Legal Blog – Helping People Represent Themselves in Legal Matters

Welcome to our online legal blog! We designed this blog and our entire website for people who:

  1. want to save money
  2. are not afraid of the legal system, and
  3. want to learn how to handle their legal matter without hiring an attorney.

You will find our legal blog an excellent resource for legal information and news. We post several new articles each week covering different legal topics of interest. If you want to keep up with various legal issues or expand your legal knowledge, subscribe to our blog, and you will receive notification of new articles.

A Legal Blog Dedicated to the Self-Represented

A People’s Choice is a Registered Legal Document Assistant and a leading California legal document preparation service. We are not attorneys nor are we associated with an attorney’s office. In addition, there are no attorneys on our staff. As a Registered Legal Document Assistant, we dedicate ourselves to providing consumers inexpensive self-help legal document preparation services without compromising quality or professionalism. A People’s Choice stands apart from our competitors, offering both online and personal service backed by over 38 years of experience. We can provide same-day services, extended hours of operation, online worksheets and interviews, a comprehensive self-help library and a free topic-specific Legal Guide for clients to use as a reference tool throughout their proceeding.

The legal field is continually changing.  In recent years, technology has dramatically expanded opportunities for people to access low-cost legal help. For example, the internet has opened up a multitude of options for people to get the legal help they need. On the other hand, computer technology has enhanced the way we can provide our legal services. By efficiently utilizing technology in delivering our legal document services, A People’s Choice can offer more competitive, lower fees for our services than many other similar companies. Clients can provide information for their paperwork in several ways – in person, by worksheet, over the phone, and for many types of matters, through a convenient, interactive online interview system. More importantly, we are not pleased to be incorporating a new, online client portal which will give our customers access to all of their documents and important messages.

If you have a  California legal matter, A People’s Choice can help you, no matter where you live! We offer our legal document services in all 58 counties in California. Although our corporate office is in Ventura County, A People’s Choice prepares and files papers with every court in California, from Del Norte, Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, all the way down to San Diego and Imperial Counties, and every county in between.

History of A People’s Choice

A People’s Choice was founded in 1980 by Sandra McCarthy. At that time, our profession did not officially exist. Sometimes local attorneys would meet people with legal needs that just could not afford their attorney fees. Consequently, attorneys started referring these people to our registered legal document assistant office to give them an option they could afford.  A People’s Choice was able to offer a low-cost alternative to people needing routine legal documents while avoiding the high costs typically associated with hiring an attorney. Today our services cover an array of legal document needs. We now offer online interviews and help thousands of customers every year in all counties and courts in California.

More Than Legal Document Preparation

A People’s Choice offers much more than legal document preparation. For example, we can file your legal paperwork, schedule any necessary hearings and, if required, make arrangements for serving your documents. Moreover, don’t be fooled by low-cost online services that only prepare limited documents and which provide customers with confusing instructions to sort through. A People’s Choice will guide you through your entire legal process, from beginning to end. If your needs ever exceed what we can offer under California law, we will do our best to direct you to other sources of low-cost, reasonably priced help.

Best of all, we provide all of our services on a flat fee basis. Why is this important? It allows you, as a consumer, full control over your legal costs. You will not have any no surprises or unexpected bills once we finish our legal document preparation services.

Experience Counts

Sandra McCarthy, the President of A People’s Choice, remains actively involved in various activities that support opportunities for low-cost legal document services for California consumers. During 2004-2005, Ms. McCarthy served as President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants), an association dedicated to promoting and protecting the Legal Document Assistant profession and non-attorney legal services for California consumers. Ms. McCarthy has also co-authored many legal self-help booklets for the self-represented person. Her legal career covers working as a freelance paralegal, law office manager, and paralegal studies teacher.

We recognize that there are many options for consumers when selecting a legal service provider, and so are very proud of the hundreds of five-star ratings shared online by our satisfied customers. Don’t just take our word. Check out what our customers have said on Google,, and Yelp! We recognize that we cannot please everyone, but we will do our very best to try! We also have an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Contact Us For More Information

Our website provides extensive information about our company and our services. We have also set up a new website that is strictly devoted to probate and estate administration, an area that our office specializes in. You can also subscribe to our legal blog. Don’t worry. You won’t need to subscribe to two different blogs. All of our blog postings are posted to our main site and then by feed are replicated on our new probate site. Subscribers receive immediate notification of every newly published article covering everyday legal issues. Many of our clients have indicated our blog is an excellent way for them stay up with news in the legal field on topics of interest that affect each of us in our daily lives.

Give us a call at 800-747-2780 if you have any questions. You may want to browse our website and learn about the many legal document services we provide. A People’s Choice offers low-cost, professional legal document preparation services for all 58 counties in California. We are here to help and save you money!

Get help with your California legal documents today!

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


About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.


  1. Jim February 17, 2019 at 7:27 am - Reply

    35 years married,My wife passed 1 yr ago. Our home was titled join tenancy w/ survivorship. My retirement funds were in my name only( not jointly) ie: IRA, ROTH. Are these assets subject to California probate. There was a will written 18 yrs ago when my wife went in for brain surgery ,and since my wife’s passing the step kids are saying 1/2 of everything ( ira, Roth,house) is there’s. Are these investments safe from probate in California and are there any forms I need to file.

    • Sandy McCarthy February 20, 2019 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      I would recommend you talking to an attorney about these matters as it appears you are looking for legal advice.

  2. leonor February 22, 2018 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    My mother passed away without leaving a will. She didnt leave much just a house. My brother is going to be appointed administrator and he’s decided not to sell the house but i dont agree with him. I would like the house sold so we could all just move on with our lives. What i’d like to know is what can i do to get my part of the estate even if he dosent want to sell?

    • Sandy McCarthy February 23, 2018 at 5:37 am - Reply

      You might want to speak with an attorney to get some direction on this. Once you have a plan, contact us regarding the document preparation. We may be able to help!

  3. Alex Casum October 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Sandy, quick question about my life insurance, which she is the main beneficiary of the policy, in case of a divorce can she still collect the benefits in case something happens with me? Thank you.

    • Sandy McCarthy October 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      I would probably update your insurance beneficiary after your divorce to reconfirm that is who you want as your beneficiary so there is no confusion or misunderstanding (or conflict).

  4. ALYSIA April 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    One of our co-tenants came home last night with two other adults and a uhaul truck, at about 10pm, when I asked what was going in she stated they needed somewhere to live for “a while” and proceeded to unload their belongings. They had a bed set up with in an hours time of being here. This was never discussed nor is it agreed upon or ok with us. What are my options to make sure they do not stay AT ALL.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 5, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

      Unfortunately since we are not attorneys we cannot advise you. You probably should speak to an attorney who specializes in evictions to get some direction on this as soon as possible! Not sure where you are located but you can Google eviction attorney in your area.

  5. randall berke February 24, 2016 at 6:08 am - Reply

    my brother died unexpectedly and left no will he had a girl friend back in highschool that got pregnant and instead of getting an abortion she had the child so he ended up paying child support for the intire term the son doesn’t know him or acknowledge the fact but now says he’s the hier of the estate he has no idea what to do and hasn’t got back to me about my offer to be excecutor of the estate what I want to know is there any chance for me to contest the probate and become the administrator and what are my option as the brother I cant even get into the house because the son and I were going to pick up the keys,his credit card and a few more personnals but he went by him self and the coroner gave him the keys and hasn’t returned any of my phone calls what can I do

    • Sandy McCarthy February 26, 2016 at 3:33 am - Reply

      Randall- I am so sorry for the recent loss of your brother. There are several different ways to settle intestate estates however because we are not lawyers, we are unable to specifically advise you of the process that you should use. I would suggest that you seek out either a free or low cost consultation with an attorney to get some specific direction and advice regarding this. Once you have done this, please call the office and we can offer you substantial savings on the process that you will need to take to resolve this matter. We have over 35 years of experience helping people prepare the necessary legal paperwork to get through these types of situations.

  6. Benny Henson December 11, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

    First of all congrats Sandy McCarthy for a great business. There is much need for the the kind of legal services you are providing. The best thing is that people can handle their legal matter by their own with the help of legal support.

    Thanks for such a great information.

  7. darlene demiraiakian April 14, 2015 at 2:35 am - Reply

    My roommate died with an inter vivos living trust, leaving me as successor trustee and sole beneficiary. His sister, who he specifically stated, was not to receive anything, is demanding the furniture and a copy of the trust, so she can start probate proceedings. I have documentation that she mismanaged their parents trust, which she was in charge of and kept most of the money, then tried to get other family members to grant deed their property over to her or her children. does she have a right to a copy of the trust and can she start probate, or can I just transfer the assets to my own living trust and close his out, since there are no funds to manage it.

    • Sandy McCarthy April 15, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      There is typically a legal process to administer a trust that requires notification to beneficiaries and other people named in the documentation. I would suggest you speak with a lawyer if you have any questions regarding what your requirements are if you are the named successor trustee in your roommate’s trust before assets are transferred to make sure you are complying with all the legal requirements of being successor trustee.

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