Guide: Online Legal Services
Many of the services traditionally offered by trust and estate attorneys can now be obtained online.
Most online legal services offer state-specific forms that can be created by answering step-by-step questions. Most online legal services also offer explanations of the specific questions being asked, explain the effect that your answers will have later on in the process of document creation, and define legal terms.
What You Need to Know
In some cases, creating legal documents online can make things easier, as there's less hassle involved in completing forms and documents, and the cost is significantly less. In other cases, specifically if you are trying to achieve complex legal goals, online document creation may not meet your needs.
Factors to take into consideration when choosing an online legal service include cost, completion and delivery time, and the services offered by the site. For example, some online legal services will submit your documents to review by a paralegal after completion, while others will not. Some online companies also offer the ability to get legal advice from real lawyers.
FreeWill makes creating a Will so easy that we almost felt like we were cheating. Plus, it's designed to allow you to seamlessly leave part of your estate to your favorite charity. It takes around 30 minutes and also offers Advance Healthcare Directives and a Durable Power Of Attorney for free too.
LegalZoom offers state-specific legal forms on a wide range of topics. To complete the forms customers must answer a series of questions. Every questions comes with a short description of the nature of the question you're being asked, and defines any terms that may not be clear. LegalZoom also offers Legal Advantage ($15/month), which provides attorney support, an annual review of documents by an attorney, unlimited free revisions to your documents, and secure storage of your documents. Finished documents are sent to you within 4 days.
Creating a will costs $70-$80, creating a living trust cost $250, and naming a power of attorney costs $35.
RocketLawyer offers a step-by-step process for filling out personal legal forms, and shows you a preview of your documents while you're filling them out. Every step contains information about the topics being addressed in each step, with links to articles in case you want to learn more about these issues on the RocketLawyer site. RocketLawyer also offers RocketLawyer On-Call, a service that connects you to a an attorney who can review the forms you've created online. You can also search their site for local attorneys in your area. Personal legal documents cost $10 per month.
MyUltraTrust.com is the first and only DIY service that personalizes a state-specific irrevocable trust for you. They take you step-by-step through each decision you must make with videos and explanations. Once completed, an expert contacts you to go through the details, further personalizes it, and will even obtain the Federal EIN numbers for you. You can receive the final product via mail in as little as 4 days and you can make as many changes as you want for up to 90 days.
They offer a A+ BBB customer support, $65,000 Guarantee, as well as a separate 100% satisfaction guarantee. Prices start at 3 monthly payments of $797.
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