Lawyers can be expensive.
I know because there are two (soon to be four) lawyers in my family circle.
I’m fortunate, since my law advice comes either free, or very cheap.
However, I’ve often thought about what I’d do if I needed a little more law help.
For the most complex issues, there is very little that can match up to a competent lawyer, face to face and on your side.
However, there are a number of issues you can resolve on your own — if you have the right knowledge and know which forms or documents to use.
Luckily, there are quite a few legal resources online that can help you put together paperwork for starting a business, as well as put together estate planning documents like a trust or a will. You can also find well-organized information about different statutes and procedures. Here are 7 of my favorite free and cheap legal resources:
The services offered by LegalZoom are not free. However, the pricing is often lower than what you find if you went and visited an attorney. I’ve been told by some of my lawyer friends/family that they know attorneys who have charged good money for relatively simple documents (such as a will or a living trust) and then used LegalZoom to quickly create the paperwork at a fraction of the cost, banking a big profit.
If you have questions about civil law and procedures, you can ask vetted experts in the law at CivilAnswers. Ask your question about small claims, divorce, incorporation and more, and provide your email, and you will receive an answer. You can also look through recent answers to questions that might be related to what you want to know.
You can have your case reviewed for free, by lawyers, or ask questions of the community at TheLaw. Browse the popular topics, including bankruptcy, labor law, taxes, family law, criminal law, and other topics. You can also download forms and templates, as well as do your own research on various law topics.
A site that allows you to browse law topics, as well as ask legal questions, FreeAdvice provides you with a number of resources. Some of these resources are free, as the name implies, but others cost a little bit. You can also look for a lawyer in your area. Also includes sections on insurance.
If you are interested in law, and want a good place to research, Nolo is a good place to start. You can find free information for your researches, as well as get access to discount legal services. You can also search for consumer friendly attorneys on the site. A good resource, with plenty of news and analysis, as well as tips.
Ask your legal question at LawGuru, and someone will answer. You can get free help, or you can get paid help. You can also search different legal forms, and use the legal research tool available on the site. I also like the legal dictionary, which can help you understand legalese.
The FindForms site is very simple and straightforward. You can browse by state to find examples of specific forms for different localities, or you can browse by category. Example forms and documents can provide direction if you want to prepare your own legal documents. You can also get access to premium forms and services related to storage and editing for a monthly subscription.
This is a guest post. Miranda Marquit is a journalistically trained freelance writer and professional blogger working from home. She has been a contributor for Mainstreet.com, Personal Dividends and several other sites. Miranda is not affiliated or endorsed by LPL Financial.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice and/or recommendations for any individual.