Our world today has become increasingly dependent on a virtual environment. Video conferencing, digital banking and online shopping allow us to take care of our daily personal and business needs without leaving the comfort of home. In fact, many people are so comfortable with virtual transactions, that they consider it for their legal needs as well. However, while an internet-based world makes it easy to cut out personal interactions, some DIY tasks are not always a good idea. In fact, typical “fill-in-the-blank” legal forms may appear to be easy, but they can often cause more trouble in the long run.
Problems With DIY Legal Forms
Pre-printed legal forms definitely have an appeal. They appear to be a quick and easy way to take care of legal matters, with the fill-in-the-blank style seemingly leaving little room for error. However, there are a number of issues with these types of forms that can lead to problems down the line.
- Document may be out of date – a quick online search can bring up results that are decades old, which means the law may have changed several times since it was published
- Instructions may not be clear – you might think you understand it, but if you don’t, there is nobody to ask for clarification
- It is easy to fill out a form incorrectly – online websites will not review your form for accuracy, which means errors are likely
- Mistakes go unnoticed until it is too late – you prepare legal forms in order to protect yourself and your loved ones, but even one simple mistake can make them invalid when you need them most
- One size fits all format – this usually allows little to no room for customization, even though each person has their own specific individual needs
Documents That Should be Prepared by an Actual Experienced Attorney
While it is possible to find just about any legal forms online, we have established that a lot can go wrong if you do decide to use them. Some people may feel confident in their ability, and of course everyone has the legal right to represent themselves in most scenarios. However, any important, legally binding documents should be prepared by an actual competent lawyer. Avoid using generic legal forms for the following:
- Estate documents such as a will, living will, trust or power of attorney
- Residential or commercial lease agreements
- Business documents such as articles of incorporation, contracts, employment agreements or non-disclosure agreements
- Court documents regarding complaints, appeals, disputes or collections
Call Us for Qualified Legal Assistance
When a legal document is prepared or filed incorrectly, the consequences can be troubling. For example, a landlord may not be able to legally evict a tenant if the terms were not thoroughly detailed in the lease agreement. Or in the case of a will, your heirs may be subjected to undue expense and emotional hardships if it is contested due to a legal error. Yes, it costs more to have an actual attorney prepare your legal documents, but you are paying for important experience and valuable professional advice. And that is ultimately the best way to get the legal protection you need. The attorneys at Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd have decades of experience in multiple areas of law and we have been valued members of the Grayslake community for over 100 years. We take pride in the personalized service we provide to our clients, which is far beyond what you get from any online service or prefilled form options. Contact us today at 847-223-1500 for the trusted, qualified legal assistance you deserve.
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