Are Online Legal Forms Advisable?
Over the past several years, we at Brinkley Walser have seen an increase in popularity of the online "do it yourself" legal document sites, and are concerned that many individuals in need of legal advice do not understand what they are getting with this type of service. While this type of legal document service may be fine for a very simple task where you do understand exactly what you need, there are many cases where the "buyer" ends up unprotected or not getting exactly what he or she needs.
To use an example, if you go online to complete a Last Will and Testament, you may discover after the fact that you really needed to structure a guardianship for minor children, or you might learn that setting up a Trust would protect your assets after your death. Hiring an attorney allows you to discuss the details of your life and obtain legal advice (or "counsel") that is specific to your situation.
At Brinkley Walser, we do not consider our primary function to be providing legal documents. Instead, our focus is on listening to our clients and developing a strategy and plan to meet their legal needs. We are, in fact, legal counselors for our clients. Document preparation is what happens after the counseling and strategy sessions take place. In addition, our fees include the preparation of necessary legal documents, so you are not paying for document preparation on top of attorney fees.
This video with Brinkley Walser managing member David Inabinett explains how online legal document services differ from hiring an attorney. We believe it is worth your time to consider hiring an attorney versus trying to do it yourself online. Contact us to learn more.