When it comes to legal issues, most people assume they either need to go it alone or let a lawyer do everything. And while for some problems, this is indeed the case—for example, you should always consult a lawyer in criminal proceedings—there is another way. It’s called unbundling.

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Unbundling means that the lawyer and client divide the work and handle the case collaboratively. Often, this involves the client filling out paperwork on his or her own and having a lawyer check it over, make corrections, using the attorney’s expertise.

Consider making a Will. There’s no particular reason a lawyer should be filling out a client’s will for them. After all, a lot of this would be the attorney simply asking questions and the client providing responses. Some lawyers have worksheets they have their clients fill out while others use services like Google Docs or Rocket Lawyer to share documents and work as a team. When the client has done what he or she can do, the lawyer can go through the document, make sure it’s neat and legal, and help with filing, finding witnesses, and locating a notary. Issues like setting up trusts and probate estates are much more difficult, and the lawyer would help with those. But helping the process along, as a client, saves you money and the lawyer time.

More and more attorneys are offering unbundling services, so if you’re curious: ask. Unbundling isn’t right for every case or even every client, but it’s something you should be aware of.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one day.

Get started Ask a Lawyer a Question You'll hear back in one day.