You’re remodeling your kitchen, but your contractor didn’t finish the job and isn’t responding to your phone calls. You need legal assistance to resolve the problem. However, after spending hours searching for an attorney, you realize that legal help will come at the price of at least $100 to $300 an hour—and you’ve already lost money on the incomplete kitchen project. This is a situation where legal plan benefits could come to your rescue.
What Are Legal Plan Benefits?
Group legal plans are voluntary benefits that your employer may offer in order to give you access to legal services that you might not otherwise be able to afford. A group legal plan is a type of insurance for when you need an attorney’s services. You pay into the program through payroll deductions, and, when you need legal help, you have prepaid access to an attorney who can assist you—without breaking the bank.
What Do Legal Plan Benefits Provide?
Legal plan benefits can help you in a variety of situations. The more common service categories used by employees with group legal plans include the following:
- Telephone advice and office consultations with an attorney
- Estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, living wills and powers of attorney
- Real estate matters, including the purchase, sale and refinancing of homes
- Financial matters such as debt collection defense
- Hiring or dealing with contractors
- Leasing or purchasing an automobile
- Traffic offenses
- Criminal matters
For any legal plan, certain specified legal services will be covered, and non-covered services will often be provided at a reduced rate from the attorney’s normal charges.
How Do Legal Plans Work?
If you elect to use this voluntary benefit, a monthly fee will be paid via an automatic payroll deduction. Typically, a network of attorneys will be available who can be accessed through the plan. When you find yourself in a situation needing legal assistance, you can call your legal plan provider who will then connect you with an attorney in your area.
Prepaid legal services through a group legal plan can give you peace of mind because you know you can access legal assistance without having to deplete your savings to do so.