There are many legal situations in which people think they can do the work themselves. This is seldom true. The following are three situations in which you may be tempted to skip hiring an attorney but you should definitely have the assistance of one.
Filing for bankruptcy
Many people attempt to file for bankruptcy themselves. After all, you simply get the proper forms from a legal store and fill them out. However, there are many problems that can develop after you file. One big issue is with your creditors. They have the legal right to challenge your bankruptcy, and they will have an attorney in a bankruptcy court. You will be over matched against a person with the knowledge and experience of an attorney. And keep in mind, a bankruptcy judge is not there to help you. If your ignorance of the law produces a bad outcome, you are responsible for this and not the court system.
Filing for divorce
A married couple decides to divorce, and since it is uncontested, they figure to save money by filing the paperwork themselves. One of the big problems with doing this is not knowing all of the issues that affect a married couple going through a divorce. If you decide to divorce without lawyers, it is likely that there will be disagreements in the future that were not a part of the divorce settlement. An attorney has the experience to know all of the areas that need to be discussed and agreed upon during the divorce process. In addition, married couples should have separate attorneys. If an unforeseen dispute develops over a certain matter, two attorneys, working in the interest of their clients, can often help to reach an agreement quickly.
Creating a will
It would seem easy enough to write your own will without a lawyer, but this can create problems after your death. Assuming your will can be located, it may not be recognized by the courts because it was not created by legal guidelines. Handwritten wills are sometimes not recognized by a judge. There can also be mistakes in a will that create ambiguities in your intentions. Mistakes can also lead to a will being challenged. Also, when you create your own will, you will not understand all of the laws that apply to a last will and testament. What you think is a good idea to put in a will, may not be legal. Having an attorney draw up your will increases the chances of your wishes being respected after your death.
The situations listed above are only three examples of the need for a lawyer. In general, if it looks like you might be able to do legal work yourself, it is better to get an attorney. Contact a firm like Fessenden Laumer & DeAngelo, PLLC to learn more.