Not a Lawyer? Don't Play One on TV? Go to Gale Legal Forms

Photo of Bob Palas

May 21, 2020

By Bob Palas

Categories: Collections, Spotlight

Gale Legal Forms is a free digital resource, accessible with your library card, that allows you to download thousands of legal forms in Microsoft Word or PDF form for personal matters, business, real estate, litigation, and more.

Many of these forms are specific to the State of Illinois and are drafted by actual attorneys. (Though they don't replace the advice of an attorney, and sometimes more specifics may be required by the courts.)

With current social distancing guidelines, Gale Legal Forms is a great place to get familiar with legal forms or even get a legal document started. Read on to see how.

writing documents legal forms


A Quick Tour

When you first arrive on the Gale Legal Forms homepage, you will see that you can search for forms in a few different ways:

  • The search bar (top)
  • Illinois Legal Forms menu (top left), with helpful links to Illinois-specific tax forms, legal articles, attorney directory, and a legal definitions directory
  • Most Popular Legal Form Searches menu (bottom left)
  • Browse by Categories (bottom center), either alphabetically or via the main categories listed:
gale legal forms screenshot 1


Once you navigate to a specific legal section, you can narrow your search results by subcategories. For example, if you click on the "Wills & Estates" tab under "Most Popular Legal Form Searches" (see above), you will then have the option to "Narrow Search Results”:

gale legal forms screenshot 2


A Closer Look

Let's take a closer look at two specific sections you may find useful.

Estate Planning

Gale Legal Forms has a variety of wills and estate documents, which you can search by the person's circumstances—married, single, divorced, minor children, adult children, no children, and so on. There's also an estate planning questionnaire you can fill out to get an outline of your financial situation for estate planning purposes.

Find this by clicking on "Wills & Estates" on the left, then "Last Will and Testament Package" beneath "Personal Planning":

gale legal forms screenshot 3


gale legal forms screenshot 4


Power of Attorney

Gale Legal Forms also has a variety of Power of Attorney documents categorized by the specific need for the document. If you think you may need more than one Power of Attorney form for your legal need, find links with "Package" in the title for groupings of documents specifically assembled for different purposes:

gale legal forms screenshot 5


Time to get started

Overall, Gale Legal Forms is user-friendly, easily searchable, and simple to navigate. There are a lot of documents, but they are organized and cross-referenced in a way that make them easy to access and use.

As always, if you need additional help with Gale Legal Forms or any of the Library's databases, please call us and leave a message at (847) 965-4220 or email us at

Bob Palas is an Adult Services Librarian at Morton Grove Public Library.