Legal templates are fill-in-the-blank ✍️ documents that individuals can fill out for use in legal proceedings or agreements. Most often, people looking to save money prefer the DIY component of these templates.
However, these templates are not necessarily appropriate for every type of legal proceeding. In fact, there are some instances in which I usually recommend hiring legal help to avoid paying even more in the future.
That being said, if you’re representing yourself in a legal proceeding or require a legal form for any other reason, you should first determine whether legal templates are appropriate 👌 for your circumstances.
Here are some of the most rewarding and risky legal situations in which you may or may not want to use DIY legal documents:
✔️ Settling an uncontested divorce
Oftentimes, divorces are tricky. Between spousal and child support orders, as well as dividing property, many divorcees prefer to hire a mediator or attorney to help them sort through the extensive components of legal separation.
That being said, in some divorces, called uncontested divorces, the spouses agree 🤝 on all matters. Usually, the parties in an uncontested divorce are amicable and willing to compromise.
Due to the simplicity of uncontested divorces, the spouses may choose to use DIY legal forms to file their petition and settlement agreement.
No divorce is easy. In fact, all legal separations require the collection of tax and financial 💰 documents. Plus, they usually come with a huge emotional toll.
However, uncontested divorces are still a great example of a legal situation in which fill-in-the-blank legal forms may be an appropriate and easy way to save money.
❌ Securing an influencer’s first brand deal
YouTubers and other influencers often depend on brand deals for a steady source of revenue. In fact, negotiating and securing brand deals often becomes second nature for experienced influencers.
However, when it comes to your first brand deal, I always recommend consulting a social media attorney 💁♂️ for help.
Unfortunately, brand deals with inexperienced influencers provide a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of content creators.
For example, a YouTuber discussing a potential deal with his favorite brand may be weary to negotiate or “ask for too much”. Let’s face it: brand deals are exciting! However, they are also a business venture 💼 .
Therefore, any influencer who is negotiating their first or first few brand deals enlist help from a legal professional. Luckily, we are experts in this business, and have experience with everything from negotiation tactics to writing a contract. Plus, we’re always on your side.
✔️ Making a lease amendment
While writing an original lease 🏠 is a pretty big job, making an amendment to one is a lot less complicated. In fact, it’s so easy that you can usually do it on your own!
Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, if you want to make changes to an existing lease, all you have to do is come to an agreement with the other party. Then, once you’ve established a change you’re both happy with, you can fill out a very simple template to make it official ✅!
Once you’ve gotten it all down on paper, make sure both parties and a witness sign the amendment. Then, attach it to the original lease – it’s that easy!
That being said, if you are dealing with an illegal living situation or a party who refuses to adhere to the rules outlined in the original lease, you may want to speak to an attorney.
❌ Settling a large or complicated estate
Some estates can be settled without legal assistance, especially if the decedent provided a detailed estate plan 📜 prior to their death. However, in many states, large estates are a different story.
For example, in California, while smaller estates are usually eligible for a simplified probate process, all estates valued over $166,250 require a full probate. Usually, this probate process should be conducted with the help of a legal professional.
Furthermore, if a will is missing or incomplete, there will be a lot of red tape to cross before the probate is over. In other instances, if the beneficiaries disagree 🗯️ on the distribution of assets, settling can seem impossible.
In these and other complicated cases, you should consider consulting an attorney to help settle an estate.
✔️ Writing simple website terms and conditions
Website 💻 terms and conditions are an imperative addition to any website, especially for influencers and any other small businesses.
That being said, your site’s terms and conditions do NOT 🙅♂️ have to be complicated to get your point across. In fact, you can usually write simple website terms and conditions by using DIY templates from a social media attorney or other legal website.
Regardless of your specific situation, if you feel confident filling out legal templates on your own, feel free to do so as long as you obtain them from a trustworthy source. However, remember that it can sometimes be more expensive 💸 to hire an attorney to revise your documents than to work with an attorney in the first place.
Finally, if you have any doubts regarding your ability to fill out a complete and accurate legal form on your own, always consult a legal professional for help.