518-435-9110

Our Friendly Staff (Yes, Real People!) Look Forward to Helping You!

About We The People   

Our mission statement is simple:  We believe all Americans deserve affordable and quality access to the legal system.  We designed We the People to help our fellow citizens exercise their Constitutional right to represent themselves in legal and court matters.

Don't get frustrated by trying to prepare your legal documents online.  Don't get exasperated trying to do them yourself.  Wouldn't you rather sit down, in a comfortable office, face to face with a real live person?  And wouldn't it be great if that service charged fees that an average person like yourself can afford?  Then look no further - that company exists.  Contact We the People today!

If you would like to get started with an uncontested divorce in NY, come see us!  New York State uncontested divorce filings are something we do quite a bit of, as well as filings for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, LLC's and Corporation filings.  If you're not sure if we can help you, just call us locally at (518)435-9110 or fill out the contact us box at your right to speak with one of our caring staff members.

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Why Do I Need A Will?

Many people believe that they don’t need a Will if they don’t have a lot of money or property. Many people think that they don’t need a Will if all their property (bank accounts, life insurance, pensions, etc.) has a named beneficiary or co-signer. Many people just don’t want to deal with making a Will for a variety of reasons.

 A Will lets you choose who gets your stuff when you die. If you die without a Will, the state will appoint an administrator who, (after taking a hefty fee)  divides the rest of your property according to state law.  Having a Will avoids having your friends and/or relatives argue over who gets what, even simple sentimental items with little financial value.

 Having a Will makes it much easier and simpler on your loved ones after you pass. We The People makes the process simple, fast and affordable. 



How Do I Get Divorced If I Cannot FInd My Spouse?
Production wsieforce - Friday, January 23, 2015
New York State Domestic Relations Law requires that a defendant in a divorce action be notified in some manner that the divorce action is taking place against them.  This is not a problem for the vast majority of divorce filers in New York State, as most plaintiffs in divorce actions know exactly where their spouses are.  However, occasionally estranged spouses do not always keep in touch, and if one party wishes to commence a divorce action, it can be difficult to track the other person down.

Just because you cannot find your spouse does not mean you cannot get divorced, though.  New York State Domestic Relations Law has a procedure in place for those seeking divorces where the defendant cannot be found.  This is generally referred to as a "divorce by publication", where the divorce summons is published in a newspaper where the defendant was last known to reside. 

The only catch to this process is that the plaintiff generally must make an earnest effort to try to find their spouse and prove this to the court before a judge will order the publication.  This is time consuming and can be prohibitively expensive.  Not only are the publication costs themselves sometimes high, but it may be beneficial for the plaintiff to hire a private investigator to conduct some aspects of the search. 

So, on top of the normal costs of obtaining a divorce in New York State, proceeding forward with a divorce by publication can add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the cost of obtaining a divorce.  If you are out of touch with your spouse and want to begin divorce proceedings., it is always a good idea to put forth your best effort in locating him or her in order to save yourself a large amount of time and money.



How Long Does It Take to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Albany County?
Production wsieforce - Thursday, January 15, 2015
Currently, our customers who are filing for uncontested divorce in Albany County are having their divorces granted within a 2 - 3 1/2 month range. 

If you need your uncontested divorce filing to go quicker than that, we will try to accommodate you as much as we can on the legal document preparation end, but of course once your divorce documents are assigned to an Albany County Supreme Court justice, then the amount of time it will take for the divorce judgment to be granted will be in the hands of the judge.

Give We the People NY a call today to get started on your uncontested divorce in Albany County.



What is an LLC?
Production wsieforce - Friday, January 09, 2015
The term "LLC" is shorthand for a Limited Liability Company, which is a type of business entity.  A Limited Liability Company is similar to a corporation in that it is a separate legal entity from it's owner, so that an owner's liability from operating the company is limited to the assets of the LLC, not their personal assets.

Unlike a corporation, an LLC does not have a President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer.  An LLC has members, which may also be managing members.  Also, no shares are issued for an LLC.  Membership certificates act like stock certificates.  Income derived from an LLC may be treated differently from income derived from a corporation.  Your accountant or CPA will be the best source of information regarding what type of business entity will be right for your business. 

When you know exactly what type of business entity you would like to form, We the People NY will be happy to help you with the paperwork and procedural aspects of filing for your LLC or corporation.  Give us a call today at (518)435-9110.



Downloadable Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Information and Forms Now Available Online
Production wsieforce - Sunday, January 04, 2015
We have just added Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing forms and information to our "Resources" page!  Just click the "About" tab and then hit "Resources" to find the Bankruptcy documents.

We have posted the American Association of Legal Document Preparer's list of New York State Bankruptcy Exemptions, Bankrate's "12 Myths about Filing for Bankruptcy", and a fillable Means Test Form for you to help determine your income eligibility for filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  We hope these publicly available forms will provide you with some of the information you will need to decide if filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.  

*We the People NY is a debt relief agency.  We help people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.  We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.  We are bankruptcy petition preparers as defined in 11 U.S.C. 110.  

 



Median Income Figures for Bankruptcy Changing
Production wsieforce - Thursday, November 20, 2014
The median income figures for the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test change every six months.  The figures in place now are for cases filed on or after November 1, 2014.  Plan your bankruptcy filing accordingly. 

For more information about the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test please visit the website for the Offices of the United States Trustee.



Closed for Week of October 6th
We The People - Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Please note that our office will be closed from Monday, October 6th through Friday, October 10th.  We will re-open for regular business hours on Monday, October 13th.

 



How Do I Change My Name Back After My New York Uncontested Divorce?
Production wsieforce - Wednesday, October 01, 2014
We commonly are asked, mostly by women, how they can go about changing their name back after their divorce.  The process is actually very easy, although it requires several steps. 

Depending upon how long you have been married, you may just need to change over your driver's license and information at the Social Security Administration.  If you have been married many years, you may additionally need to change over many, many more documents including professional licenses and affiliations.  This can be tedious, but regardless of the number of things to be changed over, all the changes start with a certified copy of your Divorce Judgment.

You will need a certified copy of your Divorce Judgment to show Social Security, the Department of Motor Vehicles or other government entities that you are entitled to resume using your maiden name or another prior surname. 

If you are a We the People NY customer, you will receive a certified copy of your Judgment for Divorce when your divorce is finalized as part of our document package.



What New York State Counties Does We the People Service for Divorce?
We The People - Monday, June 02, 2014
Since We the People NY is centrally located in the Capital District in Colonie, NY, most of our uncontested divorce customers are from Albany County, Schenectady County, Rensselaer County, and Saratoga County.  Hand-delivery courier service to the county clerks in these counties is available for your uncontested divorce documents.

We also regularly get uncontested divorce customers from outlying counties such as Fulton County, Montgomery County, Washington County, Warren County, Columbia County, Ulster County, Greene County, and Schoharie County.  If you or your spouse lives in one of these counties, we can help you file for your New York State uncontested divorce, although hand-delivery of your divorce documents to the county clerks in these counties is not available.  Divorce document filing is done by mail in these counties.

Keep in mind that since New York State has a Unified Court System, we can prepare uncontested divorce documents in any county in New York State outside of the Five Boroughs of New York City and Long Island.

 



Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing Fees Increasing
We The People - Tuesday, May 27, 2014
As of June 1, 2014, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing will go up from $306.00 to $336.00, an increase of $30.00. 

Do My Spouse and I Need To Come Together to Get Started With An Uncontested Divorce?
Production wsieforce - Thursday, October 10, 2013
At We the People NY, all we do is uncontested New York State divorce, so the majority of the couples we deal with will be coming in to our office together to begin the process.  Initially, when a couple comes in to begin the divorce process, we have them fill out a series of workbooks.  The workbooks are just as way for us to get all of the important information we need so that we can prepare their divorce documents properly. 

Of course, just one spouse can fill out all of the necessary divorce workbooks.  We understand that for some couples, either they do not want to be here at the same time or their schedules vary so much that they are unable to meet up for an appointment.  Just as with everything we do here at We the People - you're in charge.  So, if you want to fill out the workbooks together with your spouse, we encourage you to do so.  But you also have the option of meeting with us and filling out the workbooks alone.  It's up to you.  

We look forward to helping you with your New York Uncontested Divorce in 2013


Legal Disclaimer
We The People - Saturday, April 13, 2013
We the People NY is designed to help people represent themselves in simple court matters like uncontested divorce, simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, wills, deeds and LLC/Incorporation filings.  All the information contained on our website and in our blog and other materials is for informational purposes only, encompassing publicly available general legal information.  The information contained on this site is not intended as legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

All We the People NY customers are representing themselves in the court system.  This is referred to as filing pro se or "for yourself".  Representing yourself in the court system is a Constitutionally protected right. Our customers make all the decisions and we work at their direction. 

We the People NY staff are not attorneys and are not able to give legal advice. 



How Long Does It Take To Get An Uncontested Divorce in Schenectady County?
We The People - Friday, January 25, 2013
The vast majority of the time it takes to get an uncontested divorce in New York state through the Supreme Court System is dependent upon which judge is assigned to the case.  Currently, in Schenectady County, We the People customers can expect their divorces to be granted within 3 to 4 months. 

The vast majority of uncontested divorce filers in Schenectady County will not have to appear in front of a judge. Although the divorce paperwork must be signed by a Supreme Court judge, the parties themselves generally will never have to appear in person.



Free Notarization of New York State Pistol Permit Applications
We The People - Monday, January 14, 2013
To assist our fellow law-abiding New York State residents who are applying for a New York State Pistol Permit, we are offering FREE Notarization in our office of any New York State Pistol Permit application.  In some counties, including Albany County, there are additional forms that must be Notarized, such as the Character Reference forms.  We the People NY will also offer FREE Notarization of these forms, as well. 

We have Notaries Public on staff during all regular office hours Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm.  All applicants must show valid photo ID and must sign in the Notary's presence.  

We look forward to assisting our fellow citizens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights.



Legal Disclaimer
We The People - Thursday, October 11, 2012
Please note that We the People NY's legal document professionals are not attorneys and are not able to give legal advice.  Any content on this blog or on this website is considered widely available public information and is not a substitute for the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

If you have specific legal questions regarding your situation that We the People NY staff cannot answer for you. let us refer you to a competent local attorney.



How to Hire an Attorney Part VI - Billing
Production wsieforce - Saturday, September 29, 2012
Ok - you've found a competent attorney and hired them.  You've signed the retainer agreement and plunked down several thousand dollars.  Now what?

Depending upon the type of case you have hired the attorney for, you may not hear anything for several weeks while the attorney thoroughly reviews your situation and/or prepares preliminary documents.  If there are any time frames involved with your case that you are aware of, you should let the attorney know up front.  Don't be shy about contacting the attorney if you are unsure as to the status of your case.   Keep non-essential contact with the attorney to a minimum, however, as depending upon your retainer agreement, you may incur billable hours every time you contact the attorney for a status report.

Find out in what increments of time your attorney bills out for phone calls, etc. and time your correspondence and phone calls with the attorney accordingly.  Also, be prepared for the attorney's bill to include such items as photocopies, long distance charges, court courier fees, and/or postage.  While other professionals generally do not charge additional for these costs, most attorneys do.

You are entitled to regular statements detailing the attorney's charges.  Make sure to review these statements carefully.  If you disagree with any of the items in the billing statement, bring it to the attention of the attorney immediately.   Remember, you are the one who has hired the attorney, and it's your money on the line.  Don't let the attorney run roughshod over you in regards to billing. 

Here are some things you should NOT pay for on the attorney's billing statement:  You should not be billed for the time it takes to correct mistakes on documents or to correct other types of errors that were the attorney's or their staff's fault.  You also should not pay for the attorney for their time spent looking up or researching something they should already know as a regular part of their practice.  Of course, if your case requires legal research specifically for your case, then that is something an attorney may legitimately bill you for.  You may need to have a discussion with your attorney about these matters to make sure your bill is accurate.

 If you do find yourself in a billing dispute that you cannot resolve with the attorney, the New York State Bar Association has fee dispute resolution.   

Hopefully this series has been helpful to you if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to hire an attorney.

 



How to Hire An Attorney Part V - Retainers
We The People - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Now that you've found an attorney that seems to be knowledgeable about your situation and appears to have a well-run office, you will be ready to contract with them to represent you.  This contract is called a retainer agreement. 

The vast majority of attorneys work on a "retainer" or an up front fee paid to them from which they deduct their fees and court costs as your case moves along. So, basically they get paid before they do any work. Also, you must expect that the retainer amount you have paid up front will not necessarily be how much it costs you to resolve your case.  It is entirely possible your attorney may ask for additional money as they spend down your retainer, so be prepared for this. 

There is no "standard" retainer amount for all attorneys; however, depending upon what type of case you are hiring the attorney for, you can expect to pay within a certain range.  For example, for matrimonial attorneys in the Capital District of New York, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3500 to $5000 as a retainer to start a contested divorce with a competent matrimonial attorney. 

A standard retainer agreement is several pages long and is generally signed by both you and the attorney.  It is a good idea to review the retainer agreement thoroughly, even if you have to take it home with you to review it before signing.  Do not let an attorney pressure you into signing the retainer agreement before you have taken plenty of time in reviewing it.  Pay particular attention to the sections detailing billing and refunds of any unused retainer fees.  Discuss with the attorney any concerns you have with the retainer language  prior to signing the agreement. 



How to Hire an Attorney - Part IV
We The People - Friday, September 21, 2012
Now that you've had an initial consultation with an attorney, this is a good time to assess whether you wish to hire them or not.  Before you sign the retainer, ask yourself these questions:

Was the attorney easy to get a hold of and make an appointment with?  Did the attorney seem knowledgeable about my type of case?  Did the attorney listen to my questions and concerns or were they distracted?  Did there appear to be adequate support staff in their office?  Was the attorney able to easily explain to me in layman's terms what would be happening with my case?  Did I feel comfortable with them?  Can I afford their services if my case is more complex or time consuming than I thought?  

If the attorney you meet with is hard to get a hold of, takes weeks to get an appointment, has no one in the office to answer simple questions or take phone calls, then the attorney is most likely going to be difficult to work with.  If they were distracted or rushed during your consultation, will they be distracted while working on your case?  Most likely the answer will be yes.  Attorneys are first and foremost running a business.  So, like all business owners, they will be on their best behavior while they are trying to get you to pay them for their services.  And since they are paid up front in the form of a retainer, there is less incentive later on for them to provide you with good customer service.  If they're not showing you good customer service while they're trying to earn your business, they certainly won't be providing good customer service once they have your retainer.

If you're not happy with your experience with one attorney, don't settle for less than you deserve.  Consider getting a second opinion.



How to Hire an Attorney - Part III
We The People - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Once you've narrowed down a list of potential attorneys to hire, you may want to call their offices to find out how soon you can get in for an initial consultation.  Depending upon what your legal problem is, some attorneys will offer a free initial consultation, although most attorneys charge an hour of billable time for a new client consultation.  Don't be surprised by this.  This will just be the start of getting charged for everything, including mundane items most other service professionals include in their fees.  Expect to pay anywhere from $200 - $500 for an initial consultation if the attorney charges for one.  If you do decide to ultimately hire the attorney, ask if the initial consultation fees can be put toward the retainer.

So, what should you expect from an initial consultation with an attorney?  You must be prepared yourself in order to get your money's worth.  First of all, the attorney will want to know about why you need to hire them; so write up a clear and concise explanation of your legal situation.  Be truthful and stick to the facts.  Also, write up a list of questions you have regarding your situation.  And stay on a timetable - don't spend too much time on any one question.  In order to get the most out of your initial consultation, you don't want to go off onto tangents or start personal small talk with the attorney.  This will only cost you hard earned dollars, as the attorney will bill you whether you're talking about your kids or talking about your legal situation.  It's all about buying their time.

You should expect the attorney to provide you either at the initial consultation or in writing soon after an assessment of your situation, what strategy they would use to handle your case effectively, approximately how much in legal fees you can expect to pay, and exactly how much their up front retainer would be to retain their services. 



How to Hire an Attorney - Part II
We The People - Friday, August 24, 2012
First and foremost, not all attorneys are created equal, and the most expensive attorney in town is not always the best.   It is always a good idea to get some word-of-mouth referrals first.  From there, you can narrow down your search based on an attorney's practice areas and expertise.  For example, if you are looking to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it's a good idea to narrow your search down to attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy law. If you don't want to ask friends and family members for referrals, you can contact the Bar Association in your area to provide you with a list of attorneys that practice in your area.  Of course, you'll have to narrow your list from there.

Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law and in particular, find out how long they have been practicing the specific area of law you need help in.   Whenever possible, hire an attorney in a firm with several members.  We have found in our experience over the years that sole practitioner attorneys are the most problematic of all legal professionals.  Many times, they do not have the office support staff to adequately run their business, nor do they always have the experience to do a good job practicing law on their own.  Sole practitioner attorneys do not always have the resources at hand that a larger firm would, as well; and they seem to be less financially stable.  This is important if you need to obtain a refund of any fees from your attorney.



 
How to Hire an Attorney - Part I
We The People - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Let's face it - sometimes you end up in a position where hiring an attorney is your only option.  And because you may literally be spending tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees with this attorney, you want to make sure you hire the right person. So, let's start from scratch and learn the basics about hiring a competent attorney. 

We all know how to find the best deals on clothes, groceries, cars, etc.  But when it comes to hiring quite possibly one of the most important professionals in our life, we don't have a clue.  Most average Americans don't know enough about the law and the legal system to be savvy legal consumers. When you're under a time constraint and stressed out because of a legal issue, the situation is ripe for an unscrupulous legal professional to take advantage of you. And the legal profession likes it that way.  They would prefer the public stays ignorant about the court systems and legal procedures. 

To make matters worse, there are no standard ratings for attorneys, so how do you know you're hiring the right person to help you with your divorce, bankruptcy, or other legal issue  Bar associations would have you believe that all attorneys are good and competent in their profession.  The reality is, they're not; and information on bad attorneys is not always easy to find, even on the web.  So, it can be hard to stay away from the shysters.

Let We the People give you our insider's tips on how to hire a good attorney and be a better legal consumer.  Check out our next blog installment, How to Hire an Attorney, Part II.



Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Resources Now Available Online!
We The People - Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Please visit our Resources page for the latest on publically available informational materials for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers.  Even if you decide our services are not appropriate for you, we hope you will find our publically available information helpful.  Please feel free to download any of the materials for your use - completely FREE! 

We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.  We are classified as Bankruptcy Petition Preparers, and we can assist Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers who chose to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney. 

If you have any questions on our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy services, please feel free to call us locally at (518)435-9110.



Summer Office Hours
We The People - Monday, July 09, 2012
We are back open for business now after the July 4th holiday week.  Our summer office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm.  No appointment necessary. 

Don't Forget: We're on vacation July 2nd through July 6th
We The People - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Please note our office will be closed for vacation from July 2nd through July 6th.  We will re-open for regular business hours Monday, July 9th at 10:00 am.  But don't worry!   While our office may be closed, our paralegals will still be working on your documents, so you shouldn't have to wait any longer than usual.  Just give us a call the week of the 9th if you'd like to check the status of your paperwork.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!



Today is Juneteenth
We The People - Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Many people are unaware of the existence of the holiday celebrated today, June 19th.  I certainly had not heard of it until just a few years ago - it is called Juneteenth and is considered a legal holiday in 41 states, including New York State.  Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War.

The state of Texas is widely considered the state in which these Juneteenth celebrations started, and its observance has spread to other states, including other countries.  Juneteenth celebrations included a wide range of festivities highlighting African-American heritage.  While Juneteenth celebrations had fallen off in recent history, many modern groups have been working to establish Juneteenth as an official holiday in all 50 states.

 



June is LGBT Pride Month
We The People - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We the People welcomes all, including our fellow LGBT citizens.  We provide a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere to have your simple legal documents prepared. 

We celebrate the recent strides New York has made to full marriage equality for all.  We support marriage equality at the state AND Federal levels.



4th of July Vacation Week
We The People - Wednesday, June 06, 2012
While we always try to accommodate our customers with convenient hours and try to stay open on most legal holidays like MLK Day, Presidents Day, etc., we will be taking the week of Monday, July 2nd through Friday, July 6th off.  We will re-open for regular business hours on Monday, July 9th at 10:00 AM.

If you are in a hurry or need other arrangements for that week, please let us know well before June 29th, so that we may try to accommodate you.  All documents in our office for filing by end of business day Wednesday, June 27th will be filed at the appropriate county clerk's office before the vacation week.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!







SOMETIMES YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY; BUT WHEN YOU DON'T WE THE PEOPLE IS HERE TO HELP!

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What are the fees?

All of our fees are a fraction of what you would pay going the traditional route. Please contact us to obtain an exact quote on your specific situation. You will know exactly how much you will be spending before you get started. There are no hidden fees. And for your convenience, we accept credit and debit cards for our fees.**

How long will it take?

The documents we prepare at We the People are typed specifically for you at your direction using standard computerized forms. All documents are then rigorously proofread to ensure you receive the highest quality documents available anywhere.
Most of our documents are prepared and ready for you to review and sign within several business days.

NOTE:
*This information applies to all document preparation EXCEPT Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  US Bankruptcy Court rules do not allow us to assist with physically filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy documents.

**We cannot accept credit cards for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy document preparation fees