Without exception, it is always your employer’s lawyer who prepares the severance agreement. That means that it is designed to achieve all of the company’s objectives, i.e. to get you to release any and all claims that you might have against your former employer in exchange for the least amount of money possible. In fact, the largest portion of the 7-10 page agreement is most likely to be your detailed release and waiver of claims with no “take-backs” or “do-overs” permitted. Just like the HR department is not there to protect you from the company, neither will this agreement. Hence, it is imperative that you have your own attorney review this agreement to ensure that it protects your interests as well. Be aware that there is usually a time limit within which the agreement needs to be negotiated and resolved so don’t wait too long to contact an attorney.