Attorneys are expensive, even for simple issues such as petitioning for a name change. Most legal needs, however, can be done on your own. You simply fill out the proper form, pay the filing fee at the courthouse and you're done. Even complex issues, such as divorce or establishing a DBA (doing business as), can be done entirely on your own with the right paperwork. Online legal services have the forms you need in addition to some hints and tips on how to fill them out and file them. Some of the best online legal forms we found include US Legal, FindLegalForms and Rocket Lawyer. For some additional help with both personal and business forms, check out our articles on legal forms.
When evaluating online legal services, it is important to know which forms you need for your particular legal issue. Some online legal services specialize in only personal or family law forms. Others focus entirely on business forms. Regardless of the form you need, it is important to ensure that the service you choose has state-specific forms so you can be in compliance with your own state's requirements. Here are a few additional features we looked for as we reviewed legal forms online.
Types of Forms Available
The best online legal services have forms for as many legal issues as possible. These include business forms, real estate documents, financial forms and personal forms. All of the services we reviewed have a variety of these forms. However, some services tend to have more in one area, such as personal law or business, than other categories. The best online legal services have extensive lists of forms in all four categories in addition to many more listed online.
Legal Resources & Support
In addition to providing the legal forms, the best online legal services have many resources to help support you throughout the entire process of filling out and filing your legal forms. Some of the most helpful resources to look for are legal guides, which define legal terms and give instruction on how to properly fill out your forms, and a legal directory so you can find an experienced attorney in your area for some one-on-one help.
A few online legal services offer preparation services. This means you can choose the forms you need and have an experienced lawyer help you fill out and file them in your state. Some services have lawyers on staff so you can ask a legal question without committing to the preparation services.
Customer support should include at least reliable email support, though telephone and live chat support are also good for a quicker response to your questions. Most services offer a FAQs section online, though many are geared toward the definitions of specific legal terms rather than actual customer service-type questions.
Legal issues can be scary and costly to address. Using a quality online legal service can help direct you through the work of defending your legal position while offering some legal support when you need it.