If you've been listening to talk radio or watching the national TV news shows lately, you've seen a lot of advertisements for our competitor, LegalZoom.comCOMPARE Standard Legal and LegalZoom:. So to help you make an informed decision before you create your legal documents, let's
DOCUMENT QUALITY: EQUALLY SUPERIOR The legal documents from both companies are best-of-class in the industry. Highly-qualified attorneys craft the work product for both organizations, so the legal documents provided to customers are complete, up-to-date, and highly professional.
PRICE: SIGNFICANTLY DIFFERENT The prices for products and services from Standard Legal are much less expensive vs. LegalZoom . Let's compare a few:
|LEGAL TOPIC:||Pricing Options*||Legal Forms Software||Document Preparation|
|Last Will and Testament||$69 - $79||$14.95||$39.95|
|Incorporation||$99 - $369||$34.95||$99.95|
|Limited Liability Company||$99 - $369||$34.95||$99.95|
|Power of Attorney||$35 - $45||$14.95||$29.95|
So why the big price difference? ADVERTISING COSTS! The most obvious difference between the two companies is the amount of money spent on advertising. LegalZoom purchases millions of dollars in advertising spots on talk radio, the cable TV news shows, and network television. These expensive advertisements add significantly to the overhead costs for the company.
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and a host of other network and cable shows all charge big money for advertising, and LegalZoomappears regularly on these and other shows as an advertiser or sponsor.
And 'Business 101' common sense says that advertising costs are passed on to the customers of that business so that the company can be profitable!
Bottom line: in any business, ADVERTISING plays a huge role in the cost charged to any customer. And in this case, those ADVERTISING COSTS are additional money charged to the customer for the SAME TYPE OF FINISHED PRODUCT that leads to the big price difference!
Let's compare "apples-to-apples" so you know ALL the differences:
LegalZoomoffers primarily document preparation service with different "levels of service" and thus the price ranges listed in the chart above. (They also offer other types of legal services and products for additional fees, not compared here.)
Standard Legal's do-it-yourself software uses a question-and-answer system to instantly create the legal documents you need. To complete these forms, you enter answers into fields based on the question or specific instructions provided for each field. Once you have filled in all of the fields, you simply print out the forms and use them as recommended in the instructions.
The document preparation service offered by both Standard Legal™ and LegalZoomrequires that you answer a series of basic legal questions, as made clear on each company's website. Then a representative of the company posts those answers into the proper legal form templates and provides them back to you as finished documents, ready for your signature.
For the SAME TYPE OF FINISHED DOCUMENTS, Standard Legal™ charges much less money for its document preparation services vs. LegalZoom
Thank you so much for your time and patience! Standard Legal has a good price, easy to deal with. I'm glad I went with you instead of Legal Zoom!!
-- Odell Dingle, Bishopville, SC
But here's an even more important point: THE PROCESS FOR COMPLETING EITHER THE SOFTWARE VERSION OR THE DOCUMENT PREPARATION SERVICE VERSION IS NEARLY IDENTICAL: THE CUSTOMER MUST ANSWER A SERIES OF QUESTIONS TO GET COMPLETED FORMS IN EITHER OPTION!
The only difference between using do-it-yourself legal forms software and a legal document preparation service is that YOU enter your answers directly into the legal forms when using self-help legal forms software, while under the document preparation service option a REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY uses the answers you provide to create the finished forms!
A DOCUMENT PREPARATION COMPANY -- BY LAW -- CANNOT TELL YOU IF YOUR ANSWERS ARE LEGALLY CORRECT, nor can they tell you what answer should be used in a certain circumstance. To do so would be providing legal advice outside of an attorney/client relationship, a felony most easily described as 'practicing law without a license'.
The primary benefit to purchasing legal document preparation service is that a competent preparer will check to make certain your answers are complete, that your answers make sense, that all of the appropriate forms are used, and that all of the form fields are finished. THAT IS ALL OF THE "PREPARATION" THAT ANY DOCUMENT PREPARATION COMPANY CAN PROVIDE TO YOU -- BY LAW!
So why do we tell you all of this? It's simple, really:
We want you to know exactly what you are buying. We want you to be an informed consumer. We want you to easily be able to 'do your homework.'
So carefully review the products of LegalZoomat LegalZoom.com.
Then see STANDARD LEGAL'S DO-IT-YOURSELF SOFTWARE.
And while you're at it, check out our other competitors, too.
Then decide what option -- and which company -- is right for you.
*Sad but true, we received a four-page certified cease-and-desist letter from a LegalZoomcorporate attorney. He demanded we stop referencing LegalZoom on our website in any way -- even in the factually comparative manner you see above, which is perfectly legal. Our Chief Legal Counsel read the letter, chuckled, then rightly placed it in the circular file...