Should you use Legalzoom.com? Well, go to their website and read their "disclaimer" and see how you feel.
Here's just one quote: "At no time do we review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide legal advice or apply the law to the facts of your particular situation. LegalZoom and its services are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney."
Here is another quote, "Although LegalZoom takes every reasonable effort to ensure that the information on our website and documents are up-to-date and legally sufficient, the legal information on this site is not legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up-to-date. Because the law changes rapidly, is different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and is also subject to varying interpretations by different courts and certain government and administrative bodies, LegalZoom cannot guarantee that all the information on the site is completely current. The law is a personal matter, and no general information or legal tool like the kind LegalZoom provides can fit every circumstance."
After reading the above disclaimers, you may feel a bit different about plunking down several hundred dollars for an online estate plan. At least talk to a professional. When I need a dentist, I go to the doctor - I don't use pliers from my garage to pull out my own teeth. Why take chances with your legal documents?
Using Online Resources to Create Your Estate Plan?
Some people ask me about online outfits that promise "Estate Planning Packages" for $599 or something like that. Keep in mind that most of these places sell you documents you can get for FREE!
Why do they do that? Because they can't practice law. All they can do is sell you the entry-level forms found in the California Probate Code. Sometimes in life you get what you pay for...not in this case!
You can get the free Advance Health Care Directive or Durable Power of Attorney online. You can even get a free California will. However, all these documents are entry level. They are better than nothing but they leave a lot to be desired. If you choose to use the free forms, that is fine but please don't pay for them. That's all these strip mall places and online outfits can sell. Some people brag about all the money they "saved" by using an online outfit to create their estate plan. They have no idea if what they signed is appropriate, but they got a great deal...and for some folks, that's all that matters.