Virtual legal services have grown in popularity in recent years as they appear to offer some of the same benefits as traditional law-firms at a lower cost. While this could be appealing in theory, virtual legal services can’t provide the full range of support or the professional advice that comes with a traditional attorney. These services typically only offer specific options for people that want to prepare their legal documents and are not a replacement for brick-and-mortar law firms.
What are Virtual Legal Services?
These are the companies like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer that heavily advertise their businesses online and on television. They offer estate planning services and document preparation for wills, power of attorney and living trusts. Some offer a subscription model while others charge per the service, and they typically have a lower upfront investment than traditional law firms.
What Don’t Virtual Legal Services Offer?
In a nutshell, they aren’t actual lawyers. They say so on their websites, which means they do not have the same lawyer-client relationship that people expect. Too often, people using these services anticipate they will receive legal advice and consultation – like what they would get from a regular lawyer – only to find out they are paying for just the one-time document service without guidance or advice they may need. This can cause confusion and potential disaster as a legal mistake can be incredibly costly.
Why Choose a Traditional Lawyer?
Virtual legal services are rarely practical, even for small, one-off projects. Individuals looking for sound legal advice and guidance will always want to choose a traditional attorney. This relationship with an attorney will be especially beneficial if you have a more complicated estate or need advice throughout the process. While consulting with an attorney may seem like a more substantial investment upfront, you will likely save money over the long-term and save your loved ones headaches down the road as well. A local attorney can listen to your unique, specific concerns and advise you on the best course of action, tailored to your individual life. Virtual legal services offer few valuable tools; however, their narrow scope and inability to provide consultation or legal advice makes them a poor substitute for an experienced attorney.
Elder Law Can Help with All Your Legal Needs
Elder Law providers legal services in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in Long Island. Our attorneys bring decades of experience to helping senior citizens and their loved ones with concerns linked to healthcare, retirement, guardianship, Medicare and Medicaid, along with estate planning. Call us today at (516) 271-3032 to set up an appointment.