Legal terms in bylaws

I've been active in our PTO for the past 4 to 5 years. I've always asked about bylaws and no one knew where they were. I'm the president this coming school year. I found the bylaws in storage. The last amendment is from 2008. The bylaws read like a lawyer must have written them. There is a lot of reference to our states nonprofit laws and sections and code of this law. It talks about indemnification, etc. They seem way more complex than possible they need to be?? It almost reads more for a regular large nonprofit corp. instead of a little PTO. I can hardly understand all the jargon! Can I really revamp these bylaws and make them more simplified like the samples on this website? Do we really need all this legal terminology in the bylaws? We also have an Article of Incorporation that is just a page long. We obviously are incorporated and also nonprofit. Thanks for your advice!
- de233

Yes, bylaws can be rewritten. It shouldn't be something that happens on a frequent basis, but if they are just not working for you, then it sounds like it is time for a change. The bylaws should tell you what the process is for changing the bylaws. It's possible that not all the legal terminology is necessary, but without actually looking at them, there's no way to tell you what is necessary and what isn't. There may be some sections required by your state, or some sections required by the IRS (highly likely if you are tax exempt).
- mum24kids
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