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Legal insurance?

Posted by tishtoshnm (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 08 at 1:20

Dh is in the midst of open enrollment for work and they offer legal insurance. I honestly find this one easy to dismiss but I was curious if there are any thoughts on it. For us it would cost approximately $10 every 2 weeks. The only area of our lives that I could foresee needing legal assistance with is related to homeschooling but we belong to an organization that would provide legal assistance on that front and we would continue our membership there regardless. So, any thoughts?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Legal insurance?

Well that kind of insurance is usually sold to e.g. doctors, or people in a profession that is more open to being sued than others due to inherent dangers, or being something that gives people many avenues to sue you on. I have no idea what open enrolment is (what kind of work does your DH do?), so it's hard to say if you're in a position likely to be sued often or not. I can't see how home schooling would fit in because isn't it the parents of the children who do the teaching in their own homes - who's going to sue anyone there?

RE: Legal insurance?

Do you and DH have wills? If you do, are they current?

If you don't have a will or it is out of date, will the legal insurance pay for writing a will? If so, I suspect that it would cost you far more than $260 in attorney's fees for you and DH to get wills.

Do you own rental property? Are you anticipating setting up revokable living trusts?

FYI, I am not an attorney nor do I pretend to be able to give legal adivice.

RE: Legal insurance?

I agree with jlhug. Legal insurance is offered as a benefit at my DH's employer. It is only useful if you have not yet set up basic legal arrangements. Usually they are capped for fees on specific items.

I prefer selecting our own attorneys, so we declined the benefit. We were setting up a personal trust, but also needed to update my MIL's trust, part of which is Irrevocable, so I didn't want to be restricted to using the one firm that provided the LI benefit. This situation was too complicated, and my MIL's understanding of legalities too confused, to risk working with anybody but the best I could find.

RE: Legal insurance?

I've had it through work for years.

I've used it to set up wills, estates, living wills, medical power of attorney, do not recessitate orders - everything really.

The year my wife died, I retained the top estate lawyer in town to do all my work. Execute my wife's will, go through probate court, redo my will, set up new trusts for the kids, move all my assets into the trusts, etc. - he told me it would have been roughly $5000 worth of work. And all it cost me was $17 a month.

I'm a big fan.

RE: Legal insurance?

Legal insurance is a great vehicle for doing estate planning or defense of traffic violations, or other mundane stuff. And, since you have children, you really need a will with a contingent trust (if something happens to you and your spouse and your children are under an age where they can responsibly handle money, a trustee will provide for them from your estate for items such as education, health care, etc.) Also, you can name a guardian for your children.

You also need health care powers of attorney, living wills and powers of attorney. Legal insurance usually pays for this and is a bargain for a year's worth of premiums. Of course, if you buy if for several years and only use it one year, it isn't worth it.

But, as I said, you absolutely need to have wills and advance directives. Whether you get them through an attorney associated with the insurer is up to you.

RE: Legal insurance?

Really depends upon what your legal needs are. For the first 30 years of our marriage, we spent about $250 in legal fees (our wills). In the last year, we've spend: upwards of $20,000 on a legal case to protect an older relative who was being taken advantage of by a relative (I don't know, though, if legal insurance would cover something if you were doing it for a 3rd party) and just recently $750 to have our wills, etc redone. And that's not counting the legal fees our attorney collected for my husband's workman's comp and disability claims (again--would that sort of thing be covered by legal insurance?)

Truthfully? I think I'd take the premium, and bank it in a separate account. In the long run, you will probably end up ahead of the game--most people don't use lawyers all that often.

RE: Legal insurance?

We had one about 5 years ago and for wills, etc. it was OK, but my DH had a problem with ex-wife and what they did was double the amount of time they thought it would take. In the end we ended up cheaper paying an attorney.

My guess is YMMV.

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