ownership of, 28, 29, 40, 124
rental of, 44–52, Appendix B Forms 23–32
as security for loans, 62, 141
See also Mortgages; Real estate
Housesitting Instructions, 14–15, Appendix B Form 4
Hybrid mortgage loans, 76
I
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act), 142
Ideal House Profile, 68–69, Appendix B Form 49
Identity theft
credit reports for victims of, 102
online auctions and, 129
Identity Theft Worksheet, 143–146, Appendix B Form
106
Implied warranty of habitability, 50
Implied warranty of merchantability, 130
Impound accounts, 75, 77
Incapacity, power of attorney and, 18
Income
assignment of rights to, 98–99, 134, Appendix B Form
71
as basis for refusal to rent, 45
debt-to-income ratios, 75, 77
of home buyer, 71
monthly record of, 97–98, Appendix B Form 68
Income taxes
child care tax credit, 116
for household employees, 114
Indemnification clause, in power of attorney, 18
Independent contractors, vs. employees, 91, 114
Index, for adjustable rate mortgages, 77
Individualized Education Program (IEP), 142–143
Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), 142
Informal vs. formal guardianship, 12
Injury
notice of insurance claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Form 102
release for, 135, Appendix B Form 99
See also Accidents
Insurance claims
notice of, 132, 139–140, Appendix B Form 102
worksheet for, 132, Appendix B Form 94
Insurance coverage
credit insurance, 55
denial of, credit report and, 101–102
index | 363
evidence of, 17
of home-repair contractors, 92
life insurance beneficiaries, 29
listing on property worksheet, 28
private mortgage insurance, 74, 75, 77
workers’ compensation insurance, 115, 116
See also Homeowners’ insurance; Motor vehicle
insurance
Interest advances. See Negative amortization
Interest-free loans, 60, 61, Appendix B Form 38,
Appendix B Form 40
Interest rates
adjustable rate mortgages, 77
deferred interest, 77
rate lock-in, 77
short-term vs. long-term loans, 54
Internet Fraud Watch, 129
Intestacy laws, 28
IRS Form 940/940-EZ, 115
IRS Form SS-4, 115
IRS Form SS-8, 91, 115
IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
assignments, tax implications, 99
independent contractor guidelines, 91
interest-free loans and, 60, 61
resources, publications and forms, 115
IRS Schedule H, 114, 115
J
Joint account, notice to terminate, 99–100, Appendix B
Form 72
Joint and several liability, defined, 59
Joint ownership, of real estate, 28–29, 40, 58, 124
Joint purchase, agreement for, 123–124, Appendix B
Form 88
Junk mail
deleting deceased’s name from, 38
notice to add or retain name from list, 109, Appendix B
Form 79
notice to remove name from list, 107–109, Appendix B
Form 78
overview, 106
L
Landlord-Tenant Agreement to Terminate Lease, 48–49,
Appendix B Form 27
Landlord-Tenant Checklist, 49–50, Appendix B Form 29
Landlord-Tenant law. See Tenant-Landlord law
Land registry office, filing power of attorney with, 24
Late fees
for loan payments, 55, 75
for residential rental payments, 47
Lawsuits
alternatives to, 8–10, 128–129, 132–133
for bad checks, 65
by children left out of wills, 32
for construction defects, 93
contract disputes, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10
on credit report, 101, 102
information resources, 128
landlord-tenant disputes, 46–47, 48, 50
promissory notes and, 57, 59, 65
against telemarketers, 109, 110
See also Disputes; Small claims court
Lawyers. See Attorney fees; Attorneys
Lead-based paint hazards, landlord’s duty to disclose, 47
Leases
assignment of, 99
consent to assignment of, 49, Appendix B Form 28
federal laws, 47
fixed-term residential, 46–47, Appendix B Form 25
month-to-month residential, 46–47, Appendix B Form
26
state laws, 46, 47
termination agreement, 48–49, Appendix B Form 27
Legal disputes. See Disputes; Lawsuits
Lender qualification, 74
Liabilities
of home buyer, 72–73, Appendix B Form 52
statement of, 98, Appendix B Form 70
Liability insurance, notice of insurance claim, 139–140
Liens, sale of property and, 80
Life-of-the-loan cap, defined, 77
Living together, 122–125, Appendix B Forms 87–89
Living trusts, software for creating, 19
Loan application fees (nuisance fees), 55
Loan costs, for mortgages, 75, 78
Loan discounts, defined, 55
Loans
assumable, 77
on boats, 82
collateral for, 55, 57, 141
comparison worksheet, 54, Appendix B Form 33
cosigners, 55, 58, 61, Appendix B Form 41
credit record and, 54, 55, 103
credit reports and, 101
forgiven at death, 29
lump sum payment calculation, 60
monthly payment calculation, 59, 60
monthly payment record, 56, Appendix B Form 35
on motor vehicles, 81
net worth statement and, 98
overdue payment, demand letter, 65, Appendix B Form
47
security agreements for, 61–64, Appendix B Forms
42–45
terminology, 55
364 | 101 law forms for personal use
Truth in Lending Act and, 141
See also Creditors; Debts; Liabilities; Mortgages;
Promissory notes
Local permits and approvals, for home repair work, 91
Lock-in, of mortgage interest rates, 77
M
Mail fraud, reporting, 145
Mailing lists
notice to add or retain name from, 109, Appendix B
Form 79
notice to remove name from, 107–109, Appendix B
Form 78
Maintenance agreements, for homes, 91–92, Appendix B
Form 64
Margins, for adjustable rate mortgages, 77
Marriage
benefits of, 122
prenuptial agreements, 122
See also Spouses; Unmarried couples
Mediation, 8, 10, 123, 124, 128–129
Medical directives, software for creating, 19
Medical treatment
for child, authorization of, 12–13, 14, 118, Appendix B
Form 2
for household employees, 116
for pet, caregiver agreement, 16
Memberships, notice to cancel, 141–142, Appendix B
Form 104
Military personnel, lease termination by, 48
Minimum wage, for household employees, 115
Minors. See Children
Mobile homes (stationary), bill of sale for, 80
Monthly Budget, 97–98, Appendix B Form 69
Monthly carrying costs
debt-to-income ratio and, 75, 77
defined, 77
worksheet, 73–74, Appendix B Form 53
Monthly income, 97, Appendix B Form 68
of home buyer, 71
Monthly payment on loans
monthly payment calculation, 59, 60
monthly payment record, 56, Appendix B Form 35
Month-to-month tenancy, 46–47, Appendix B Form 26
notice of intent to move out, 51, Appendix B Form 31
Mortgage insurance, private (PMI), 74, 75, 77
Mortgages
assignment of, 99
comparing rates and terms, 74–76, Appendix B Form 54
monthly carrying costs, 73–74, Appendix B Form 53
points, 55, 75, 78
on property left in will, 31
second, 77, 141
as security for loans, 62
terminology, 77–78
See also House buying
Motorcycles. See Motor vehicles
Motor homes. See Motor vehicles
Motor vehicle insurance
evidence of, 17
notice of insurance claim, 139–140
notifying company of death, 40–41, Appendix B Form
22
Motor vehicles
assignment of purchase contracts, 99
authorization to drive, 15, 16–17, Appendix B Form 7
bill of sale for, 80–81, Appendix B Form 56
carpool agreement, 15–16, Appendix B Form 5
as collateral for loans, 62, 63
joint ownership of, 124
name changes and, 125
ownership history, researching, 81
vehicle identification number, 80, 81
See also Car accidents
Moving
checklist for, 78, Appendix B Form 55
tenant’s notice of intent to move out, 51, Appendix B
Form 31
Mutual release
of contract claims, 136, Appendix B Form 100
general, 134–135, Appendix B Form 96
N
Name change, declaration of, 125, Appendix B Form 90
Named insured
to homeowners’ insurance policies, 39–40
of motor vehicle policies, 40–41
Names, entering on forms, 5–6
National Association of Attorneys General, 107, 139
National Demographics and Lifestyles, 108
National Directory of New Hires, 115
National Do Not Call Registry, 106
National Fraud Information Center, 139
Negative amortization, 75, 77
Negotiation, to resolve disputes, 8
Neighbor disputes, release for damage, 135, Appendix B
Form 97
Neighborhood information, in ideal house profile, 68–69
Net worth, statement of, 98, Appendix B Form 70
New Hire Reporting Form, 115
Newspapers
notice to cancel, 38, 141–142, Appendix B Form 104
obituary information to, 39, Appendix B Form 20
Notarization, 7–8
for bills of sale, 80
See also instructions for specific forms
Notice of Insurance Claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Form 102
index | 365
Notice of Needed Repairs, 50–51, Appendix B Form 30
Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney, 18, 21, 25,
Appendix B Form 10
Notice of Termination of Personal Property Rental
Agreement, 87, Appendix B Form 62
Notice to Add or Retain Name but Not Sell or Trade It,
109, Appendix B Form 79
Notice to Cancel Certain Contracts, 140–141, Appendix
B Form 103
Notice to Creditor of Death, 37–38, 39, Appendix B
Form 17
Notice to Deceased’s Homeowner’s Insurance Company,
Appendix B Form 21
Notice to Deceased’s Vehicle Insurance Company,
Appendix B Form 22
Notice to Put Name on Company’s “Do Not Call” List,
110–111, Appendix B Form 81
Notice to Remove Name From List, 38, 107–109,
Appendix B Form 78
Notice to Stop Payment of Check, 100–101, Appendix B
Form 73
Notice to Terminate Joint Account, 99–100, Appendix B
Form 72
Nuisance fees (loan application fees), 55
O
Obituary Information Fact Sheet, 39, Appendix B Form
20
Online Auction Buyer Demand Letter, 129–130,
Appendix B Form 92
Online auctions. See Auctions, online
Online dispute resolution services, 129
Online purchases, warranties on, 129
Oral contracts/notices
breach of, 136
contractor bids, 92
of intent to move out, 51
legality of, 2
between unmarried couples, 122
Overdue Payment Demand, 65, Appendix B Form 47
Overtime laws, for household employees, 115
P
Painting work, 90, 91, 92
Palimony cases, 122
Passports, reporting stolen, 145
Payable-on-death bank accounts, 29
People, forms describing, 5–6
Permits, for home repair work, 91
Personal guardians, for minor children, 33
Personal injury
notice of insurance claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Form 102
release for, 135, Appendix B Form 99
See also Accidents
Personal Property Rental Agreement, 86, Appendix B
Form 61
termination of, 87, Appendix B Form 62
Personal representatives. See Executors
Pets
agreement for care of, 15, 16, Appendix B Form 6
bill of sale for dog, 83, Appendix B Form 60
insurance claim for animal bite, 132, 139–140,
Appendix B Form 102
Pet stores, buying dogs from, 83
PIN numbers, identity theft and, 144
PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), 74
Placement agencies, hiring workers through, 114
Planned unit developments, architectural review
committees, 91
Plumbing work, 90, 91
PMI (private mortgage insurance), 74, 75, 77
Points, real estate loans, 55, 75, 78
Police reports, identity theft and, 144–145, Appendix B
Form 106
Political candidates, do not call exemptions for, 107
Power of attorney for finances
beginning/ending of, 18
conventional vs. durable, 19
information resources, 19
limited power, 17–21, Appendix B Form 8
public record of, 20, 24–25
revoking, 18, 21, 25, Appendix B Form 10
termination date, 18
witnesses, state law, 19, 20, 24
Power of attorney for real estate, 17, 21–25, Appendix B
Form 9
Prenuptial agreements, 122
Prepayment penalties
on loans, 55
on mortgages, 77
Principals, for power of attorney, 17, 22
Privacy rights
“Do Not Call” registries, 110–111, Appendix B Form 81
“Do not write” lists, 108
of tenants, 46, 47
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 106, 109
Private mortgage insurance (PMI), 74, 75, 77
Probate
avoiding, 28, 30
executor responsibilities, 31, 36
rules for notifying creditors of death, 37
Promissory notes, 56–61
agreement to modify, 64–65, Appendix B Form 46
assignment of rights under, 98–99, 134, Appendix B
Form 71
cosigner provisions, 61, Appendix B Form 41
installments with interest, 58–59, Appendix B Form 36
366 | 101 law forms for personal use
installments with interest and balloon payment, 59–60,
Appendix B Form 37
installments without interest, 60, Appendix B Form 38
lump sum with interest, 60–61, Appendix B Form 39
lump sum without interest, 61, Appendix B Form 40
notarization, 57
overdue payment, demand letter, 65, Appendix B Form
47
overview, 56–57
security agreement for, 62–63, Appendix B Form 42
signing, 7, 57–58
terminology, 59
Property
assignment of rights to, 98–99, 134, Appendix B Form
71
forms describing, 6
giving away to evade creditors, 125
rental agreement, personal property, 86–87, Appendix B
Forms 61–62
rental agreement, termination, 87, Appendix B Form 62
software for tracking, 28
of unmarried couples, 122–125, Appendix B Forms
87–89
See also Assets; Bill of sale; Collateral; Estate planning;
Real estate
Property damage
from auto accident, release for, 135, Appendix B Form
98
to real estate, release for, 135, Appendix B Form 97
security deposits and, 49–50
Property guardians, 33
Property taxes, for home buyer, 74, 77
Property Worksheet, 28–29, Appendix B Form 11
Public assistance recipients
credit report request for, 102
home buyers as, 71
Public records office
filing power of attorney with, 20, 24–25
recording deed of trust, 62
R
Rate lock-in, mortgage interest, 77
Real estate
beneficiaries of, 29
as collateral for loans, 62, 141
“Cooling-Off Rule” and, 140
damage to, release for, 135, Appendix B Form 97
description, power of attorney forms, 22–23
joint ownership of, 28, 29, 40, 124
listing on property worksheet, 28
mobile homes, 80
and nonpermitted contractor work, 91
power of attorney for, 17, 21–25, Appendix B Form 9
web resources, 68
See also House and Home entries; Rental entries
Recording (registration)
deeds of trust, 62
power of attorney forms, 20, 24–25
Refunds
after canceling contract, 140
consumer fraud and, 138
under warranty, 130–132, Appendix B Form 93
Releasee, defined, 134
Release of U.C.C. Financing Statement, 64, Appendix B
Form 45
Releases to settle disputes, Appendix B Forms 95–100
for auto accident property damage, 135, Appendix B
Form 98
binding others with, 134
enforceability, 133
general, 134, Appendix B Form 95
general and mutual, 134–135, 136, Appendix B Form
100, Appendix B Form 96
overview, 132–133
for personal injury, 135, Appendix B Form 99
questions to ask before signing, 133–134
for real estate property damage, 135, Appendix B Form
97
terminology, 134
Releasor, defined, 134
Remodeling, 69, 90–93
Rental
of personal property, 86–88, Appendix B Forms 61–62
of residence, 44–52, Appendix B Forms 23–32
Rental agreement, for personal property, 86, Appendix B
Form 61
termination of, 87, Appendix B Form 62
Rental Application, 45, 48, Appendix B Form 24
Rent control ordinances, 47
Repairs
to home, 90–93, Appendix B Forms 65–66
to rental property, notice for, 50–51, Appendix B Form
30
under warranty, 130–132, Appendix B Form 93
Replacement value, of personal property, 87–88
Request for Credit Report, 101–102, Appendix B Form
74
Request for Death Certificate, 36–37, Appendix B Form
16
Request for Refund or Repair of Goods Under Warranty,
130–132, Appendix B Form 93
Request to Begin Special Education Process, 142–143,
Appendix B Form 105
Residence. See House and Home entries; Rental entries
Residuary beneficiaries, 29, 31
Retirement plans
beneficiaries of, 28, 29
income from, 72, 97
Rights, assignment of, 98–99, 134, Appendix B Form 71
index | 367
R.L. Polk & Company, 108
RTF files, 148–149, 151–153
S
Sale of property. See Bill of sale
Sales contracts, notice to cancel, 140–141, Appendix B
Form 103
Second mortgages
to avoid PMI, 77
canceling, 141
Securities
income from, 97
transfer-on-death, 29
Security agreements, 61–64, Appendix B Forms 42–45
overview, 61–62
promissory note provision, 62–63, Appendix B Form 42
state laws, 63–64
U.C.C. Financing Statement, 63–64, Appendix B Form
44
U.C.C. Financing Statement, release of, 64, Appendix B
Form 45
See also Collateral
Security deposits
demand for return of, 51–52, Appendix B Form 32
landlord-tenant checklist and, 49–50
small claims court lawsuits, 51, 52
state laws on, 46, 47, 51
Separate property
debt repayment and, 58
of unmarried couple, 122–123, Appendix B Form 87
Shared property, of unmarried couples, 124–125,
Appendix B Form 89
Signing forms, 6, 7
See also instructions for specific forms
Slip and fall
claims worksheet, 132, Appendix B Form 94
notice of insurance claim, 132, 139–140, Appendix B
Form 102
Small claims court
for defective product cases, 132
to enforce releases, 136
information resources, 52, 128
for return of security deposits, 51, 52
suing telemarketers in, 109–110
See also Lawsuits
Social Security Administration
identity theft report to, 145
name changes, 125
Social Security (FICA) taxes, for household employees, 91,
114–116
Social Security payments
to home buyers, 71
stopping after death, 39
Software, bill of sale for, 82
Special education, request to begin, 142–143, Appendix B
Form 105
Spouses
as beneficiaries, 29, 32, 122
in community property states, 58, 134
as executors, 31–32
ex-spouse as attorney-in-fact, 18
releases binding on, 134
separate property of, 58
signature on promissory notes, 57
signature requirements, 7
termination of joint account with, 99–100, Appendix B
Form 72
SSI (Supplemental Security Income), 71
State Consumer Protection Office, consumer complaints
to, 107, 110
State Contractors’ Licensing Board, 90
State laws
on abusive telemarketing, 106
adoption of Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, 33
collecting on bad checks, 65
community property states, 58
death certificates, 36–37
domestic partners as beneficiaries, 32
do not call registries, 106–107
durable powers of attorney, 19
home repair licensing requirements, 90–91
on identity theft, 146
intestacy laws, 28
lender’s security interest in property, 63–64
for married couples, 122
minimum wage, 115
notarization of bills of sale, 80
pet retailer requirements, 83
residential landlord-tenant relations, 46–48, 51–52
special education services, 142
telemarketing, 107, 109–110
witnesses for power of attorney, 19, 20, 24
Statement of Assets and Liabilities, 98, Appendix B Form
70
Stepparents, temporary guardianship and, 12
Stop payment notice, for checks, 100–101, Appendix B
Form 73
Storage Contract, 87–88, Appendix B Form 63
Subscriptions, notice to cancel, 38, 141–142, Appendix B
Form 104
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 71
T
Taxes
assignment of rights and, 99
child care tax credit, 116
for household employees, 114–116
interest-free loans and, 60, 61
368 | 101 law forms for personal use
property taxes, 74, 77
Telemarketers, 106–111, Appendix B Forms 78–82
Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention
Act, 106
Telemarketing Phone Call Log, 109–110, Appendix B
Form 80
Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 106, 109–110
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 71
Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of
Minor, 12–13, 15, Appendix B Form 1
Tenant-Landlord law
federal laws, 45, 47
state laws, 46, 47, 48, 51–52
Tenants
Apartment-Finding Service Checklist, 44–45, Appendix
B Form 23
Demand for Return of Security Deposit, 51–52,
Appendix B Form 32
Landlord-Tenant Checklist, 49–50, Appendix B Form
29
Notice of Needed Repairs, 50–51, Appendix B Form 30
See also Leases; Rental entries
Tenant’s Notice of Intent to Move Out, 51, Appendix B
Form 31
Time limits, for mortgage loans, 75
Tools, rental agreement, 86–87, Appendix B Forms 61–62
Trailers
mobile homes (stationary), bill of sale for, 80
See also Motor vehicles
Training and probation periods, for child care providers,
116
Transfer-on-death securities, 29
TransUnion, 101
Travel
foreign travel with minor, authorization for, 13,
Appendix B Form 3
Housesitting Instructions, 14–15, Appendix B Form 4
Trucks. See Motor vehicles
Trusts
for children, 34
information resources, 30
special needs, 30
Truth in Lending Act, 141
Two-step fixed rate mortgages, 76
U
U.C.C. Financing Statement, 63–64, Appendix B Form
44
release of, 64, Appendix B Form 45
Undocumented aliens, as household workers, 116
Unemployment compensation, for household employees,
115
Unemployment, credit report request during, 102
Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), 33
Unmarried couples, 122–125, Appendix B Forms 87–90
domestic partners as beneficiaries, 32
terminating joint accounts, 99–100, Appendix B Form
72
U.S. Department of Labor, minimum wage laws, 115
Used cars. See Motor vehicles
U.S. Postal Service, identity theft report to, 145, Appendix
B Form 106
U.S. State Department, reporting stolen passport to, 145
V
Vehicle identification number (VIN), 80, 81
Veterinarians
certification of congenital defects, 83
pet care authorization, 16
Vital statistics offices, for death certificates, 37
W
Wage garnishments, loan repayment and, 57
Warranties
in bills of sale, 80, 81
implied, 50, 130
overview, 130
request for refund or repair or goods under, 130–132,
Appendix B Form 93
Warranty cards, as marketing tool, 108
Wills
for adult with children, 32–34, Appendix B Form 14
for adult with no children, 32, Appendix B Form 13
Beneficiary Worksheet, 29, Appendix B Form 12
codicil to, 34, Appendix B Form 15
dying without, 28
information resources, 30, 33
overview, 30–32
Property Worksheet, 28–29, Appendix B Form 11
software for creating, 19, 30, 33
special instructions for preparing, 3, 31, 32
validity of, 31
Witnesses
to accidents, 132
to signatures, 7
See also instructions for specific forms
Word processing files, using to create documents, 148–150
Workers’ compensation insurance, for household
employees, 115, 116
Y
Yard work
by employees, 7
by independent contractors, 91–92, Appendix B Form 64
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