Authored By: Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a. The Rhode Island Divorce Coach℠
It's amazing that most Americans haven't heard of preventive legal plans. I'm not sure if other attorneys are keeping them a secret because they think they might lose business or what the story might be. Yet I know that for legal situations they are the best savings and protection that people can get for their dollar.
According to the National Resource Center for Consumers of Legal Services and American Hospital Association, you are three times more likely to become involved in a legal situation than you are to be hospitalized. In 1997, 33 million hospitalizations were reported in the United States compared to over 100 MILLION lawsuits were filed that year. It's Incredible!; You are 3 times more likely to end up in court than you are to end up in the hospital.
Really the best way to understand a preventative legal membership plan is that it does for attorney and legal bills what an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) does for doctor and hospital bills. Consider these real figures. The national average is that attorneys want an up front $1,500 retainer and $194 per hour. Who can afford that? Who should have to? Being upfront, I couldn't even afford myself and I'm in this business.
If you had a legal problem today, what would you do?
Could you afford a a qualified attorney?
Here's an example. I know this real doctor. We'll call him Dr. Alfred. Dr. Alfred worked hard all his life and he was good at saving money and never had to use a lawyer except for real estate purchases. By age 69 Dr. Alfred had amassed about $1,750,000 in assets for his retirement. Along came his son-in-law with this great business idea. He trusted his son-in-law who presented him with a document to sign so they could be business partners. Dr. Alfred was excited and signed the paper. Three years later Dr. Alfred and lost all his real estate, $1,500,000 in his cash reserves that his son-in-law had drained from his bank accounts and had spent $100,000 in legal fees to fight a lawsuit brought by his son-in-law to discredit and bankrupt Dr. Alfred.
If Dr. Alfred had owned a Pre-Paid Legal Insurance Plan that offered a legal discount he could have used his Pre-Paid Legal plan attorney in his state, discovered that the paper he gave his son-in-law afforded the son-in-law unlimited power over his assets and the attorney could have prevented Dr. Alfred from being reduced to $50,000 in assets for his whole life's efforts.
Think about it. A single document destroyed Dr. Alfred's life savings and retirement. Don't think it could happen to you? Think again.
Should you consider getting a preventative legal plan? Consider this.
You have health insurance but you don't PLAN on getting sick today, right?
You have automobile insurance but you don't PLAN on going out and having an accident today, right?
You have homeowners insurance but you don't plan to burn your house down today, right?
You have life insurance but you don't PLAN on going out and dying today, correct?
No doubt you got these insurances to protect your loved ones and your assets in case disaster strikes.
And disaster strikes without warning to thousands of people every single minute of every single day without warning. The time to prepare is not AFTER they have happened! That is too late. The time to protect yourself is NOW and that is why there is such a great need for these types of plans.
So in a country where you are 3 times more likely to be in court than you are to be hospitalized, doesn't it make sense to have a preventive legal plan?
The great thing about a preventive legal plan is that it covers ALL FOUR of your other protections!
Now, not all plans cover divorces or family court matters but many of them do, even if they give you a 25% discount on an attorney's services for the nominal monthly fee that is charged, isn't it worth it? Imagine saving $50 PER HOUR on a $200 PER HOUR attorney. Just 20 hours saves you $1,000 right there.
Legal plans aren't perfect. They have their drawbacks as well as their benefits but that's a blog article for another day. For many people, legal plans are just what the doctor ordered be it for divorce, family law and other types of cases.