As an Attorney, I have been asked this question many times. Bear in mind that this question is usually followed with another question on how to accomplish this same seeker’s goal. The simple answer is: you don’t need an attorney to set up you business. You don’t need an attorney to draft your Will. You don’t need an attorney to represent you in a lawsuit. In fact, I challenge you to find an instance where you are ever required to have an attorney assist you with anything. The real question is: why would you want an attorney to assist you in these matters?
With the information age, my generation has suddenly found themselves miniature experts in every area of professional life; are you sick? Go to WebMD or google your symptoms. Are you starting a business? Go to the Secretary of State and fill out some forms. Need estate planning documents, such as powers of attorney? Go to Legal Zoom. While these sites and sources are helpful contributions and in many cases may adequately assist you with certain issues, these sites rely on the following in order to be truly successful: a proper [factual] understanding of your own circumstances and the potential [legal] implications of your actions.
While you may not need an Attorney to assist you in your plans, you may certainly want one to help you find out what issues may prevent your plan from coming to fruition. An Attorney is specially trained and equipped to ask you the right questions and to understand the issues that you do not. An Attorney should address and account for all your issues and goals, not just the issues you’ve already thought of.
Problems often arise when you act quickly and without counsel in your decisions. The advent of the internet brings exciting new access to good information; the problem is, you must first know how to navigate through the misinformation also readily available. Often times we mistake speed for progress and a good web design for accuracy. Also, with the abundance of information also comes an abundance of caveats, exceptions, and technical points. In the field of law, you will rarely find an Attorney learned in the complexities and intricacies outside their own specialty.
For these reasons, you may want to consider asking for assistance. Not only should you seek counsel in your affairs, you should seek the right counsel. Of course, you are always free to handle your own legal work yourself, without aid or counsel. Just be sure to keep in mind: “The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.” Josh Billings, U.S. Humorist (1818-1885).
This article was written by Jessica B. Moon, Attorney licensed in Ohio and Florida. David Bacon, Jeffrey Roth, and Jessica Moon are members in the law firm of Roth & Bacon Attorneys, LLC. Their Offices are located in Upper Sandusky, Marion, and Port Clinton, Ohio, and Fort Myers, Florida. They have focused their practice to provide estate and business planning concepts to their clients. Nothing in this article is intended for, nor should be relied upon as individual legal advice. The purpose of this article is to help educate the public on concepts of law as they pertain to estate and business planning. Copyright @ Jessica B. Moon 2013.