Are you considering downloading a form, such as a will, from an online legal service such as LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer? Yes, this may seem like an attractive, low-cost option instead of hiring an attorney or registered legal document assistant.  After all, some online legal services advertise document fees that are a fraction of what an attorney would charge for the same service.

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So, you may ask, why pay a legal document preparer when you can get the form and fill it in yourself? Aren’t these automated online legal document services faster and cheaper? For example, a face-to-face meeting with an attorney will take usually least an hour for most services. And today, who wants to take time off work when there are other options? You may have heard those instant automated online legal services allow you to buy legal documents online that supposedly can be filled out in a matter of minutes.  So what’s the problem?

While a person could save thousands of dollars by using an automated online legal service, there are significant downsides to documents downloaded from an automated online legal service without some professional help. Besides, when you buy legal documents online and try to complete them yourself, you leave yourself subject to all sorts of problems if you prepare the paperwork wrong!

Cons of Automated, Fillable Forms

Documents from an automated online service tend to be “one size fits all.”  For the most basic of documents, such as a business formation document or a standard lease, a document from an automated online site may be sufficient.  But many types of documents, such as a Will, need to be tailored to the specific needs of the person.  Many automated online Wills allow people to fill in particular provisions.  In these situations, we have often seen cases when a lay person has used language that is so inappropriate or vague that it has led to disputes among heirs or even worse the Will being invalid!

A further problem with the “one size fits all” approach is that laws vary.  A legal document purchased online might satisfy New York laws, but in California, it may be invalid because it’s missing required language.  If you file a document that the courts reject because it is insufficient, it could end up costing more money and headaches. Most filing fees are not refundable, even if the document is rejected. Sometimes people are unaware that their document is insufficient until it is too late to fix the problem.

Before you buy legal documents online through an automated online legal service, remember this. If the document is incorrect or insufficient, there may be little recourse. For example, LegalZoom doesn’t guarantee documents will be “accurate or reliable.” They even state their documents may not also serve their intended purpose. Rocket Lawyer says the documents they provide “may include inaccuracies.” These statements are not very reassuring when it comes to the critical nature of legal documents.

Getting Documents For Free

Before purchasing from an automated online legal service, see if you can get the same document for free elsewhere.  Also, determine if the document requires a lot of optional blank areas that you need to complete. For example, basic durable power of attorney forms and advanced health care directives are usually available for free. Keep in mind, although free, these free forms are typically elementary. As a result, they often are not ideal for most people’s needs.

Be aware, that it is easy to complete documents incorrectly through these automated online legal service websites. On the other hand, using the services of an experienced registered legal document assistant office like A People’s Choice offers assurances. For example, you will know that your documents will be adequately prepared and serve their intended purpose. Secondly, our fees are substantially less than what an attorney would charge.

Better Options To Automated Online Legal Services

Are there better and safer options to using an automated online legal service when you buy legal document online? Absolutely! If you don’t want to hire an attorney, the safest option is using a legal document assistant.  An experienced legal document assistant can help you with most routine document preparation. First, using a legal document assistant is cheaper than hiring an attorney. Secondly, a legal document assistant often has prepared thousands of the same form. As a result, the legal document assistant knows what is required. Finally, using a legal document assistant reduces the possibility of the form being incorrect or invalid.

Before you buy legal documents online through an automated online legal documents service, contact A People’s Choice. We offer personalized California legal document preparation and case management services. We will discuss your needs and give you a flat fee quote for our services. You will also learn about the extra-value services we provide for our customers. Also, there is no need to take time off work. We offer convenient, online interviews for most of our services. This means you can provide us with all the necessary information for your paperwork at home, 24 hours a day, at your convenience! Yes, our services may be slightly more expensive than those of LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer. In contrast, however, you will know your documents are correct, and you have a professional by your side.

Give us a call at 800-747-2780 today!

Get help with your Legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!


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