When to Know if you Need a Lawyer and How You Can Save Money in the Process

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Lawer holding Law books and gavel

I think most people feel that Lawyers are a necessary evil but would prefer if they didn’t have to have one. The average working person who finds themselves in trouble with the law doesn’t always have the funds necessary to retain a good lawyer.

Some of us think that lawyers are much too expensive and all they do is complicate things.

This can be especially true in divorce matters, which can go round and round costing the participants vast amounts of money and delaying the final paperwork for years to come.

If your divorce is filled with quarrels, and there are lots of assets to be split up, than common sense will tell you it will take more time and money to come to an agreeable conclusion.

However, there are some creative strategies you can use to get your fees reduced.

For example, if you and your soon to be ex-spouse can negotiate an agreement among yourselves and divvy up all the property and cash that you own then that would save time, money and reduce stress.

You could also think about hiring a mediator, it can lower costs and make the process go much smoother.

Have a conversation and decide whom all that money should go to, yourselves or the lawyer, that might help you decide to co-operate with each other.

Once you and the other party have decided how everything should be divided, your lawyer may agree to see the two of you at the same time. Then the only requirement is have you both sign the agreement and file the paperwork.

That should get you that coveted piece of paper entitled “Divorce Certificate” costing you much less in time and money. Remember the issue you are facing may be a highly emotional one for you, but for your attorney, it is just another file.

Here are a few other examples when doing it yourself is just too complex:

Personal Injury Claims

I know you want to get the best possible settlement. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you decide how much compensation you should seek and whether you have a good chance of winning.

Dealing with an insurance company by yourself can be very intimidating especially since the adjuster is usually trained to save the company as much money as possible by reducing the amount of compensation rewarded to you.

The best case scenario would be settling out of court in which case a lawyer would have the knowledge and experience to negotiate for you.

Starting a Business

Yes, it is possible to start a business without hiring a lawyer. To start, make a visit to your local registry office. You will need to pick a name for your new business then do a search of the corporate registry to check and see if that name is available.

After registering your new name, you would need to set up a minute book, include by-laws, decide on your share structure and who your officers and directors will be.

Hiring a lawyer can make this process a lot easier though, because for most people it can be a very complicated process.

Employment Disputes

Filing a case against an employer, such as wrongful dismissal is a tricky situation. To prove your case, you may need to produce witnesses and documents in court. A lawyer can advise you of the laws in your jurisdiction and whether you have a viable case. They could also negotiate an out of court settlement which would be your best option.

Criminal Charges

Lawyers are the best-suited people to defend you against criminal charges; they can help you decide how to plead, they understand the rules of evidence, have access to private detectives and know their way around court procedure.

Estate Planning

You would probably be able to do a simple will on your own without too much difficulty. There is online software available for a much smaller fee than you would typically pay a professional.

When drafting a Will some things to consider are estate taxes, funeral expenses, and legal costs that your representative may have to deal with on their own, any instructions you are able to include in your Will could be very helpful.

When bequeathing a business or land, there are more things to consider than a simple form can give.
If you are planning on doing a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive, some law firms may offer these as a package and can save you a bit of money.

Real Estate

Buying or selling a home without the guidance of a lawyer can be risky. If you are the buyer, the title would need to be changed into your name and any liens or mortgages recorded on the title need to be paid out and discharged, if there is a mortgage it has to be prepared and registered.

If you are the seller, then you want to make sure the Purchase Contract is correct, and the transfer to the new owner is properly executed and witnessed which is typically done by a law office.

Of course, you have the option of doing some or all the above without the help of a lawyer, but it doesn’t hurt to check out the alternatives. Most lawyers will offer a half hour free consultation. At least then you can be armed with the knowledge of what your next move should be.

Keep in mind that lawyers charge for telephone calls, faxes, couriers, and searches. You may be able to save on these fees by doing some of the legwork yourself.

For instance, you could pick up and deliver documents saving on courier charges, and you can also limit the amount of phone calls you make to your lawyer’s office.

When you really need a lawyer’s help in solving a problem you are dealing with, and you don’t have the financial resources there are always options.

Most districts have Legal Aid available to help. Some law firms will allow you to make payments, and there may be agencies in your area that will help with paperwork for no or very little cost.

First always shop around to compare Lawyer’s fees and get referrals.

If you think you are paperwork savvy there are places online that provide legal documents for little to no charge. Top Ten Reviews checks those sites out for you and gives you the ten best options.

Please take a moment to subscribe to this blog and thanks for stopping by. If you have any money-saving tips of your own, please share them by posting them in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

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  • Cori Pullin

    Good to know! I love how you broke these down for us and you listed some great tips here 😉

  • SenSaishaNal

    I know someone going through a divorce and the process seems so elaborate! I see the issues now and will know how to direct my friends, if necessary

    • Yes I think divorce is the biggest money maker for some lawyers because it is so emotional.

  • Thanks Becky

  • Thanks Becky.

  • Wow. Never been married but if I ever need a lawyer in the future, these tips are cool.

    • Hi Priya, thanks I’m glad you liked them.

  • This is so helpful! It can be really complicated to know when you need a lawyer, and when to do without one. This post really lays it out for me, thank you!

    • You’re welcome Denisse. Thanks for stopping.

  • I feel a little bit lucky since my husband is an attorney. It’s great to use his skills in common scenarios like reading over contracts as well!

    • Yes Lauren you are lucky at least you will always have good advice at your fingertips. Thanks for reading.

  • Shell

    This is fantastic informative to have… definitely thee are times it’s much preferred to do it yourself than pay an attorney.

    • Yes not everyone can afford an attorney. Any way to save money helps.

  • Amanda Lei Rollison

    I just hate to pay for lawyers! They are so expensive. But if you get a good one, hopefully they will be worth it. We did all her business information and paperwork without a lawyer, but it was very stressful and we were always missing something.

    • It’s great that you could do that on your own, it is possible I know that. Thanks for the comment.

  • Eileen

    These are important information to have on hand. However, if I would ever need the services of a lawyer, I would be asking my cousin for help. He’s a lawyer and his daughter is one too.

    • Hi Eileen, you are very lucky to have lawyers in your family, hopefully though you will never need their services unless it’s for advice. Thanks for the comment.

  • Great tips! Hiring a lawyer seems a nightmare for me, but in some cases not having one is even worse. Good to know there are ways to lower the fees in case I need one. Thanks for sharing!

    • Your welcome Joanna and thanks for reading.

  • This is a really helpful post! Most people don’t know when to forego hiring a lawyer (like myself). This will save lots of money and effort in the future. I learned something here! 😉

  • Nina Bashaw Photography

    Find the right lawyer for you is crucial when starting a business, especially when you business will involve clients signing contracts. It’s so important to have everything legal!

    • Yes it is and it can save a lot of problems in the future. Thanks Nina for the comment.

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