Friday, February 8, 2013

It's only going to get worse

No such thing as free
There are sure a whole lot of misguided people in the world today.  Like those people who believe the email saying some guy in Africa will give them $10,000,000; or people who believe that you can look like a super model and still drink kegs of beer;  or people like those who believe that the politician who lied to you last election to get elected won't lie to you again; or people like those who believe that you really can get a living trust drawn up for $100.  Pipe dreams, all.

Most of the scams I see deal with people who paid thousands of dollars to an attorney only to have said attorney not do anything.  Just the other day I had a lady come into to our library.  Seems months before her father passed away, he had gone to a lawyer who had advertised that he could draw up a will, trust, and durable powers of attorney for only $150.
Beware the smiling lawyer
Problem is, when it came to enforcing provisions in the trust, the court rejected the whole thing and the estate went to probate.

Maybe you are asking yourself, "How can I protect myself from unscrupulous, opportunistic lawyers and legal types?"  Might I suggest you take a look at your state or county's bar association website?  Since I live in California, I might look at the California Bar Association's website ( and look for an expert in estate planning.  

Another great website that can help you find expert attorneys is Hieros Gamos ( is great for searching, among other things, lawyers and law practice listings in over 260 areas of practice!

Finally, another great resource for finding attorneys is the pay-for-play site ( is helpful because it is a peer-reviewed resource (meaning, good attorneys don't want to be associated with dead-beat attorneys so, if the attorney is no good, their peers will give them a low rating). 

So, next time you find yourself in a legal bind, take a deep breath and go talk to your local county law Librarian before you lay your money down.  You can bet we'll help get you going in the right direction.