20th Oct 2020

Material Matters: Why The Paper and Print Matter With Legal Documents

A legal document needs to stand up to the test of time without degrading and needs to be clear and readable. Because of that, certain papers need to be used

When it comes to a legal document, sometimes it's ink and paper that is essential. The type of paper you use for a legal document makes a difference because specific forms must stand the test of time and not degrade.

If you're looking to prepare a legal document soon, read on to get the information that can help guide you in the right direction.

Preparing a Legal Document

Online signing is all the rage, especially during the pandemic, with so many working remotely. Did you know that some papers still need to be printed, signed in ink, and notarized to be valid? What's more, printing a legal document on the wrong type of paper could result in it fading over time, leaving your family without the assets you intended to hand down to them after your death.

Many law firms will send you your will or other legal papers via email, and you can download them, but once you've signed them, in addition to having them notarized, you won't be able to upload them back to send them to the firm. According to legal experts, if the document is a will, a copy or facsimile isn't considered legitimate.

Why Do You Need a Legal Document?

Different types of situations need legal documents for diverse purposes. Depending on your situation, you may need one of them.

Legal documents protect you, your assets, and your intentions. A legal document may be required to put what you and someone have agreed to in writing.

Details are essential when it comes to agreements. Putting everything agreed upon entirely in writing is vital if something doesn't go as planned.

What Documents Are Legal?

For legal reasons, there will be times where you need a specific legal document. Some must be prepared following strict guidelines. Legal documents you may hear of include:


A will sets forth how you want to distribute the assets you own on your death. In general, this can be any way you wish; however, some laws govern this in every state. You may not be able to disinherit a spouse or your children, for example.

Trust Deed

A trust deed or deed of trust is a document you may need in real estate transactions. It is specific to transactions where you or the other person has taken a loan to purchase a property.


A contract is the most general type of legal document that will set forth the exact details that you agree to with someone else. It protects you in case something goes wrong.

Rental Agreements

Depending on where you live, you may call a rental agreement may a tenancy agreement. It protects you as a landlord and determines the duration you permit someone to rent a space, building, or premise from you.

Licenses or Permits

These set forth permission to someone to do something. These agreements often set a prescribed period; if another person may act on your behalf or is permitted to do something. It may also specify the fee they are required to pay if they need to pay it.

Witness Statements or Affidavits

What a person states happened in a situation is generally outlined in this type of document.


A persons' case and what they want the court to do are explained in a Pleading document.

Statutory Declaration

A statutory declaration states and confirms the truth of specific information where required. You will sign this in a particular way in front of a lawyer.

Court Order

After an agreement is reached in civil court, the details are explained in a court order that the judge approves.

Agreement of Consent

In divorce cases, or when dissolving a civil partnership, an agreement of consent specifies the agreement between two people regarding things they own so the court can formally record them in a court order.

The Legality of a Legal Document

Often when it comes to a legal form or document, it's the details that are essential. You want to be sure that the document is ironclad in the eyes of the law when you sign it. Did you know that legal documents follow strict guidelines to prevent future disputes, loopholes, or further negotiation?

When it comes to legal forms, most need signing in permanent ink. Even though you could sign in crayon and it’d be legal, experts don’t recommend this.

The color of ink that you use to sign a document can matter. Often this is not for reasons most people imagine. Red, Purple, and Green aren’t as visible when making a copy or scanning.

It’s best to stick to black or blue to ensure that your signature appears prominent and clear when the document is scanned or copied.

It's in the Paper

Making a mistake could be costly when choosing legal document paper. It's hard to decide when there are thousands of options in front of you, bond, wove or laid; paper size and weight; coated or uncoated, after a while, it all becomes a blur.

If you're not sure how to choose, begin with the basics. Knowing what kind of documents you will print will help guide you for your purchases.

Why Use Indexes?

When working with complicated legal documents, having a pile of paper to sift through makes it hard to find what you are looking for in it. Some of these documents contain hundreds of pages. Without organization, you can sit for hours looking for the clause you need.

Did you know that many legal professionals lose valuable time due to disorganization every workweek? If you’re heading to court, you’ll need to get your trial binder organized quickly.

Most trial binders include separate sections for sample questions for the jury, pretrial orders, photo evidence, your opening statements, individual witness testimony, and closing arguments.

Adding custom printed tabs into your binder will make it simple to use and attractive. Still, don’t forget to look for tabs that have the durability to last throughout the trial and beyond.

More About Legal Document Needs

Now that you’ve picked up a few tips on what a legal document requires, what’s next? If you still have questions, the experienced professionals at Exhibit Indexes can help. They’ve been helping legal professionals since 1980.

If you’re ready to move on to the next step, reach out to them today.