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Are Prepaid Legal Plans Worth It?

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Drive Thru LawyerA few years ago, my former company began offering prepaid legal plans as an employee benefit. I forget the exact terms of the deal but it worked a lot like medical insurance. You pay a set amount each month and you had access to the plan’s pool of lawyers. The pool could prepare certain documents for you, such as draft a will, and you could have consultations several times a year.

As young professionals, none of my friends took advantage of the plan because there didn’t seem to be a need for it, but I wondered whether prepaid legal plans were worth it.

What are Prepaid Legal Plans?

I did some research online and plans start around $15-30 a month, which was in line with the monthly cost of my former employer’s plan. What you get will vary by state because the prepaid legal firms are really intermediaries between you and a law firm. There are also add-ons you can buy, like $1 a month for 24-hour service, plus a la carte legal services in addition to the prepaid plan itself.

What do you get? For the basic family plan I looked at, you had unlimited phone consultations, one call or letter (meaning the attorney would call or write a letter as your representative), unlimited personal document review (up to ten pages each) and one business document review, and one individual Will. Most plans will offer similar services, with varying limitations.

Benefits of Prepaid Legal

Prepaid legal is a lot like medical insurance. You pay a fixed amount each month, regardless of how much you use it, and you can get access to a lawyer when you need it without paying additional fees for each service. Your annual legal costs are set and you won’t have to worry about having a particularly bad legal year extend into your finances (at least in the case of legal fees).

Since most prepaid legal plans offer unlimited phone consultations, it can pre-empt potential legal issues. If you aren’t sure about something seemingly minor, like cutting down a tree, you can call up your lawyer for advice. You may find out that you need an arborist to supervise or the permission of your neighbor.

Drawbacks of Prepaid Legal

This is the classic case of buffet vs. a la carte. With prepaid legal, you pay a set fee each month, regardless of how often you use it, and get to pick from a menu of services they provide. Otherwise, should you want those services, you pay per service.

Thinking back to the last year, I’ve only needed a lawyer once – when I was given a speeding ticket in North Carolina. For those keeping score at home, you know that I live in Maryland so self-representation was out of the question and in order to avoid getting points on my license (which insurance companies love), I paid a NC lawyer ~$200 to represent me in administrative traffic court. In my particular case, I don’t believe prepaid legal services would’ve helped but that’s the type of scenario where one could have helped.

Legal Documents

One of the benefits touted by some prepaid legal services is access to a database of legal documents. You can pick up legal documents almost anywhere, the real value is in having a lawyer’s trained eye reviewing them. If you want legal forms or documents, you can do a search on Google for them. When you find a form, make sure it’s for your state (or the state it will be used in).

A La Carte Services

As for going a la carte, you can just open up your yellow pages or ask your friends for a lawyer to fit your needs. Interview them as you would anyone else you are buying something from (like home improvement contractors) and find out whether their services are what you need.

If you prefer going the online route, Legalzoom is always an option. You can prepare a Will for as little as $69 that includes a personal “Peace of Mind” review in addition to the automated checks for spelling, grammar, completeness, etc.

So are prepaid plans worth it? I’m not entirely sure they are. When you consider many of the a la carte services are “one and done” types of services (how many Wills will I need to have prepared?), I’m thinking going a la carte is probably better.

Do you have any experience with these types of services?

(Photo: brookenovak)

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92 Responses to “Are Prepaid Legal Plans Worth It?”

  1. Anthony says:

    I’ve only had PPL for 2 yrs and they save (or gotten back) more money then I’ve put in.
    1) we told PPL attorneys we were over-billed $20 while having baby in hospital – they got $350 removed from bill.
    2) cell ph provider wanted to charge me $175 to get out of their contract even though they could not explain why I couldn’t get reception where I lived and they gave me 3 different brand name phones to try and they still didn’t work – call PPL attorneys and they got me out of contract without paying anything.
    3) accountant sent me a bill for $85 for a consultation fee even though they had never discussed a fee and threatened to send me to collections if I didn’t pay – PPL attorneys said it was against the law and got them to stop harassing me.
    4) bought a property, sold it 1yr later and 2 liens popped up from the city – the previous wner had 2 code violations for tall weeds & grass, he never pd it and now I had to – $650 came out of the sale of the hm. Called PPL attorneys and they got my $650 back from the previous owner.
    5) speeding 10 mph over – they went to court and got me deferred adjudication. (i wasn’t even there).
    5) had lease documents, mortgage docs, etc. reviewed before signing.
    i can go on, but I think u get the picture!

    Now u might say trouble follows me, but I know this kind of stuff happens to everyone but most of the time they try and handle it themselves instead of calling a $300/hr attorney. But for $26/mo. I got it all handled!!! You all have a free will – you make the choice for yourself, but don’t bad mouth something that works for some of us!!!

    • SW formerly susan says:

      The Commercial Driver’s Legal Plan that you are talking about is one of the best bargains around. Especially with the new regulations that make a hard job even more difficult, IMHO, EVERY OTR driver needs the plan. Even if the company says they will cover your expenses, etc., there is always a big risk that they will decide the driver is trouble and dump him/her/them. It is a little expense for a lot of protection.

    • valerie says:

      what prepaid legal company do you use?

  2. Susan says:

    I would say, from my personal experience, Pre-Paid Legal is definitely not worth it. We were told by a pre-paid legal attorney that we had an LLC and did not to file a Subchapter S Corp. I told her my accountant said there was a difference and I just wanted to make sure before I paid him the $200 to file the Subchapter S Corp. She reiterated that there was no difference. We didn’t file the Subchapter S Corp and because of that, had to pay about $3000 of additional taxes. What a shock that was when we sat down with the accountant!

    • SW formerly susan says:

      @Susan — I don’t know if you are purposely using my name to create confusion or if it is coincidence that we have the same name. IF, repeat, IF what you say is true, and you got bad advice, you should report your experience to corporate customer service (800.654.7757). You will need your issue number, your membership number, and, if possible, who you spoke to about the issue. I do not know what the resolution might be, but I do know that NOTHING can be done about it if you don’t call, and, if you DON’T call, I can only assume that either the issue is not as big a deal as you are making it out to be or it did not actually happen.

  3. Jah Kol says:

    Prepaid Legal is a rip off. You get represented by some schmuck who knows nothing about local rules.

    Avoid.

    • All Pre-Paid Legal law firms ARE local. Firms are chosen for their Martindale-Hubbell rating, experience, number of attorneys and willingness to work within the Pre-Paid parameters. Firms are paid by the number of issues they resolve rather than by the hour so there is EVERY reason to do it right in a hurry and no reason to delay, unlike regular law firms.
      @Jah Kol, you are mistaken.

    • kathleen says:

      You are correct—-they are a bunch of “schmucks” out here in Southern California!!!!!!! But then, the whole legal system “sucks”!!!!

  4. Alan in Illinois says:

    I just signed up- I’ve paid $50,000 the past three years defending myself in two lawsuits- both settled in my favor, but when you’re paying $400 an hour and realize any question leads to “research”, you can see why you can easily pay this much before even getting to trial. I was fortunate to have that money laying around, most people don’t, and I don’t want to risk those kind of expenses again, which is a risk because I’m an entrepreneur and on a few boards.

    My sister has spent $3000 on an IRS issue getting advice and having one letter drafted, so she’s signing up. My brother is a small business owner (no college business training), he’s signing up. I have a cousin who does real estate development, he’s signing up.

    In short, I think if you get involved with business projects, or have teenage children, or are just having kids and need a will, mortgage review, etc.- this is a steal. If you’re responsible and want to have resources to take care of your own legal jeopardy, having this is responsible. If you want to wing it, and risk either tens of thousands in extra expenses- or worse yet, let your wife or kids take the hit because you can’t get professional help- that’s your choice, kinda like not having health insurance for your family is an option as well…

  5. Linda says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to only pay our HOME, LIFE, HEALTH, and AUTO insurance ONLY when we had a problem? This world/country population is on the rise. I know alot of folks are LAWSUIT crazy and even if you are not at fault you would still need to get some legal defense or take the chance of doing prison time eventho you are innocent. There are many prisoners that are TRULY innocent. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN THEIR SHOES?????????

  6. SamH says:

    Prepaid Legal Plan: The $200 speeding ticket would have cost you nothing, it’s included in the membership ($204/yr); the Will would cost nothing, it too is included in the membership ($0). Like anything good the benefit is in the long haul!

    • shea says:

      I agree, it has worked for me on many occasions. Only once did I get an attorney I did not like. So I complained about his disposition and asked to get a second opinion concerning the case # that was opened. Much better response with the second person. I am using them now and in a previous Pro Se case the attorney let me know that I did everything that could be done. He thend gave me additional guidance on other steps I could take that I had not considered.

      In my six years only one issue was not resolved and the attorney warned me that Verizon was a hard nut to crack…my verbiage not his. Bogus early term fee that I was told would not incur..I warm all to go over every singlr Verizon wireless bill with a fine tooth comb. They are thiefs. But that topic is for another forum ;)

      Nothing works for everyone and nothing works 100% of the time. I’d say I am at a success rate of 99.5%

      I pay $17 per month.I am also an associate of 6 years but only sold it to close family members the 1st year. Being an insurance agent is not my thing!

      Shea BeautSpeed

  7. kathleen says:

    YOU ALL ARE LIARS—-EVEN IF YOU HAVE A MEMBERSHIP, EVERY TIME YOU TALK TO YOUR LAWYER ON THE PHONE FOR A VERY BRIEF TIME HE CHARGES YOU OVER A $100. SO THIS PRE-PAID LEGAL BIT IS A TRUE SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Robert Branscomb says:

      Right Kathleen..and some how they have been pulling it off for 40 years..uh huh..you leave out a few facts..like the nature of your issue..
      what was the legal opinion your atty advised you of…was it something very complicated…ie i.e…did you get caught shop lifting and you want to plea insanity and you have a record of doing this, you never showed up for court and when you did, the drugs you were on hurt your case and the atty asked for more time..you didn’t include the fact that you had shop lifted there before….these are some important details to share if you are going to make the kind of claim you are making…..details my dear..details..

    • Cindi says:

      Kathleen you are incorrect, whereas you can never please all the people all the time, PPL has gotten my GUILTY boys, (teenagers) and myself off every traffic ticket we have ever gotten, no calls were at any additional cost, and they even went to court for me I did not have to go. You might have had a bad experience, but for me 17.00 a month is a great assurance to avoid a traffic ticket at 250.00 a wack!!! The other nice thing is that I received a FREE basic will, and you can cancel at any time!

  8. Lynn says:

    Maybe some people are not getting a good lawyer but I did! I have had child custody advice, probate court matters resolved, and inhertiance issued addressed. It’s all about beign prepared just in case.

  9. Marina Z. says:

    I worked in a Real Estate office about 10 years ago, during our meeting we had a guest speaker pitch Pre Paid Legal to us. At the time it was a $15/month fee which seemed reasonable, if nothing else my legal questions regarding real estate. I had been trying to get results from an insurance company who refused to pay my mother’s disability claim and for two years was making me jump through hoops. My mother had a severe stroke and I was desperately trying to take care of her needs. I called this pre paid legal service, a day later a letter went out to the insurance company and within a week I had a Fedex envelope from the insurance company with a check for $25,000. THAT was worth the $15 I was paying and some!!! I think this is the best thing to alleviate the ridiculous amount of money attorneys charge and to give peace of mind if you ever need advice or representation.

  10. Beentheredunthat says:

    I am an attorney, and worked at a Pre-Paid Legal (PPL) provider firm for several years. In case you don’t know, the way PPL works in most of the country is they contract with a law firm in each state to provide PPL services for their state, which the firms decide to do in exchange for some kind of flat fee payment from PPL, and to be the referral source for the cases that come in. I would absolutely guarantee that not one attorney who has worked at that firm, and probably not even any who still work there, would EVER recommend PPL to anyone. What PPL doesn’t tell you is that the attorneys who do take the phone calls are not regular practicing attorneys but, rather, guys who sit down in a call center and just answer calls all day long like a customer sales rep. Most of those attorneys were washed-up older guys who had a hard time making it in private practice, so they just wanted somewhere to get a steady (although very low) paycheck. No attorney could ever actually have expertise in the many different fields of law that came in as calls, but the call-center attorneys did it anyway, usually by consulting fast-reference manuals. The letters they promise to write on behalf of PPL members to “threaten” opposing parties or “defend their rights” are usually stock, form letters that always end with a statement saying that if the opposing party wants to continue to dispute with the PPL member, they should contact the PPL member directly because the firm does not actually represent them full time. I can tell you that all of the other attorneys in town laugh at those letters, and even some throw them away, because they carry no weight without the firm actually representing the PPL client. Such letters rarely resolve any legal conflict, and any case that goes beyond the letter stage gets referred up to the “real” attorneys in the litigation department, who are overworked and underpaid because of the lower revenue brought in my PPL cases. To actually have an attorney represent you in a dispute is not free, as they suggest, but almost always costs money on an hourly basis. The hourly rate is a reduced rate (ours was around $160), but the amount of up-front retainer required by the firm is almost always the same. Plus, our firm gave a lower priority to PPL cases because they did not generate as much money. As for the free wills, they are mass-produced on fill-in-the-blank forms by non-attorney assistants, who then took the finished products in bulk to a narcoleptic (no joke!) attorney, who couldn’t find a job anywhere else, who would sign off on them. (Remember that if you have a will or estate plan prepared by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing, you may never know just how messed up it is until years later when it is too late). FYI: I am not bitter, I just want people to know what they’re getting into. It may be cheap, but you get what you pay for!

    • Robert says:

      Wow..hard to believe you are an atty..maybe an ice cream vendor could fool people into inferior products..but my guess is with the legal system being what it is…be tough to get away with that for 40 years..
      I would love to see you in a sworn deposition..personally I bet they fired you and you are just pissed..there are hundreds of attorneys that would disagree with you..I am forwarding your comments on and listen for a knock on your door and check the balance in your retirement account,,you are going to need it..

      • Informant! says:

        I can’t stop laughing at Robert’s reply. I am going to call my PPL attorney to sue you for the damage caused to my denim pants because I just peed in them after reading your gibberish.

        • Robert Branscomb says:

          Tell you what..let’s do this..I am a Director in Legal Shield…provide your contact information and we have this discussion with Legal Shield..since you say you are an atty…you will not incur any expense…then we get your deposition and move on to the next step of discovery…and we’ll post the results..deal???

    • Travis says:

      Quote: “I can tell you that all of the other attorneys in town laugh at those letters, and even some throw them away, because they carry no weight without the firm actually representing the PPL client. Such letters rarely resolve any legal conflict”

      Interesting comment. I used PPL for a car accident someone tried to sue me for, phone bill i was unable to resolve on my own, and getting out of a contract. All three times I used PPL and my problems went away once PPL took over. Best money I ever spent. 3 for 3 is more like 100% resolved for me.

    • Adam says:

      I think Robert has one too many names. lol This is a good site to reference. Prepaid isn’t all bad. But sadly I think it’s bad enough. There are numerous complaints. And I do understand that any company that deals with the volume of people that Prepaid Legal, now Legal Shield (wonder why they changed their name, Amway didn’t even change their name) you are bound to have SOME unsatisfied clients. But the number of complaints I’m seeing and the attitude of the company DEALING with these complaints seem simply to be beyond the fray.

      I do not hold those who sell it in contempt. They are simply chasing their financial dreams. I never fault initiative. And I wish all the best of luck in their future endeavors. But the company definitely needs some revamping. From an ethics standpoint their customer service is questionable from what I’ve seen. At least toward the people that have a complaint about the service. No doubt they are wonderful and bend over backwards if the contact is not in reference to a complaint or cancellation.

      All in all, make an informed decision. Listen to all parties and make up your own mind. Sorry Robert.

      http://www.consumeraffairs.com/legal/prepaid.html

  11. Robert says:

    Interesting comment..you are driving home from a party..for no reason you get pulled over..after a brief conversation with the cop..he says you been drinking..you say you have not..he arrest you..it’s on a Saturday and you need an atty like now..who would you call?
    Or your neighbor says your cat has spoiled his flower bed and he is suing you for $1000 for the cat spoiling his prize roses..You look in the phone book for an atty, find one and they want 150/hr and up front money if you have to go to small claims court..if you have these bases covered..I guess you don’t need Pre Paid Legal..

    • Adam says:

      In MOST states who are compliant with the law themselves, a officer or deputy cannot just take you to jail after speaking with him/her a few minutes. Unless you can’t seem to put together three letter words coherently after he’s watched you “wirve and sweeve” the last few miles and has it on video.

      But MOST TIMES they make you take this little thing called the “field sobriety test”. Don’t fall for the reactionary questions…

      “Sir, please say your “ABC’s” backwards.”
      Fished for response: “Are you kidding occifer! I couldn’t do that SOBER!” BOOOM! Call prepaid. lol

      Getting back to my point, the first scenario is not likely to happen. If he/she takes you to jail without having probable cause like failed sobriety test and or a failed breathalyzer, or a refusal to take one which you wouldn’t unless you were afraid of the results in the first place.

      In the event that you DO go to jail, if you cooperate fully you are likely to get out on “OR” or Own Recog.

      Now the cat pissing in the neighbors prized Petunia’s, that one’s a cat shoot. lol Insert “You might be a redneck” joke <—–here. :)

      Not trying to steal your thunder Robert. Not at all. Just need to come up with some examples that are not easily kicked back. I'm not a nay sayer. It works for some folks and I say "good on ya". But you got to be able to field the opposition. :)

  12. Matthew says:

    To whom it may interest here. I myself have had pre-paid legal once or twice, usually until the times got so rough that even thirty dollars a month was put of the question. However; that being said ppl is a fantastic thing to have especially if you have spoken directly to one of the attorneys about,specific plans, and you own and carry a personal fire arm for defense as no matter what the situation is at least where I live it, a shooting can be quite obvious self defense in my state and they will still arrest and charge you with the shooting clever way to keep you from your second amendment rights, no?, think about it I did… if you do not know your rights my friends you have none.

  13. Robert Branscomb says:

    I am a insurance agent..I offer all my clients a legal plan…think of it this way..
    if you are a home owner and have home owner’s insurance..do you ever question the value of owning it?? No..you may never experience a fire or other issues that would create a claim…..what you enjoy is the “peace of mind” know that if…the unexpected occurred you are protected…with legal shield, having the ability to speak to an attorney 24/7 alone is worth the investment…
    Robert Branscomb

  14. Robert Branscomb says:

    The last thing I am going to say on this…
    I respect the opinions of others no matter what their position..that said..
    I also advise to ignore the negative comments,,2 reasons…a lot of the competition post bogus stuff..and the rest are like “jail house lawyers”….
    Get the facts from someone that knows the facts and will stand behind the facts….keep in mind we are talking about the LAW and a law firms that has been in business for over 40 years and have one million plus clients and pay millions to attorney firms all over the United States, will not risk being sued over a membership that cost between $17 and $26. per year..(depending on your plans) Are they perfect..no, have they made mistakes, yes, have they corrected them, yes…show me a service of any kind and I can have people that were not happy about something…the important thing is did they fix what ever the problem was…as for that so called atty that posted….he is not an atty..just a guy with a bone to pick…ignore..

    • Brian says:

      I can hardly read anyone’s posts on here because no one is writing proper sentences. How am I supposed to believe these are top-notch lawyers when nothing here is written with even a touch of punctuation?

      • Fallyn says:

        I agree with you, Brian. I can not take anyone seriously, especially with the persistent excessive and unnecessary ellipses. like this…for example…with no proper capitalization…or grammar… I came here for serious information on prepaid legal plans, but have come out with a headache.

      • Travis says:

        “anyone’s posts” should read “anyone’s post. You complained about proper sentences, and then wrote a verb as a noun while trying to make it plural. FUNNY!!!! EY!! HA HA HA HA!!!!

      • Travis says:

        “is writing” should read “has written THERE JUST POPPING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE HA HA HA HA!!!! ….wait….is “ha” spos to b “hya?

  15. blackhawkdown says:

    I call ppl everyday but I will only pay 29 dollars a month.if your not sure about the attorneys credibility you can look each attorney up on the state bars website.its like someone said in a comment even ur car insurance dosent cover everything.wait until it becomes mandated to have legal service.what are you going to do then

  16. Jamie says:

    Personally, I think this is the best thing I’ve seen in ages. In this sue crazy and business ethics denied world, we need something like PPL. My daughter just got sued by a lady who hit HER. My daughter almost died and this lady had a little 1 inch dent, claiming life time injuries. My daughter was the only one with insurance. Will your insurance company cover you? Don’t be surprised if they don’t. I WISH I had PPL then. Right now I’m fighting ATT because I signed up for a family plan with 3 phones. They said I wouldn’t receive my first bill for a month and a half. I had no deposits. 32 days later I was called and asked if I had received my bill and I said I hadn’t because I had just moved and hadn’t expected a bill for one and a half months. They said they would send a new bill. They didn’t and I got my service shut OFF the very next day. They didn’t even tell me. They didn’t even mention it. So, I go to pay the bill and they want two months payments and get this, $700 per phone (that’s $2100) because they shut the phones off. Nothing they told me was the truth. I called their CS and they were RUDE. I went to the store and the manager, who was excellent, called corporate and told them this was just wrong and they still refused to turn our phones back on without these huge fees. IT IS SITUATIONS LIKE THESE……innocent things on your part….where PPL is WORTH EVERY CENT. These everyday things can happen to everyone of us…and they do.

  17. Tim says:

    Why is every one talking so much crap when there are people out there trying to find answer on how to get visatation to see there kids like me. I cant afford big time att.Because I pay so much in child support so i have to try to find answer or even a probono att that will help and all i get is a do it yourself or it will coast you a arm and a leg and I end up loseing in court

  18. me says:

    Tim, you are correct there are a lot of people talking “crap” here. the only comments that are worth anything are the ones that have actually listed actual past examples of people using the prepaid legal services. nothing else matters. there is very little point in listing of the POSSIBLE uses for it, if the company doesn’t deliver and that is what most people are wondering when they visit a post like this. It is obviouse that there are multiple people commenting that actually sell the service themselves (i.e. most obviously the ones that elude to the prepaid legal thing being in existance for 40 years). If Anthony on top is telling the truth, and he seems like he might be, then his is one of the few posts worth reading. Promises of coverage mean nothing – examples of actually covered past events mean everything.

    the following is a comment on most of the posts in order:

    “sw formerly susan” is obviously selling memberships

    “susan”‘s post was worthwhile if true.

    “jah kol”‘s post might have been worth posting if an actual example was noted.

    “Alan in illinois”‘s post was worthless. it doesn’t matter how much legal trouble he has had and how much a service like this MIGHT benefit him in the future. Nor does it matter how many members of his family are signing up, nor even how exited about its potential he is. He has not listed one experience of it actually working for him in any area. He likes the idea, but so do I – that in no way means that it actually does what it says.

    “Linda” probably sells it or is simply repeating a sales pitch that she received.

    “SamH” probably sells it.

    “kathleen” where you a member when that happened?

    “RobertBranscomb” even before I read his second post it was clear that he sells memberships.

    “Cindi” Thank you for your useful post.

    “Lynn” you too.

    “Marina Z” I don’t know you but if your example was true then thank you too for your useful post.

    “beentheredunthat” there is probably some truth in what you said (maybe a lot) but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not worth it – especially if the examples other people gave are true

    “Robert” is most DEFINATELY selling the plans. beside that he is a loser – on so many levels. He said: “listen for a knock on your door” ??? what a douche-bag! (I agree with “informant!”

    “Robert Branscomb” (comment #2 5/13/2012 1:33pm) major DOUCHE.

    “Robert” comment #2 – again all comments of times when it MIGHT be useful, are not worth posting – we don’t need to know when they might be useful because we don’t know if we can trust the company to perform as promised without examples of actual FIRST-person experiences like a few posters actually left details of.

    “Mathew” just gave a bunch of what-ifs, – did he ever use it or are these just senarios where he THINKS he could use it, or worse yet, someone selling memberships used to scare him into getting it?

    “Robert Branscomb” Post#3. of course you recommend it – you make money on everyone you sign up. yes, the reasons for having lawyers are all true, but, the only answer that matters is if it works the way it is promised when needed. You can make promises all day long – but they are worth nothing at all if not true. Now don’t go making threats and cursing me just to make a sale – I am not against the plans. I am against unREASONable sales tactics.

    “RobertBranscomb”
    and to post#4 I say, I am not against you or what you are selling but I am against flimsy arguments. it doesn’t matter at all how many people are signed up for the plans, it only matters if anyone is getting anything of value out of it, and I am not saying that they are not.
    also, in reference your comment:

    “we are talking about the LAW and a law firms that has been in business for over 40 years and have one million plus clients and pay millions to attorney firms all over the United States, will not risk being sued over a membership that cost between $17 and $26. per year”
    first you should work on your english :) (but mine, I’m sure isn’t perfect) any way, if there are over a million plus clients who pay $17-26 each per month that is a lot money – say $20 million per month times 12 = $240 million a year. Many people and companies have risked getting sued over a lot less than that. Plus the guy you accused of not actually being a lawyer- I am sure he is and you are biased in your arguments in general- leaning always in favor of the sale and not true reason – even if you truly believe in the product it doesn’t mean those who disagree or have bad experiences are lying.

    “Travis”‘s post 10/8/2012 5:48p.m.
    with all of your corrections of grammer YOU misspelled they’re: “there popping out…”

    The IDEA of prepaid legal is great, – the only REAL worthwhile question though is this:
    Do people actually get useful help without paying anymore than their monthly membership in real-world senarious when they actually need it, or is it all just a bunch of empty promises.
    Thanks to a few of the posts, if they are true it seems that some have benefited from the plan, but as with any big company, it may be looking to cut costs and some of the concerns about bad advice and unknowledgable staff may be true as well. However, that being said if all of the examples of use are true it still may be worth it.

    Thanks for the worthwhile and unbiased posts!

    • Anuki.Ha says:

      My step mother swears by PPL. She has used them for landlord tenant issues as well as traffic violation issues. She did however tell me that she had to pay per service rendered. For example, she was arrested for driving on suspended license as well as possession of less than .5 g of mary j. For the attorney to handle the case, she had to pay $500 up front. She received probation with fines. This was her first time being arrested. I personally feel that she would have gotten this decision had she not paid PPL, and chose to take a court appointed atty. She still has fines and court fees that she has to pay. The $500 could have went towards her fines and court fees. But, who am I to tell her that PPL didn’t do anything spectacular if she is happy with the result.

      On a different note….
      We “The People” have become beyond lazy. The legal system may be a bunch of bullsh@#%, but as with any “system” there are still guidelines, processes, and checks and balances. The very same education a lawyer has, you can get yourself free of charge. It’s not rocket science. It does however require you to research, file properly and follow through. If you know the law then you can effectively represent yourself without the added expense of a lawyer.

      I have handled three different legal issues By simply filling paper work on my own.

      1.) Operating a blind Pig. ( I was a CUSTOMER at a bar that was raided at 3:32am where no liquor was being sold after 2am, MI state law) (Note: the charge)
      RESULT: Dismissed without obligation to pay or prejudice.

      #2.) Failure to pay Felony charge restitution. Probation maxed out, possible 7-14 yr. sentence.
      RESULT: Release from probation without obligation to pay.

      #3) Driving on suspended; illegal turn on red.
      RESULT: Release without further obligation to pay from No Show 90 day probation.

      All this was done with the same type of document for each.
      An Affidavit of Truth with accompanied supportive documentation.

      I am a high school grad who never attended one day of law school. I simply took the time to do the research and exercised my rights.

      But, at the end of the day the choice is up to the individual. WIll I get PPL? For what? I know my rights and I know how to read and write!
      Contrary to popular belief, I think lawyers are for people who don’t have the mental capacity to properly defend them selves or prosecute whomever has committed a crime against them. I fall in neither of those categories.

      My Motto:
      ” The helping hand you are looking for,
      is attached to YOUR own wrist!”

  19. me says:

    I just read over my post and notice I misspelled obvious by somehow adding an “e” on the end and right after I corrected robert branscomb’s english I left out the word “of” in what should have said “a lot of money” – there are probably others too.

  20. It's ok says:

    This is a discussion format; it’s ok to misspell a few words here and there. No one should care; if you do then you’re a little too uptight about things. As far a PPL goes I’ve only seen positive things come from it, I don’t actually own it myself. My brother used it a lot as a contractor. It saved him thousands if not much more in legal hassles over many years. When I’m a little more flush I will likely sign up as well.
    Again, no worries on “misspaled” words or punctuation.

  21. PracticingAttorney says:

    Essentially with the legal plans people subscribe to through these services, you are essentially buying a type of legal coverage–much like health care coverage. Notice I don’t say insurance because that really isn’t what they are.

    With legal coverage, you are buying the advantage of collective bargaining to have access to reduced rates for a service you may need. It is true that if you need legal services for a divorce, a criminal matter or a serious traffic offense, the cost can be very high.

    As with doctors, you pay for the attorney’s knowledge and experience. It may seem like the charge is unfair, but when you have a situation in your life that requires that particular knowledge and experience, it is worth it to have someone working with you who knows what they are doing. With legal coverage, you pay a fairly small monthly premium to have access to the lower rates and included services the legal coverage company has negotiated. Each company offers different terms and benefits. Some are better than others. Typically, you will at least receive some kind of discount on the attorney’s hourly rate. Often, you may receive flat fees for certain types of services or other services may be included with the price of your monthly membership fee.

    The bottom line is that what you are buying is peace of mind, and in that respect, it is like insurance. You are assuring yourself that if you ever have need of an attorney, the financial burden will be lower than it would have been without legal coverage. If, for example, legal fees for a contested divorce came to $10,000 (which is not unusual), and you had legal coverage costing you $20.00/month that entitled you to a 25% discount on legal fees and you had paid 5 years of monthly dues and used it for no other benefits, the coverage would save you $1,300.00.

    If, during that same five years, you had no legal needs, you would be out $1,200.00. You just have to decide what your risk tolerance level is to determine whether or not legal coverage is worth it to you. Once you make the decision to participate, don’t blame the company or the lawyer if you don’t feel you get your money’s worth. Just understand what you are actually purchasing and whether the peace of mind is worth the price to you. For some it is, for others it isn’t.

  22. Fact based says:

    My husband and I sold PPL in 2000. We were also members for a couple years and I will probably purchase it again soon. I will tell you the experiences I had.

    As a member, I used the service a few times and had a very positive experience, which is why I will probably buy it again soon. We signed up for a DVD program, which was $30 or so a month. After not receiving our DVDs but being charged for them, I called to cancel, but was told that I had a contract and could not cancel. I called PPL and had ONE letter sent. I received a check for everything we had been charged for and a letter that our membership was cancelled.

    On another occasion, we had been offered 3 free months rent to move out and allow our landlord to use our furnished apt for 1 month during the SLC winter olympics. We were happy to do so, so we prepared to move out. A week before the date we needed to be moved out, we were told that they no longer needed our apt. We were poor college students and had budgeted and planned on 3 months free rent. We called PPL, who in turn sent a letter and our landlord let us out of our lease.

    My parents also had the PPL service at the time. My dad got a photo radar ticket served to him. A PPL lawyer went in his place to the court date and it was dismissed.

    We also got a will done, which would have cost at least a few hundred dollars. We didnt have a lot of assetts but simply wanted to dictate where our daughter would go if something were to happen and who our life insurance would go to. The Will kit was easy to fill out, get notarized and we were sent a will that was exactly what we wanted and expected.

    For the $17 a month I can say that I never regretted it! We now have a family of 7 and it costs us more than that to grab a burger for everyone!

  23. Liz Reiner says:

    This is a very bad idea . Some wills are complicated . Also if you need a specific type of lawyer you want the best . A pool of lawyers sounds like a really bad idea . Example . I needed an expert in FINRA laws. I found very few but did find only 1 in my area with the credittionals to take on a major brokerage firm . Don’t bargain shop for lawyers with a prepaid plan you may regret it . A simple will is easy and the software not expensive . You can then hire a lawyer to review it and sign off on it . God help you if you need a defense lawyer . You want the best . I can’t imagine picking a lawyer from a pool . It’s like an HMO for doctors . My health insurance lets me pick my doctors and I pick the best . I would rather take money and save it elsewhere like muni bonds where you get tax free monies on your principal and you can always sell them if you need them . Bad idea . Investigate and you will find these are called scams . That is my opinion . I am not a lawyer .

    • shea says:

      The good thing about Legal Sheild which initially irritated me was they took your number then had an attorney call you back. They do this so that a attorney experienced in the area can call you back. The firms the deal with are also chosen for their ratings. I have had wonderful experiences and as long as they are competent I am satisfied. If I feel they are not they will recommend a different firm in your area.

    • Louis says:

      Ok, Liz. First,in your securities case, it is not clear from your comments as to whether the “major brokerage firm was suing you or if you were looking to sue the firm. LegalShield is not designed to be an offensive force. It is designed to be defensive in nature. If you wanted to sue then you would get a discount. As a 40 year veteran of Wall Street and having been an expert witness for the Plaintiff in securities cases for 10 years only losing one case, I can tell you that pre-paid legal plans are not for issues involving securities law.
      As to getting to choose the “best” doctors through your HMO? No. You get to choose only from “network” doctors. As to whether you get the “best” depends on your network. Otherwise, you pay more. A lot more. As to investing in munis? I hope you don’t have Detroit munis. In case you are not aware, the city declared bankruptcy just like Bridgeport, CT years ago and numerous California locations over the past 5 years. One last note. Pre-paid legal plans are endorsed by the Association of Attorneys General. You are entitled to your opinion, just don’t present it as fact.

  24. Liz says:

    PRE PAID LEGAL IN HAWAII IS THE WORST.. BEVAR & JONES THE LEGAL LAW THAT REPRESENTS THEM ARE HUGE RIP OFFS!!! THEY CHARGED ME 10 MORE THAN WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COSTS ME WITH A NORMAL LAWYER.

    AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!

  25. Margaret says:

    I have had PPL for many years, I have had wonderful experiences with them. Even with Direct TV…they sent a letter and poof the problem went away. Letters on the job and many other positive responses. Immediate response in some cases, none more than 24 hr response time. I love the company. I pay 26.00 a month though.


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