Every family has legal needs and while the ideal situation would be to employ a law firm and professional accountant it may not always be practical to do so. A family should always have some form of will, and a family business should always be licensed and incorporated. As a temporary solution to a situation where you cannot afford legal council for these important documents, there are several money saving alternatives.
Download Free Forms Online
Free forms including living wills and last will and testaments are available online. You simply save the appropriate form to your computer, make any adjustments and then you take it to a notary to have it signed and stamped. Find Forms.com is a great place to download free legal forms.
Paid Services Available Online
Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer as well as several other sites now offer low cost incorporation and legal documentation of forms. These online sites are similar to the online tax software that we now see around April 14 every year.
Prepaid Legal Services
Prepaid legal is another low cost alternative; with prepaid legal it is important to know what you are getting into and what is actually covered. It is wise to check with your state bar association before signing a contract for prepaid legal as these can be scams, however some are very legitimate so don’t rule prepaid legal out all together. Many prepaid legal services offer legal representation much like insurance, for a low monthly fee you can have a legal department review any forms that you may need to sign and possibly cover you in the event that your small business is sued. It is very important to read the fine print if you choose to purchase pre paid legal; know what is covered and what is not.
Use a Paralegal Instead of an Attorney
Consider a paralegal service instead of a law firm. Most routine documents can be handled by a paralegal at a rate much lower than a traditional lawyer.
Finally, if you are in a real ‘pickle’ and you need representation or serious advice then you can find a list of attorneys who will help by searching “legal aid” for your state. Arizona legal aid will bring up a list of state agencies that are often non-profit and designed to help those in need of low cost or no cost legal. The American Bar Association is another great place to find information on legal service providers.