“I’ll just Google it” is a phrase that has become all too common in today’s world. Within seconds, we can have access to information that would have required traveling to the library 30 years ago. But just because a Google search of “how to do a will” or “cheap business formation” can turn up with services like LegalZoom or RocketLawyer, it doesn’t mean that you should use those services. Here’s why.
First, these are online document preparation websites with no legal standing. They are not attorneys. They are not law offices. They are businesses who hope to input your information into a boilerplate template and collect your money. In the past, our clients have had to pay for other attorneys to clean up the mess created by LegalZoom or RocketLawyer. They thought it would be cheaper, they thought they could handle it on their own, and they were wrong. They also don’t follow any state specific requirements which could further jeopardize your estate!
Did you or a loved one use one of these websites to create an estate plan? Did problems arise from using one of these websites? Oftentimes, the answer is “tough…you agreed to our terms and conditions”. Did you try to cut costs by using one of these websites to form your small business? While they usually file the organizational documents, this is it. They don’t get you an FEIN, they don’t customize an operating agreement/bylaws, they don’t give you any advice, and they don’t order you a corporate record book. These are the basic necessities for any small business!
Are these sites legitimate? I guess the answer is yes, but the true cost of these websites are deep within their hidden fees and upsells. Unlike an attorney’s office, where you know what you’re going to spend and you know you have a trusted advisor to answer your questions, you’re usually just met with more questions than answers when using a site like LegalZoom or RocketLawyer.
Should you use sites like these? As an attorney, my general recommendation is absolutely not. For a comparable price, you can have a positive experience with an actual attorney that can answer your questions and make sure that you’re following the laws of your state. I’m proud to say that for each of the above examples, our office offers flat fee pricing so you know EXACTLY what you’re going to pay. No surprises billing here!
Need to speak with someone about your estate plan or business formation? Look no further than the professionals at Hampleman Law, LLC. Contact our office today for an initial consultation at no cost to you.