The legal system has a reputation for being overly complicated and daunting to navigate for the unfamiliar. However, with information more accessible than ever, more and more people are educating themselves on legal matters and can better understand legal issues when they find themselves in need of legal advice. Combined with the escalating costs of hiring attorneys, more people are taking a do-it-yourself approach to their legal needs. This has led to the advent of many online companies offering to draft low-cost legal documents to meet their legal needs. The most common documents people seek are usually for business formations and estate planning, but more and more, people are turning to these sites for more complicated matters such as divorce and custody cases.
While the idea of simplifying legal matters and at the lowest possible price sounds great to everyone, it does not always work out that way. There are many limitations to using these services that can lead and cause people to spend even more than if they just hired an attorney in the first place. There is nothing more frustrating than paying hundreds of dollars for legal documents that are useless. What’s even worse, clients generally don’t find out the forms don’t meet their purpose until they need to be used. Not only are clients out the money spent on drafting the forms, but they still haven’t gotten any closer to solving their problem and are at a critical point where the documents are necessary.
One big issue with going this route is that people often don’t know what they don’t know. In other words, they don’t know that the document they seek to be drafted may not meet their objectives and goals. Even though business formation and estate planning documents may seem straightforward, that is not always the case and clients may be seeking the wrong forms, to begin with. Along these same lines, the document drafters are limited to the information you provide. They will spit out forms with the data you input. Therefore, if someone isn’t sure what they are inputting, there’s a good chance the forms will not come out correctly. It’s similar to cooking soup, you can’t throw random ingredients into a pot and expect a world-class soup.
Another limitation is that these online companies are designed to do things in bulk. One of the reasons hiring an attorney to draft documents can cost more is because they will take the time to meet with clients, assess the situation and determine the best options and how to best achieve the client’s goals. A lot of these online companies take a mad-libs approach to completing documents, where a client provides the words and the company just inserts them into blanks. For estate planning especially, these online companies use one-size fits all approach which may clients into generic documents that aren’t necessarily tailored to your situation. To return to the soup analogy, sometimes soup recipes need to be altered to peoples tastes, there’s no sense in putting peas into a minestrone soup if you don’t like peas.
The limitations of the one-size fits all approach is no more apparent than with family law. Divorce and custody matters are not an area of law that lends itself to this approach. Every family situation is different when it comes to divorce and custody issues and generic forms do not get the job done. Not every situation can be resolved with a stock answer or fill-in-the-blank solution because what works for one person doesn’t always work for everyone. When drafting judgments and agreements for family law cases, it is also beneficial to have an attorney that has ample experiences to draw on in order to fashion a solution individualized to a client’s specific needs. Situations in family law are very fluid and it is important to have an attorney drafting the paperwork who recognizes this and can adapt the paperwork as needed. A case that is amicable one day, can easily become contested the next.
Cutting corners can lead to bigger issues in the past and make things more difficult and costly in the long run, but that won’t stop people from looking for an alternative to hiring expensive attorneys. That’s where our firm is different. We are the online alternative that offers low-cost legal solutions that will meet your legal needs. www.michiganonlineattorney.com is a full-service Michigan law firm offering online-only services for people who are seeking an alternative to full representation.
At www.michiganonlineattorney.com, we are not only licensed attorneys in Michigan but we will talk or email with you for 15 minutes at no charge in order to find out about your legal needs and goals so that we can determine the correct documents for your situation that actually meet your needs. Talking with the attorney first is key to understanding your situation so we can best assess how to assist you. We are real attorneys behind the curtain and understand the nuances involved in estate planning and family law. Not only can we draft the needed documents, but we can also tailor them to your needs and ensure they will be effective and achieve your goals. With over 25 years of experience in Michigan, we are well versed not only in the law, but also the local procedures and can assist you to simplify the legal process for you. We can be involved as little or as much as you need. We focus on estate planning and domestic relations cases, but can assist you in other areas as well. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we can determine whether we can meet your needs.