Everyone knows that attorneys can be expensive. To take advantage of this fact, services have sprung up that offer cheap legal documents. Some states have created professional positions for people to help fill out cheap legal documents. Using these services, may not be the best idea.
Very few good estate planning attorneys will tell you that their services are cheap. Attorneys know what they do can seem expensive to some people. There is often little that attorneys can do to work around that, since they need to make enough money to maintain their law offices, which is not inexpensive.
For many estate planning documents, people have cheaper alternatives than going to an attorney.
Online services have sprung up that allow people to fill out estate planning documents for a relatively small fee. Estate planning form books are also printed.
The State of Arizona has created a professional class called the Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer that lets trained people help others to fill out legal documents for less than an attorney charges, according to the Green Valley News in “Legal Documents for Less?”
In the case of Arizona, people are referred to attorneys if they require legal advice. That may or may not be the case for online legal document services. However, the question to ask is whether that is good enough?
These services might be appropriate for some people who know exactly what they need and who have very simple estate planning needs. The problem is that most people may not actually know what they need, even if they think they do.
One of the most important functions of estate planning attorneys is to listen to what clients want to do and then guide their clients to the best means to achieve their estate planning goals.
You can get a cheaper estate plan, but do not assume that you are really getting what you need.
Reference: Green Valley News (Jan. 30, 2017) “Legal Documents for Less?”