Most retirees, small business owners and home buyers/sellers think that obtaining legal advice is expensive, time consuming and that they have to be a big Corporation or have a large estate to benefit from the advice of a lawyer.
Perhaps that was the way it used to be, but in these modern times, the way legal advice is provided can be surprisingly easy, cost effective and can save so much wasted time and effort in the long run.
For example, to receive advice about estate planning such as beneficiary options, choosing an executor, will questions, probate cost minimization planning, health care planning concerns or power of attorney questions, lawyers now routinely offer video or telephone consultations and the cost can be allocated to your specific needs – small bits of advice, a short document and plan review or creating a whole estate plan. It is not an all or nothing scenario that will cost you thousands. Even an entire estate plan is more affordable that you may think – and lawyers will always be able to give you a quote for services prior to the first meeting.
Another example is the availability of legal advice for small businesses. Gone are the days of having the expense of a “lawyer on retainer” or having to have a legal department in house to get quality legal advice tailored to your business. A lawyer can now offer services as needed – review of supplier contracts, lease agreements or employment contracts, for instance, can save a business thousands and valuable time down the road if they miss an important point or misunderstand a clause. Another example is getting assistance in preparing to dismiss or retire an employee to be sure the compensation package is adequate or the employer is on the right side of the law if the dismissal is for cause. Legal advice can mean the difference between a litigation or tribunal hearing and a clean, efficient end to the employment relationship.
When buying or selling your home, all information is obtained and provided by telephone or email. Even the Land Title Office no longer accepts paper filings – everything is submitted electronically by the lawyer as well. The only in-person attendance is the final document signing, which leaves the home owner time to do the time consuming tasks of packing and moving.
Almost all legal advice can be discussed and obtained via email or video meetings. Everyone with a smart phone, tablet or laptop has access to a camera for a virtual meeting and those that do not can still discuss many matters by telephone. While in person meetings for legal advice are always available, it is certainly never a requirement and flexibility and accessibility is the new norm for providing legal services in this modern era.