Personal Finance 
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Are Prepaid Legal Plans Worth It?

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.

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 Insurance 
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Thoughts on Company Sponsored Legal Plan Lawyers

The last week or so has been pretty hectic for my sister because she’s closing on a condo today up in Boston and its been horrible dealing with the seller, his lawyer, and her lawyer. Her real estate attorney was provided to her, free of charge I believe, because she’s a teacher in the Boston school system and on the whole she believes the guy is pretty much incompetent. Meanwhile, the seller basically refuses to speak to my sister or my father and instead wants everything to go through his blood-sucking attorney who hones his skills on rocks. (My sister quickly learned why everyone hates lawyers. Oh, to any lawyers out there, I’m sure you’re a nice person when you’re not in $3287429834/hr lawyer mode, but when you are… everyone basically hates your guts, hope you enjoy the cash!)

I’ve never used a lawyer supplied by any legal plans because I’ve never worked at a company that offered them. In fact, only last year did my former employer offer a legal plan. The legal plan works much like a health insurance plan, you pay premiums in order to get a certain number of consultations with a lawyer and they help you handle anything lawyers do. In fact, since they’re being paid, they’ll probably have a beer with you if you really wanted to because they just love money and don’t care about anything else. (okay that was an unfair dig but I think I’m okay with that)

Anyway, my sister had one lawyer handling her case and then that lawyer decided to go on vacation, dumping the paperwork on another lawyer. This second lawyer wasn’t very good and my sister was trying to get her replaced with someone better; this second lawyer probably found out, got pissed off, and dropped the level of service a notch. Ultimately, there are some complications and the seller’s lawyer basically starts taking advantage of the fact that my sister isn’t a blood-sucking lawyer, and her lawyer isn’t really doing much to put up a fight; which basically enrages me. The seller is being a dick, his attorney is making his fee by demanding stupid crap and threatening to terminate the contract and taking all the earnest money, and her attorney is pretty much a worthless lump because his feelings were hurt.

Now with my sister, I believe she doesn’t pay anything for the service she’s getting; this means that the person receiving the service is not the same person paying for the service. Anytime you have that scenario, the company or person providing the service will likely not care as much as they would if the receiver of services and payer of services were the same person. (I hope that made sense) This is why I think that company sponsored legal plan lawyers probably are not the best bang for your buck. While you do pay them, you don’t directly pay them and so it’s harder to directly fire their ass if they perform poorly. Hopefully I will never need a lawyer, but if I do, I want to pay for him or her myself so I can fire him or her myself if they aren’t doing what I need them to do.

I do admit that I don’t know the full story with my sister and all those attorneys but suffice it to say, some people acted inappropriately regardless of who was at fault for it. While I’m sure not all lawyers are bad, there are certainly enough of them to fuel a pretty strong dislike for them in the court of public opinion. Okay, now that my bitter stream of consciousness rant is over, I wanted to thank you for reading and feel free to attack or defend lawyers.

Here are some good lawyer jokes: :)
What’s black and brown and look great on lawyers? Dobermans.
Why does the American Bar Association prohibit sex between attorneys and their clients? To prevent the client for being billed twice for what is essentially the same service.
Why do they bury lawyers 27 feet under? ‘Cuz deep, deep down, they’re good people!
What do lawyers use as contraceptives? Their personalities.

Three doctors were standing around and started talking about which patients were the easiest to operate on.
The first doctor says Germans, because everything inside is neat and orderly and always in its place.
The second doctor said Japanese patients, because you open them up and all there is is a circuit board to interchange.
No! No! You’re both wrong, said the third doctor, Lawyers are the easiest to operate on. They’re gutless. The only organs they have are lips and assholes — and those are interchangeable!


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