Are Legal Plans the Right Choice for You?
A prepaid legal plan is a scheme based on the payment, in advance, of a set price to clear the cost of providing future legal services to the members enlisted in the scheme. They vary in cost, span of legal coverage provided, and how the legal services are provided. We will look at the different types of pre-paid legal plans available in the United States and how to enroll into them.
An individual pre-paid legal plan is readily accessible to the general public. There are two types of individual plans: access and comprehensive. An access pre-paid legal plan is the most basic plan. It is designed to give easy access to lawyer and a set of simple legal services for a low cost. Basic services supplied include unlimited toll-free phone access to your attorney for consultation and advice, brief office consultation, letters written by the lawyer on your behalf, and the drafting or review of simple legal documents.
Involved legal issues not covered will be subject to an flat or hourly rate negotiable with your provider.
The comprehensive plan goes beyond basic legal services, to provide more complex and comprehensive coverage for a premium in cost. Usually, all the benefits of an access plan are provided at no charge to you, plus a broader range of services like drafting complicated legal documents, negotiations with adverse parties, legal representation in court cases such as divorce and custody fights. They also cover all the costs involved in a legal litigation. Comprehensive plans generally start at $300 per year and are most beneficial to middle-class families.
A group legal plan is typically sponsored by an organization as a fringe benefit to its members. The law firm or lawyer contracted provides free or low-cost legal coverage to all members of the sponsoring organization. Universities, employers and labor unions are now increasingly offering group legal plans to enhance the value of their benefits package and lower the cost of administrative burden. Law firms are contracted to provide participating members telephone and office consultation for their most frequently needed legal matters. These typically include: Preparation of wills and trusts, document preparation and review, debt and real estate matters and family law.
Further legal coverage can be contracted according to a fee schedule, negotiable between the plan sponsor and provider, and publicized to participating members.
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