Why Not LegalZoom and What You Really Need to Know
Ok, most of us have heard of LegalZoom, right? Legal help for a substantially lower rate, do it yourself online, access to legal documents, etc. So why would you not go with LegalZoom over, say, a firm like NC Planning? Great question. Ask any one of our team members and they will be happy to tell you why and how our services are better suited for client needs. Let’s go through what you will receive by going with a private firm like NC Planning versus a program like LegalZoom.
No Legal Advice
The largest and most glaring difference between our firm and LegalZoom is that with our firm you will get customized legal advice throughout your process and beyond. LegalZoom cannot give you legal advice, and it even says so right on their website
While Legal Zoom has attorneys available for most states (for an additional fee), Legal Zoom currently has no attorney available for North Carolina, and thus no legal advice can be obtained through LegalZoom. Many questions, concerns, and decisions arise throughout a client matter which require an attorney’s advice, and with Legal Zoom you will not be able to get legal advice even for simple questions or clarifications.
To be completely open, there is an option for you to be referred to a NC attorney (not affiliated with LegalZoom), however this course of action is essentially a referral service to a firm who will then charge you its own fees. Basically this is the same option as if you had gone with a private firm at the beginning.
You get out what you put in.
No really, and we aren’t talking money. Literally what you put into the software is what you will get. With no legal advice, the documents and service you will get is whatever knowledge you have, not that of an attorney.
You will be the one inputting, making decisions, and ultimately the one answering the questions of what you need and how you need to obtain it. Not an attorney.
We are not a software device.
We are certainly aware of substantial cost differences between our firm and a program like LegalZoom. However, we provide legal counsel, knowledge, advice, accuracy in the end product, and time with our clients. We make sure what you receive meets all of your needs, not just something “to get by.” We make sure it is right and legally sound to ensure your protection.
We are a full service firm.
When we engage with clients, we are a full service firm. This means we are here for you whenever you need us. Some additional benefits with our firm are:
- Annual Services – We have many clients who engage us on an annual platform. This is setup to assure your protection on an annual ongoing basis. For a fixed fee, you can obtain all the services and counsel you need for ongoing services and help you conveniently maintain your plan. If you’d like to learn more about these services please feel free to contact us.
- Annual Review – Even if you don’t engage us for annual ongoing services, one of our NC licensed attorneys will sit down with you after the first year to ensure your documents are up to date with current laws and your current wishes.
- Beneficiary Designations and Coordination – We routinely work with financial advisors and CPAs to make sure that life insurance, bank accounts, and retirement accounts are in line with your estate plan to allow efficiency and savings in taxes.
- Trusted Referrals to Additional Advisors – If clients need referrals to additional advisors, such as financial advisors, CPAs, bankers, life insurance agents, and others, we work with many of these individuals on a daily basis and can offer you trusted and valuable resources in these particular fields of service.
- Access and Admission to Educational Seminars – We routinely provide educational opportunities to our clients through seminars and workshops that are free for our clients. These events keep you informed of what you need to know regarding changes in laws, potential legislation that will affect your family, and a place for you to ask questions and be introduced to other advisors and resources in our area all to assist you in managing your affairs and to help in making life decisions.
We are always here.
At NC Planning, we value open communication and strive to exemplify that in our client relationships. Our attorneys are always just an email or phone call away, should any questions and changes arise, even after you implement your documents. This is why we engage on a fixed fee platform so we can allow our clients the ability and peace of mind to be able to call us anytime to ask questions and get those clarifications should you need any, without feeling as though they are being charged every minute.
We are of the mindset that once you engage with our firm, we are here as a resource for you as changes in life and law occur, and that we are not just a “one and done” firm. Life changes and laws change, and we are here as a resource when they occur.