The Internet and DIY "Lawyering"

Clients oftentimes call our office after attempting to draft their wills or file a deed on their own. The result is always the same: it costs clients more money to “undo” what they attempted on their own or, if it cannot be “undone,” they spend more money to accomplish what they originally intended.

For this reason, you should always contact my law firm before you pay for a form on various low-cost websites. To the untrained eye, a layperson has no way of knowing whether the form is legally sufficient. Moreover, there is little way to know whether the form meets other requirements which may not invalidate the form, but would save the client money in the long run.

There are two instances where clients typically run into trouble. Foremost is filing a deed to transfer real property. If you do not draft a deed correctly, you may create problems if you try to sell your home later. To rectify the problem, a lawyer must file an attorney’s affidavit and the correct deed to resolve an improperly recorded deed. When this happens, it costs clients more than double the cost to simply have us prepare and file the deed from the beginning.

Secondly, clients are tempted to buy will forms online. I have never seen an online form which includes all the provisions my law firm incorporates into each of our clients’ Last Will and Testaments. These omissions result in a client spending more time, money, and effort to probate a deceased relative’s will. During the difficult time of grieving a death in the family, the last thing the decedent would have wanted is to cause undue delay, burden, and expense to his or her family. By hiring us to guide you through this process, you will save time and money in the long run, and perhaps more importantly, you will gain peace of mind knowing your wishes will be carried out in an efficient and timely manner.

Please contact my law office for information specific to your situation. The above is for general information purposes only.