Legitimate Online Legal Library for 2020? Our LawDepot Review
As much as we dislike it, legal documents and paperwork is part of life's most significant moments. You need it to get married, to get divorced, to start a business, to protect your children, and even and especially when you die.
The same paperwork is also expensive when you use an attorney. For example, a common question is:
How much does a will cost? The average cost of drawing up a will is $375.
That's where online legal documents, contacts, and forms websites like LawDepot step in and truly help make starting your business just a little less stressful, which can be impossible at times! LawDepot and its competitors promise cheap, easy paperwork that saves you money on lawyer's fees while also offering lawyer-backed products.
Sound too good to be true? Maybe it isn't. We put together a LawDepot review to help users find out of these services are for them and how to make the most of them.
- 1 Legitimate Online Legal Library for 2020? Our LawDepot Review
- 1.1 LawDepot: What is It?
- 1.2 How LawDepot Works
- 1.3 Cost
- 1.4 Will LawDepot Share My Data?
- 1.5 Customer Service
- 1.6 Online Reputation
- 1.7 Did You Find Our LawDepot Review Helpful?
LawDepot: What is It?
LawDepot is an e-service provider offering customized legal documents in minutes. Its goal: to save people money on legal fees by preparing necessary legal forms using proprietary software
Depending on your location, they provide legal libraries in the following practice areas:
- Real estate
- Wills and estates
Several miscellaneous documents, forms, and contracts are also available.
How LawDepot Works
LawDepot is available to customers in five English speaking countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Customers in those countries can choose from legal documents prepared by LawDepots team of lawyers.
Many of the forms provided are simple, DIY forms that might otherwise require an attorney. There's no sense of the service trying to replace complex legal matters with a form. LawDepot is not a substitution for legal advice or a law firm.
The team at LawDepot does not explain if it prepares or reviews documents. There is no mention of whether lawyers review each document for accuracy. The “About” section describes the foundation of the company, but it does not express how the staff is screened.
Filling in Your Paperwork
The site includes many different forms that vary according to the country you select. All you need to do is choose the form you want and click on it. The site then brings you to the form generator where it collects your information.
For example, if you fill in a free Law Will and Testament, you'll start by entering your full name, city, and state. Then, you nominate your executors (including a backup executor) and their locations. The form then asks you about your children and for their details.
When dividing your property, the form asks about gifts you would like to give including a description of the gift, who you want to give it to, and alternative recipients. You then list the recipients who will share the remainder of your estate including a total failure clause.
Finally, the form asks whether you have any pets, what additional instructions you have, and when you will sign your will.
Saving and Printing
With all the information filled in, you move on to saving and printing. Before you get any further, LawDepot requires you to acquire a license.
Your license may be free or paid, and you'll choose between the two when you click the Get the License button.
From here, you'll choose between your free trial week or the option to buy just the single document.
You have to choose from one of these to save, download, and print your document. Failure to do so results in the loss of your work thus far.
Creating Your Account
One of the sticky points of the process is the need to sign up for an account.
Upon first visiting the site, you might believe you struck legal form gold – free access to all kinds of legal forms.
If you choose to save and print a document, you'll need to create an account. The process is simple and encrypted. You just need an email address and password. You must also provide a credit card number or your PayPal details to move forward.
LawDepot offers a free trial subscription that provides full access to its document library.
Your free trial lasts for one week. During that time, customers are free to create, download, and print whatever and as many documents as they require.
Keep in mind that although the first week is free, LawDepot requires a credit card to access the free trial. If you don't cancel before the week is up, you pay for one month's membership automatically. LawDepot says they do this to provide “uninterrupted access” to your documents.
If you allow your membership to begin, you can renew your license monthly and are free to cancel anytime. A rolling monthly contract costs $33 per month. You'll need to cancel to stop the charges.
Regular users can save over 75 percent on the monthly costs by buying an annual license called One Year Pro, which costs $95.88. The license renews automatically, so you'll need to keep an eye on it to avoid paying year-on-year.
If you only one a single document, you can purchase the document with a single use license. Individual papers cost between $7.50 and $39 depending on the document and access period.
How to Save Money When Using LawDepot
If you create a LawDepot account, do so intentionally. If you only want one or two documents, set a reminder to cancel your account after you finish. Canceling before the free week is up is the only way to avoid charges.
You might wonder if it isn't simpler to buy a single document. The answer is almost always no. If a free trial is available to you, use the free week to create your document.
Did you already use your free trial? Then it depends on how much the document costs.
You may find that a single document costs more than the one-month subscription fee of $33. The highest priced document is $39. Additionally, if you need more than one document, it might be simpler to buy one month's worth of access.
When is it a good idea to skip the subscription? If you're confident you only need one cheap document, pay the document fee. Additionally, if you're the type who hands over credit card details and pays a year's worth of subscription fees before canceling, then it's a good idea to pay the cost for a single document.
You are free to cancel your subscription at any time. LawDepot does not offer a published refund policy. Instead, the service directs refund requests to customer support representatives. You can ask about a refund via Live Chat, email, or by phone during business hours.
Reviews from other sources suggest that if you forget to cancel your free trial period and ask for a refund quickly, then LawDepot may grant your request. You'll likely need to ask within a few days of the first charge made without having used the services after your paid subscription began.
Other sources suggest that not all refund requests are granted. It's unclear when and if LawDepot provides refunds to customers who want to cancel after they pay for their first month.
LawDepots satisfaction guarantee gives customers 50 days to report their dissatisfaction with their documents. If you don't like what you received, let them know, and they provide a refund.
Additionally, if you suffer damages made to document errors, then LawDepot offers up to $10,000 in compensation.
No reports of damages appear online, so the process for retrieving the money in the event of an issue remains unclear.
Because you enter your information to customize your legal forms, it's important to know what LawDepot does with the information.
LawDepot says that it will “not sell, trade, or rent your name or personal information to anyone else.” It will also not release any personal information to authorities unless required by:
- Court order
- Search warrant
- Fraud investigation
Information may be shared with third parties if you request the service.
The only personal information used is non-identifiable personal information like number of users, number of unique visitors, or most popular pages.
LawDepot uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol with a minimum 128-bit encryption strength. TLS is the same protocol used by your bank or the government.
LawDepot offers customer service using four different mechanisms:
- Live chat
- Email support
- Phone support
If you read through the hundreds of reviews of LawDepot, you'll see the same names pop up over and over again. It stands to reason that the team uses a small group of well-qualified, knowledgeable customer service agents who work directly with clients.
According to LawDepot, the company has over a million users who have ordered ten million legal documents. It also claims to have saved customers over $2 billion in legal fees.
LawDepots online reputation is strong. For example, its TrustPilot page features 2,570 reviews, and 69 percent of them are Excellent, and 21 percent of them chose Great. Overall, LawDepot has a four-star rating.
The site has a similarly positive rating on Sitejabber, another customer review site.
What do users like you say in their LawDepot review? We read hundreds of reviews and picked out the major themes that emerged from them.
Here's what we found.
Most positive LawDepot reviews come from customers who worked directly with customer service to solve an issue. People say over and over again how positive their interactions are with the company. Customers also appreciate the ease with which they can get in touch either through online chat or via phone.
Regular customers also compliment LawDepot's paperwork. Several say they appreciate the professional quality of the paperwork. Some have even received praise for the documents they created from business partners or others party to the paperwork.
One reviewer even created a living trust and sent it through the California courts with the guidance of a paralegal. She said the documents saved her a significant amount of time and money in probate.
Two common complaints came up repeatedly. The most common claim made referred to errors on the forms. These errors were often related to the misspelling of a customers name or issues with other information provided by the customer. A call to customer service usually rectified the situation.
Other people noted issues with saving and printing. Some people found it difficult to perform those functions. However, it is unclear whether those issues were site-related or if it was a user error. When people did struggle to print, they often found that customer service staff walked them through the process with ease.
A few customers noted that they didn't appreciate being charged for a one-month subscription after their free trial ended. While some allege that the company “scammed” them, LawDepot clearly states that you only get one week free, and canceling is a matter of pushing a found button.
Finally, a few people complained that they did not believe the trial week was free. Those customers typically fill out the form and then receive a request for a credit card number to download and print the form. Again, LawDepot does make its system clear, and the credit card details are put on file to use after the free trial is over.
Issues with billing questions appear to stem from customers failing to read and understand the website rather than from shady practices.
Did You Find Our LawDepot Review Helpful?
LawDepot claims to an inexpensive alternative to visiting your lawyer's office. But do its claims stand up in court?
If you play it smart from the beginning, LawDepot is an easy way to put together basic paperwork. Be prepared to hand over your credit card details for free access, but it's still free as long as you cancel before the trial ends.
If you're worried, consider getting in touch with customer service to cancel your account immediately and definitively avoid any charges.
Like all services, be sure to read the fine print and stay on top of your credit cards to avoid any problems.
Did you find our LawDepot review helpful? Let us know and don't forget to check out our other reviews.