This is an eye opening comparison that demonstrates the reasons that involving experienced professionals saves families and businesses time, money and headaches in the long term.
House 1 – Do it yourself. Quicken Family Lawyer / Will Maker
- Didn’t interview the realtor, lender, insurance agent, builder – got names out of phone book – Never discussed options with anyone – he took what was given to him
- No toilets
- No lights
- No carpet
- No insulation in the walls
- Single pane windows
- Property boundary issues with neighbor – no title work – didn’t want to pay for it
- Environmental issues as land used to be a landfill
- Never used a lawyer – why would I need one of those?
- Mechanic’s lien issues, litigation, huge costs and expenses to make it livable
House 2 – Budget – driven homeowner – Standard Attorney Form
- Cheapest of everything – windows, roofing, framing, insulation, fixtures
- Unfinished basement
- No lawn or landscaping in back
- Chose color of carpet & window coverings – Only involved in one meeting with builder – Corresponded via email and fax with everyone else
- Property boundary issues and Environmental issues – Will handle himself – “not that big of a deal”
House 3 – Fully custom home – Morgan Law Group
- Fully involved in the process – Several meetings with realtor, builder, architect, attorney, land planner, designers, movers and used each professional to do what each was experienced in doing and to design & build exactly what they wanted
- Had dozens of choices on everything involved – they took the time to learn what their options were on everything that was important to them
- Got exactly what they wanted, with no outstanding title issues and no lingering environmental issues
- Also save ~ $200 per month on their utility bill over the other homeowners because they had upgraded windows and insulation installed – that $200 per month allowed them to have a large deck with a hot tub installed on the back of the home off of the master bedroom for the same price that they had budgeted
- In addition, got a maintenance plan – every year the builder comes back to the house and fine tunes all of the systems, the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roof, foundation, the appliances, fixes any squeaks and leaks and just generally makes sure the home continues to meet their goals
- More time, More money – Peace of Mind
Legal advice for estate and business plans is not a commodity.
Do lawyers have computers – Yes.
Is it easier to edit someone else’s document than it is to create one from scratch – Absolutely.
Will the documents you end up with accomplish your goals, I don’t know. It depends on a number of factors, that’s where we spend our time, trying to figure out what you want and what will best suit your needs.
There is no mystical legal database in the universe somewhere that you can hook up to in the privacy of your own home, after the hours of 8am to 5pm, download your hopes, dreams goals and fears, punch the button and have it spit out the perfect set of documents that will be custom matched for you, your family, your business, now and forever, and do all of that for $100 or less.
All of our estate planning documents cost about the same – about $100. That’s about the cost of the binder, the paper, the ink, the printer materials, the electricity to run the printer and computer, and so forth.
IT’S THE WISDOM OF KNOWING WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK AND WHAT TO PUT IN THE DOCUMENTS THAT WE CHARGE FOR.
WISDOM IS ALWAYS SOLD SEPARATELY.