Group legal plans offer benefits

Connie Schulthies
Connie Schulthies

You’re remodeling your bathroom, but your contractor didn’t finish the job and won’t respond to your phone calls.

You need legal assistance to resolve the problem.  But after spending hours searching for an attorney, you realize legal help could be expensive — and you’ve already lost money on an incomplete bathroom project.

This is a situation in which legal plan benefits could come to your rescue.

What are legal plan benefits?

Group legal plans are voluntary benefits employers offer to provide access to legal services you might not otherwise be able to afford.

A group legal plan is a type of insurance for when you need legal 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.

What do legal plan benefits provide?

Legal plan benefits can assist you in a variety of situations. The more common services categories used by employees with a group legal plan include:

Telephone advice and office consultations with an attorney.

Estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, living wills and powers of attorney.

Advice on real estate matters, including the purchase, sale and refinancing of homes.

Help with financial matters, such as debt collection defense.

Hiring or dealing with contractors.

Leasing or purchasing an automobile.

Traffic offenses.

Identity theft.

For any legal plan, certain specified legal services will be covered and non-covered services will often be provided at a reduced rate from an 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 in which you require legal assistance, you call your legal plan, which will then connect you with an attorney in your area.

Prepaid legal services through a group plan can give you peace of mind because you know you can access legal assistance.