Legal Health Checklist

Use our legal health checklist to see if you have everything you need to be legally & financially protected.

When you begin working we suggest:

  • Obtaining the Employment Agreement and Handbook for knowing the rules.
  • File Taxes to build records and to avoid debts.
  • Maximize Roth IRA and 401(k) Match to maximize tax savings.
  • Use Flexible Savings Accounts for a tax deduction on all expenses that qualify.

When you turn 18 we suggest:

  • A Will to determine how your assets will be distributed.
  • A Financial Power of Attorney appoints someone to make your financial decisions if you become unable.
  • A Living Will & Health Care Directive to make advance decisions regarding your healthcare and last wishes.
  • Life, Disability, Health, Liability Insurance Policies to cover assets, income, and liabilities.
  • Maximize a Health Savings Account for tax-free savings for healthcare and long term care.
  • A Roommate Agreement to handle disputes among non-family members.

When you purchase, sell or exchange a vehicle or other valuable property we suggest:

  • A Bill of Sale to detail the terms of sale for an item.
  • A Purchase Order as evidence of the terms to purchase goods in case a disagreement occurs.
  • Property Insurance to protect the asset.

When you purchase or lease real property we suggest:

  • Purchase Agreements and Deeds as evidence of the terms of purchase and details of the rights to a property in case of disagreements or future transfers.
  • Rental/Lease Agreements to dictate warranties, protections, and responsibilities.
  • Title & Homeowners/Renter’s Insurance to protect against mistakes and accidents

If you get married we suggest:

  • Add spouse’s name to Will and Beneficiary Forms, consider adding to POAs or Trusts.
  • A Marriage Agreement to formalize expectations of a new or existing marriage.
  • Property Assignments to describe what is joint and individually owned property.
  • Joint and Separate Bank Accounts to distinguish between joint and marital property.

If you have children we suggest:

  • Adding Guardianship Designation and names to Wills, Trusts, POAs, and beneficiary forms.
  • A Family Trust funded with savings or life insurance to make sure your family is provided for.
  • A Parenting/Custody Agreement to reduce fighting over the kids.
  • An Education Savings Account and Minor Checking Account to manage a child’s savings.

If you open and run a business we recommend:

  • Articles of Incorporation/Organization to organize as a separate entity for liability purposes.
  • Ownership/Operating Agreements to dictate how the business will be owned and operated.
  • Employment Agreements to formalize the terms and expectations of a working relationship.
  • Purchase Orders or Service Contracts to formalize terms with customers and clients
  • Copyrights, Patents, & Trademarks to protect your intellectual property.
  • Buy-Sell Agreements to ensure business succession and asset transfers are handled properly.

When you retire we recommend:

  • Obtaining for Medicare and Supplement Plans
  • Spending Social Security funds 1st before Traditional IRA funds before Roth IRA funds before HSA funds.
  • Considering Long-Term Care Insurance and saving HSA funds for eldercare.
  • Medicaid Planning in case you need long-term care you cannot afford.
  • Considering a Credit Shelter Trust and/or Life Estate to protect your nest egg from creditors.
  • Tax Plan for estate and gift taxes using QTIP, GST & Charitable Remainder Trusts, Foundations and Disclaimers.

If you get Disabled we recommend:

  • File for SSI and SSDI to obtain government benefits.
  • Get help finding specialized housing options in your area.

If you get Divorced we suggest:

  • A Separation Agreement explaining how the parties will live and conduct affairs.
  • A Property Settlement Agreement describing how property and income will be divided.
  • A Custody Agreement describing how custody, support, and visitation of children will be divided.

When accidents occur we recommend:

  • You gather Evidence, pictures and notes and refuse to make a statement or answer questions without an attorney present. You may need to ask if you are free to leave.
  • A Retainer Agreement or to call an attorney so you have an attorney ready to quickly advise you on the best course ahead.

We recommend having all documents drafted or reviewed by an attorney so that you don’t get caught with the short end of the stick.  Contact Tarris Law to get your matter checked off.


How to Protect Your Rights if you are Questioned by Police or Arrested

Do you know how to properly protect your rights? We can help. See the instructions below on how to handle police questioning, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.


1.) Be polite and respectful when speaking with an officer. You should politely respond to any reasonable questions the officer has and you may record the interaction. Make sure to be prepared to provide identification when operating a vehicle and to obtain the officer’s name.

2.) If you feel like you are being interrogated or are not free to leave, ask the officer if you are under arrest and if you are allowed to leave.

3.) If you are not under arrest but not free to leave, ask why.

4.) If the officer asks to search you or your belongings, you should politely and clearly refuse so your rights are protected. You should then ask again if you are under arrest and free to leave. Officers may be allowed to obtain probable cause for a search. If the officer says they have a search warrant ask to see it and for a copy to protect your rights.

5.) If you are under arrest, immediately ask to have an attorney present for any further police questioning and clearly refuse to answer all further questioning until your attorney arrives to protect your rights.

6.) Do not say, sign, or agree to anything without your attorney being present after you have invoked your right to an attorney no matter what tactics the police use.

7.) Do not resist arrest, confront, run from, or initiate physical interaction with an officer.

8.) Do not talk about your case with others at ANYTIME, especially with inmates or on facebook or other social media. Do not speak about your case on the phone from jail.

9.) Once your attorney arrives, be honest and follow his instructions so he can adequately protect your rights.