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There's been a lot of discussion regarding the importance of having some sort of legal expertise available in case you need it. For instance, in the FBI Mortgage Fraud thread, it was advised that you should never talk to the police without first consulting with an attorney. However, the reality is that most of us don't even have a lawyer on retainer, and it can be costly to obtain one.

My company (and many others) offer a benefit provided by Hyatt Legal Plans, which is a MetLife company, and purports to be essentially a group legal insurance plan. The web address is http://www.legalplans.com/.

According to the website, covered services include:

General Telephone Advice and Office Consultations
Document Review
Any Personal Legal Document
Wills and Estate Planning
Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Wills and Codicils
Real Estate Matters
Sale, Purchase or Refinancing of Home, Eviction Defense, Tenant Negotiations
Debt Matters
Debt Collection Defense, Personal Bankruptcy,
Identity Theft Defense
Consumer Matters
Consumer Protection, Small Claims Assistance
Traffic Defense
Juvenile Court Matters
Document Preparation
Deeds, Notes, Demand Letters
Family Law
Adoption, Guardianship, Prenuptial Agreements
Defense of Civil Lawsuits


Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it worthwhile or is it a waste of money?

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
My wife has this through her job and while we haven't used it yet the cost is much less than the plan I have had for ove... (more)

diplomastore (Feb. 16, 2010 @ 2:40p) |

if you get coverage through your employer the plan will typically exclude assistance with employer related matters

So yes... (more)

SUCKISSTAPLES (Feb. 17, 2010 @ 6:47a) |

LOL

That's sadly funny.

tehlorax (Feb. 17, 2010 @ 6:58a) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

I cannot speak from experience, but I have asked other co-workers about the service as well and they were very disappointed. Not only do you pay for the service out of your paycheck (whether or not you use it) but that pretty much just covers the first appointment and you have to pay pretty much normal charges for services beyond that. Thus, I have not signed up for it.

I believe that in most plans like this (not sure about Hyatt's), the participating attorneys must charge a "discounted rate" -- maybe max $125 per hour or something like this. I'd hazard a guess that most attorneys who participate in this are either new and need clients or not very good (can't get clients). ymmv.

I signed up for it for the first time this calendar year. It costs me $250 over the year deducted after tax from my paycheck. It is covering my wife's and my will, revocable living trust, power of attorney, and living will with no out of pocket costs. It is also covering us for another drawn out matter that we are paying no legal fees. I did have to pay filing fees with the court and service fees but for a case that is likely to go to trial, that is a bargain.

The net savings for us over the year are likely to be huge. The will attorney said his normal fee for a RLT is ~$2500. I also enjoy the added benefit of knowing that I have legal assistance if needed while I am doing construction on my house and other types of possibly challenging situations.

Like reelc00l presents, they are a good deal if you read the fine print and the benefits make sense for you. I have used my legal plan for a RE closing one year and a refi the next. That alone more than made up for the plan cost each year.

I have had it for the last two years. First every company has different coverage so you have to see what your company covers. If you plan to have a real estate transaction during the year then you should more then makeup your fees. It is not going to to be the top of the line attorneys but you can go out of network too. For example for a real estate transaction I can get reimburesed up to $500 for an out of network. I also get reimbursed up to $600 to have a lawyer dispute real estate taxes.

So it all depends on your companies coverage and what you expect to use it for.

I have Hyatt at work and use it liberally. For me its been completely worth it. Just like nhokt, I used it for a home purchase and a refi. It has more than paid for itself for years with those 2 events.

I also have my familys wills reviewed annualy. (second year this year)

I am thinking about setting up a trust.

I got a legal notice from a neighbor about constuction they were doing. Called the lawyer and they wrote a resoponse (after some swearing about how the letter was bulls&*t.

I called regarding a traffic accident I was in and got advice.

I called about some negs on my credit report.

I consulted about a small claims suit I was thinking about raising (decided not worth my time).

I regularly call for a cosult about crazy stuff I read on here or other ideas I have.

The lawyers are always really nice about everything. I have mainly used 3 different guys. One specialized in estate planning, one in real estate and the other I'm not sure but he is young and nice and always has good answers. I have only had to pay out of pocket once, and that was for a tennant issue I had in my retal property which isn't covered (tennant issues are only covered if you are the tennant, not if you are the landlord).

Plus I like the idea of always knowing I can call and get legal advice without ever havingto think about the cost. However, as a "insurance" policy, I'm not sure I would use them if I ever got into any kind of serious trouble. You don't get Johnny C. when you call, you get second rate lawyers who do a lot of small stuff mostly for poor people.

You can get a referal number right on their web site and then call a lawyer directly, or you can call their main number and get a referal to a lawyer.

We have this plan where I work. While i don't use it personally, a person who I work with has used it exetensively, he got his Will done, used the plan to help with him closing on a house, and they are also helping him work out an issue with his historic society where he changed windows without a permit.

If you plan on getting married or buying a house within the next year this could save you a lot of cash. However they specifially say they do not represent you in if you get a DWI. This plan could be good value if you utilize their services. They bank that you don't call.

see the legal faq in this forum

The quality of services depends on the attorney they assign to you...some lawyers use this as a way to find clients and upcharge for extra services , some provide the free services and dont upsell

Like health insurance if you dont get assigned a good provider ask for another

Dont count on a legal plan to provide a free trial lawyer to use at your beck and call, but
For many small consumer matters that can be resolved with a phone call or single letter, these plans are the cheapest way to get legal assistance

I've used this service. Fortunately, I was able to purchase it in July since I started work then and only had to pay for less than 1/2 of a normal year's fees. I skipped the next year since I didn't foresee a need and signed up again for this year. It was definitely worth it since I used it for several real estate transactions. One was on a purchase contract and the others were regarding splitting a family corporation holding a ranch. I received about 10 hours of legal assistance for less than $100 in dues. The consultations were completely free and unlimited as long as it was for a covered topic. Of course, this year will be more expensive since I'll pay for a full year of dues.

They don't assign you a lawyer; you can pick from any lawyer that accepts the service. I had one lawyer that was terrible, so I didn't return to that firm. The other two I had were both named partners of their respective firms and were very good.

The billing department of one firm did have issues with billing. They charged $245 for a 45 minute phone call and submitted it to Hyatt. Apparently, they were only reimbursed for $100 since they sent me a bill for $145. I attempted three times to fix it with their billing department before giving up and calling Hyatt. The representative there called me back it 15 minute and said it was taken care of.

I recommend the service if you need to do estate planning and/or personal real estate transactions during the year.

I used to have Hyatt Legal at my job and I couldn't recommend them more. It paid for my entire divorce (custody too) which lasted for about two years. I never saw a single bill.

I used to have Hyatt Legal at my job and I couldn't recommend them more. It paid for my entire divorce (custody too) which lasted for about two years. I never saw a single bill.

I have Hyatt from my work too and just like the peace of mind of being able to use them. For example, I got pulled over in VA (yes, my mistake) while going to pick up my mother-in-law (yes, another mistake) and Hyatt really came through. The lawyer was good and ended up only having to pay a fine, but no points. Apparently in VA it is a criminal misdemeneor (sp ?) when going 15 miles over speed limit.

I have also used them to review real estate transactions and am currently working on my will & citizenship stuff.

I guess your coverage really depends on what your company has negotiated with them. How much you pay, what's covered and what's not covered maybe dependent on the negotiation.

If I get this as an individual? Is it worth it?

Wow. I didn't expect the responses to be so positive. Any bad experiences?

tehlorax said: Wow. I didn't expect the responses to be so positive. Any bad experiences?
I didn't expect it either. It sounds like something I should be signing up for.

LawrenceofArabia said: If I get this as an individual? Is it worth it?
I see it costs $395/year purchased directly from Hyatt. $32.92/month isn't that bad for the peace of mind, but also the impression I'm getting from other posters is that it's DEFINITELY worth it if you have specific legal actions you know you need to take this year, such as estate planning or real estate transactions.

kcjeffery said:
The billing department of one firm did have issues with billing. They charged $245 for a 45 minute phone call and submitted it to Hyatt. Apparently, they were only reimbursed for $100 since they sent me a bill for $145.


If this happens, could you call another legal firm on the plan to write a cease and desist letter to the first firm asking them to stop trying to collect money?

I presume that it has to be available through your work to be eligible? Also, is there any discounted services regarding disability cases?

This sounds like a potentially great deal, especially if you want to go CN47 and hide your identity and take SIS's advice for shielding assets from lawsuits etc.

MoonlitHollow said: I presume that it has to be available through your work to be eligible?$395/year to purchase individually

Individual coverage may not be same as through Employer. I recollect real estate transactions being covered through Employer but not as an individual.

sazer007 said: I used to have Hyatt Legal at my job and I couldn't recommend them more. It paid for my entire divorce (custody too) which lasted for about two years. I never saw a single bill.

This is another area where plans differ. Mine only allows you a consultation relating to a divorce.

tripleB said: kcjeffery said:
The billing department of one firm did have issues with billing. They charged $245 for a 45 minute phone call and submitted it to Hyatt. Apparently, they were only reimbursed for $100 since they sent me a bill for $145.


If this happens, could you call another legal firm on the plan to write a cease and desist letter to the first firm asking them to stop trying to collect money?



Yes.

And from the attorney point of view (as I know one who takes Hyatt). Most attorneys that take Hyatt do so for the extra money that comes in, for a console Hyatt pays $30, a C&D letter $65, etc. Attorneys are in business just like any other profession, most consider this as extra income and do it for the small change that adds up.

If you get the plan, use it, it helps you AND the attorney(s) you use.

Find a good attorney, not all attorneys are good.

My wife has this through her job and while we haven't used it yet the cost is much less than the plan I have had for over eight years with PrePaidLegal, which I have used extensively in both family and business matters.

I've used it for help in settling two estates, a custody case for my grandchildren and in two of my small businesses, including one that helped me collect a bad debt.

I'd highly recommend getting some kind of plan, and if what I'm reading here is any indication I made the right choice dropping my old plan in favor of the less expensive Hyatt plan...

if you get coverage through your employer the plan will typically exclude assistance with employer related matters

So yes coverage does differ depending on how the plan is purchased

SUCKISSTAPLES said: if you get coverage through your employer the plan will typically exclude assistance with employer related matters

So yes coverage does differ depending on how the plan is purchased


LOL

That's sadly funny.



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