Limitations of PrePaid Legal Services You Should Understand
There are nearly a dozen organizations providing prepaid legal service plans. They do offer admittance to some valuable legal services. But, you need to check all their promises to see if you really require those services. Furthermore, you need to grasp the limits of those services that are covered under a prepaid legal plan.
Common to many plans is ready phone access to your lawyer. You may call your attorney about concerns about legal problems you face and get an expert opinion and recommendations as to how to carry on. If you didn’t have a family lawyer and had to locate an attorney to get your questions answered you would most likely never ask a lawyer.
Also standard to most plans are the writing of a will, the examination of ordinary legal documents and writing of customary letters. If you are planning to buy or sell your house, you can get an expert evaluation of the papers through your prepaid plan. If you were overcharged for an item a letter from your lawyer to the merchant is normally covered.
Often more complex legal matters have limitations spelled out in the plan. If you are involved in a lawsuit the time your attorney spends that is covered by your plan will probably have limits for both the pre-trial research and the time the attorney spends at trial. Additional time will be billed to you, usually at a reduced rate.
While the discount sounds like a favorable deal, you probably could ask several lawyers for their rates for the legal effort you are involved in. Like any business relationship, you will get different rates from different attorneys. So, in reality, the discount may not really be such a good deal.
An additional consideration you should consider is the choices you have for your attorney under a prepaid legal plan. You ought to be concerned about the quality of legal effort your attorney will provide and the bond or rapport you could have with your lawyer.
Since the prepaid legal plan is a limited service for a fixed price arrangement, various plan administrators make agreements with recently licensed lawyers who are just getting started. Like any company, your plan administrator often needs to reduce expenses and may find the least costly legal firms to include in the plan.
Though if you are merely interested in getting a will set up or reviewing a real estate closing statement, most any attorney will do. However, attorneys specialize, exactly like doctors. So, if you require specialized counsel for a business or a child custody case, you should evaluate the lawyers for that specialty before you sign up for a plan. The complex nature of the law means you will receive higher quality guidance from a specialist than from a generalist.
If you choose not to use the prepaid legal plan, your choices of an attorney are unrestricted. You will then select any attorney with whom you can build a bond of trust. You will give up some benefits of a prepaid legal plan, but you will have an attorney who concentrates in the field of law that is most important in your situation.
No matter what alternative you choose, you can set up some interviews with the lawyers, ask for references from prior clients, talk with friends who have used that attorney, and check with your local bar association. Get the most effective attorney you can to get the most effective results.