A simple Google search for legal templates will likely yield several results offering “FREE” fill-in-the-blank legal documents.
However, while it may be tempting to use one of these free forms, it’s not necessarily the best idea 🤷♂️.
👎 The problem with stock “one size fits all” legal templates… 👎
Unfortunately, you may not ❌ necessarily have the legal right to use the free downloadable forms you find online!
In fact, downloading and using one of these “free” stock forms may technically be against copyright law, since you didn’t pay for the rights to use it.
Not to mention, the language in these free DIY legal documents is almost always tailored to one specific circumstance.
For example, a free petition for probate may be intended for use only for estates 🏠 of a certain size. Therefore, if the value of the estate you’re probating is higher or lower than the author intended, you may be using the wrong form altogether!
Furthermore, the template you find for free online may be outdated 📆. Unfortunately, laws change constantly, and even a document created last year could be inaccurate by the time you use it!
As you could imagine, an outdated stock template, even if filled out correctly, would NOT hold up in court.
👎 Be cautious about the source… 👎
Unfortunately, this means that some of the language in these free legal templates may be inaccurate.
Believe it or not, some individuals have even reported that free legal forms they’ve found online have provided completely illegal language!
Furthermore, this lack of accessible legal advice means you’re on your own if you run into problems.
Should you have questions regarding the form you’re using or need other consultation regarding your legal problem, you will have no 🙅♂️ options for support.
👎 You may end up paying MORE… 👎
Believe it or not, it can sometimes cost MORE 💰 to hire an attorney to fix an inaccurate or problematic legal document than to simply fill it out correctly the first time.
Therefore, while free legal documents present an affordable option for those in need of assistance, they could end up causing more harm than good – especially when it comes to your wallet!
That being said, anyone looking to use DIY legal forms should try to obtain them from a registered legal document assistant or attorney’s website. This way, you can have confidence that the document you’re using is accurate and complete and will hold up in court ⚖️.
Furthermore, using legal templates from an attorney’s website means you have immediate, easy access to a lawyer who is familiar with your form!
In other words, finding a legal professional who provides the documents you need means you’ve already taken the first step in finding legal counsel 🤝, should you require it.
Ultimately, some people may still decide to use – and even find success with! – free online legal templates. However, most of the time, paying a low fee for a form straight from an attorney is an easy way to instill confidence in your legal situation and complete an accurate and legal document yourself.