October 20, 2014 12:00
Should You Use RocketLawyer or LegalZoom?
This morning I came across a great article written by lawyer Reba Kennedy on the subject of using legal form document companies. Reba discusses the potential cost savings from buying legal forms instead of just hiring an attorney. She also warns that the risks may not outweigh the benefits. Here is my take from the perspective of a real estate attorney.
I think there is a fair argument in favor of accessible legal services. Since quality legal services are rarely inexpensive, the online form companies such as LegalZoom and RocketLawyer have filled a vacant niche. However, as with any product or service, clients are happiest when their expectations are met. Unfortunately, bad results are usually not apparent until it’s too late. Using an online legal forms service may give the perception that a particular form is legally appropriate for a given circumstance or situation, when it is not.
LegalZoom's Deed Transfer Service web page, for example, does not mention that the type of deed used can have serious legal consequences in various ways. The layperson may be unwittingly creating title problems, sabotaging an existing title insurance policy or failing to pay required taxes due on the transfer. Furthermore, no conveyance should ever take place without a consideration of tenancy, which determines how the property is handled should an owner pass away.
When things matter I recommend using a licensed real estate attorney. And real estate matters too much to leave to a cheap, online form. When problems arise, that form could be a very expensive piece of paper.
To assist Georgia residents in conveyances outside of closing, Georgia Title & Escrow Company has created a new portal. This system is designed to have the flexible advantages of a web based service (credit cards are even accepted), but with the benefit of a property lawyer overseeing the process. Check it out at Rocket-Zoom.com.CHRIS PAHL
Real Estate Attorney
3575 Piedmont Road NE
Building 15, Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tel. +1 (404) 476-3736
web: GeorgiaTitle.com | GetMyGFE.com
*Here is the link to Reba’s original blog posting: http://everydaysimplicity.blogspot.com/2008/08/should-you-use-legalzoom-or.html
*Here is the link to my original reply post: https://plus.google.com/104156028563033179675/posts/1ukTNx9snox