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Should I Use DIY Legal Forms?

By Maxine Weiss Kunz

DIY legal forms, Illinois family law attorneysThere is a lot of information online. Now, there are even legal forms on the Internet. Some of these forms are free, and some of these forms are pay per click types. Regardless of cost, is it safe or wise for legal consumers to use these forms?

Most DIY (do it yourself) forms are highly generic. They often hold the least amount of required legalese to pass as a qualified form. Depending on the need you are trying to fit, that may be okay for you. However, any lawyer will tell you that the final document should still be reviewed by a professional in the field specific to your legal matter.

The Pros

Forms can be a good jumping off place for gathering information, even if you ultimately use an attorney. Filling out a legal form in advance of meeting with an attorney could save you time and therefore money. It could help you understand other documents you need to locate and review to complete your matter. Some forms are so generic they are useless in practice as more detailed below.

The Cons

Relying on a legal form could result in more harm than good. For example, you might be able to get a form premarital agreement (prenuptial agreement) from the Internet, but some courts will require the document to be reviewed by an attorney for each party or at least notarized by an attorney for each party in order to be valid. Skipping this step could render the entire document invalid. You don’t want that kind of surprise when it’s time to rely on the document!

Consult with a Qualified Attorney

In today’s digital and DIY world, it’s tempting to skip steps and cut out what may appear to be an unnecessary middle man. However, many lawyers will offer free or discounted consultations. When relying on a form to provide you with certain protection, it’s best to be safe and consult a lawyer at some stage before final execution.

For information about how the law firm of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC can help you, call 312-605-4041. Schedule an initial consultation with our Illinois family law and divorce attorneys. We have four convenient offices located in Chicago, Lincolnwood, and Elmhurst.

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