Finding Legal Help When You’re Stuck at Home

This is a guest post written by Gail Fithian, Assistant Research Services Manager.

Disclaimer: This blog post is my opinion only. I am not a lawyer and thus not authorized to practice law or give legal advice.

The Boston Globe and other news outlets have reported on the increasing number of people drawing up wills during the current pandemic. While the pandemic has spurred many of us to draft or update legal and financial documents, seeing a lawyer has become more difficult..

Your BPL borrower card or eCard gives you access to some useful resources to help you draft some of your legal documents on your own. In some cases you can do this work yourself.

If you want to make a will or other legal instrument without a lawyer, try LawDepot. Besides wills, LawDepot provides fillable power of attorney and medical records release forms, advance health care directives, and other documents. Once you choose the document or form you need, you’ll be guided through a series of questions. For example, if you're drafting a will, you'll be asked your marital status and whether you have children. LawDepot generates a document that conforms to Massachusetts’ legal standards. Keep in mind that many legal documents may then need to be witnessed and/or notarized, and signed by an attorney.

To use LawDepot, you need a BPL borrower’s card or eCard and a free RBDigital account.  For help in creating an RBDigital account, use this tutorial.  RBDigital also gives you access to dozens of free magazines and hundreds of audiobooks.

Once you are on LawDepot, you’ll be prompted to log in with your library card or eCard number and 4-digit PIN, and then to log into your RBDigital account.

Choose “Education” from the menu, then choose “Legal Forms” when the new page appears. Click on any of the screenshots below to make them larger. 

BPL has some other law-related materials for you also. If you’re looking for court cases, court rules, or federal or state laws, try Fastcase. Fastcase has enhanced search options and several tutorials, and is available from home during the library’s closure. Search our website for Fastcase, or choose it from the BPL Online Resources page.

The BPL’s Law and Legal Help guide provides links to these databases and to other free sources of legal information and referral.

If you have any questions about how to use LawDepot or other BPL resources, please send us your question using this form.

Stay safe and stay well!

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Boston Public Library