6 Legal Issues Any Adult Should Know About

Legal issues can affect our lives in a variety of ways, yet many people are unfamiliar with most of the law. Having some basic knowledge is beneficial to anyone and can help keep you out of hot water due to laws you didn’t even know existed. Here are six legal topics any adult should be aware of.

Legal Issues

How To Read a Contract

You probably sign a lot more contracts than you realize. When you buy or rent a home, purchase a vehicle, check into a hotel or just take the kids for a day at the trampoline park, you are signing a document and agreeing to the terms within it. Knowing the basics of reviewing a contract will help protect you and your family. You may not have access to a contract assistant like a law firm, but familiarizing yourself with general contract guidelines will help you better understand what you are agreeing to.

What Documents You Need

Having important documents drawn up can help save you and your family stress and money in a time of need. Any adult should have a last will and testament that details their wishes regarding their estate when they pass. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets to distribute, having this document is important so that you can pass on family heirlooms, make sure pets are taken care of and appoint a guardian for minor children. You should also consider a living will, which documents your wishes should you be unable to make decisions about your medical care. It is generally a good idea to also have a medical and financial power of attorney appointed should you become incapacitated.

Renter and Landlord Rights

At some point in your adult life, you’ll likely either be a renter or a landlord. You may even find yourself on both sides of the relationship at different times. Before you sign a rental contract you should know what rights you have in your state. Learn about security deposits, giving notice, who is responsible for repairs, what conditions the landlord is responsible for correcting and the allowed timelines related to these requirements. As a responsible landlord, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are providing a good home for your tenants while also protecting your own interests.

Basic Copyright Guidelines

In order to keep yourself safe from litigation, make sure that you know at least some basic copyright law. The legal issues are quite complex, and you have likely unknowingly violated them at some point. Sharing online content such as a home video with copyrighted music in the background may be more tolerated than other forms of copyright infringement, but you should always be careful when sharing any original work that is not your own.

Rights You Have When in Contact With Police

Most everyone wants to avoid contact with the police, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Knowing your rights before it happens will help you avoid more negative consequences from the encounter. Find out what you should do when you are pulled over, when the police knock on your door or when you are with someone else who has broken the law so you’ll be ready for anything.

Your Employee Rights

Most employers won’t knowingly violate your rights, but some do take advantage of your not being aware of them. Remember that your human resources department’s job is to protect your employer’s interests and not yours. Do some research regarding their responsibility to you for overtime, salary, paid time off, sick time and breaks so that you don’t get taken advantage of. You should also know what you need to do in the event of an emergency or workplace injury.

Being in the dark about all things legal can lead to criminal and civil penalties. It can also lead to your rights being trampled on. Make sure to get informed about these issues so you can protect yourself.

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.