Louisville KY Personal Injury Lawyer – Bixler Howland P.S.C.

The Hidden Dangers of Online Legal Forms

Get the help you need with Online Legal Forms

Years ago, I practiced with a well-regarded family law attorney who spoke regularly at educational seminars for other lawyers.  At those seminars, he would hand out copies of the forms he used in litigating divorce cases.  He had developed these forms over the years, and they were unique.  I asked him once why he gave out these forms to his competitors.  His response was that his forms in the hands of other lawyers were guides or suggestions but only he knew how to use them. 

I am often reminded of this exchange when I see ads for online legal forms, including Last Wills and Testaments, Living Will Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney. 

I recently had a client bring in a form for a Living Will Directive which had been printed off the internet.  It was the form the Kentucky Legislature had authorized but she did not understand how it was to be filled out or the consequences of the choices she had made on the form.  Without an explanation of those choices, her wishes would not have been carried out. 

Every adult who has any assets needs to have a Durable Power of Attorney, a Living Will Directive and a Last Will and Testament.  No two people are alike, and no two people have the same family relationships or assets. 

Online forms are “cookie cutter” and more often than not, do not carry out the wishes of the person filling them out.  In some instances, the completed forms are not valid or enforceable under the laws of the state where the person resides.  Every State has different requirements for these documents to be valid. 

The cost of having an attorney prepare these documents to suit the individual and, most importantly, explain the effect of the documents, in most cases is nominally more than the cost of online forms.  Be informed.

Scroll to Top
Call Now