Pre-Paid Legal: Are You Really Going To Use It?

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Are you enrolled in a pre-paid legal plan and worried your provider is simply tallying up your tab for a service you'll never get to use? Read on as we explain the chances of using pre-paid legal services in legal challenges you may be faced with.

In their lifetime, people are most likely to use legal services that fall into four categories: civil defence, civil plaintiffs, criminal defence and legal help that involves a variety of transactional or business law.

Your liability insurances already covers you for the legal pertaining to civil defence. Your insurer hires the lawyer who will defend you and have every incentive to defend your well since they are the ones who bear your legal costs irrespective of the final outcome. In that respect, you already have "pre-paid legal coverage" in place and a legal plan wouldn't add much to the coverage.

Civil plaintiff attorneys in the Unites States work on a "no win no fee" basis. This means that they will not charge you unless they win you damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit against someone who caused you physical injury. Their contingency fees are calculated as a "commission" on any money won, so there is every incentive for your plaintiff lawyer to defend you and defend you well: the more you win, the more he wins. There is no need to pre-pay for a service where you stand to lose nothing, and where advice is readily available to you from plaintiff lawyers eager to work on your case.

On the rare occasion you need to bring criminal charges if you're involved in a serious accident or defend yourself against criminal charges brought against you, lining up a lawyer to represent you in advance is not the best of decisions. In these situations, client-lawyer rapport is crucial: you need someone whom you trust, build a rapport with and competent enough to defend you in a court of law. You rarely get the chance to talk to your attorney face-to-face in a pre-paid legal plan, and most of the attorneys in the network do not do criminal defence work.

Transactional and business law is the area where you will most probably find pre-paid legal services most effective. If you frequently need to someone to draft your wills, review simple contracts and set up advance health-directives or simply want competent legal advice at your disposal, then going pre-paid will save you the trouble of searching for an attorney and paying "a la carte".

Look Before You Take The Leap Into Pre-Paid Legal Services

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Choosing a pre-paid legal plan is a good way to save big bucks, but choosing a plan you need and a provider you can trust is a different matter. Here is a number of things to look for in a legal plan from the very start:

Look for what's covered: Legal plans are offered in different models and differ in the specifics of what they cover. While phone consultation and simple drafting and reviewing of simple contracts are included across the board, more elaborate and complicated legal matters are not covered. It's best to review your own legal needs before you choose a legal plan. Ask which legal services will you need most and then choose a plan that provides the best coverage given those needs. For instance, if you are a business owner, lawsuits, lease and contract negotiations could be high on your list and you would be looking for a legal plan that provides coverage accordingly.

Know what legal coverage you already have Don't pay for coverage twice! If you have car insurance, then you are covered for liability and medical protection, home insurance covers you for injuries sustained on your property... Your existing insurance policies already cover some of your legal costs and there is no need to pay for that coverage when you select with a legal plan.

Does the company have an in-house procedure to handle complaints? One of the stumbling blocks of pre-paid legal services is quality of service. Newly-licensed attorneys, phone calls not getting answered and that ointment on any client -lawyer relationship: fee disputes, typically involving bills made to your credit car to cover for services not included in your contract... This is just a specimen of the many problems people face with their plan providers. Make sure you select a plan that has clear guidelines as to how to settle dispute when they arise. A company that has a good in-house mechanism to handle complaints will generally assign a senior attorney with the authority to handle customer complaints of and disputes with any attorneys in the network. Secondary sources of resolution may include your state insurance department or bar association. Check their outlet for complaints against pre-paid services.

Checking out the business you'll need to do some homework before you select your legal provider. Ask these questions: What's the firm's reputation in my area? How many years have they been in business? Have they been operating in my local area for at least a year without complaints? How skilled are they attorneys? Do they cover the locale where my business operates? Some good places to start your background research are your state bar association, the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Affairs Office.

Legal Plans: An Introduction

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What if you could pick up the phone and call an attorney to get advice about any and all legal matters of interest to you? The attorney would draft your will, review it and update it for every other year, make phone calls and write letters on your behalf negotiate your contracts and represent you in court. If you are traveling in another state and need any form of legal advice, he will refer you to a competent attorney in that state for no extra cost to you.

This all seems great on paper, but the mere thought of paying hundreds of dollars an hour to put an attorney on retainer is enough to persuade most people not to seek legal coverage.

You will be surprised to know that such coverage does indeed exist under an arrangement similar to your health or insurance plan. Pre-paid legal plans offer you access to all these legal services, for a monthly charge of $10 to $25. If you are employed, you may incur no charge if your employer provides legal services as a fringe benefit.

Limitations of Pre-Paid Legal Services

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Pre-paid legal plans are promoted under the promise of cheap legal coverage, an attractive alternative to the high fees charged by regular attorneys and law practices. But under the gloss of accessible legal services for the general public, lie a number of limitations.

First, there is a limit on the scope of the legal services provided. Most of what is provided on an unlimited-basis is phone based: calls to your attorney for advice and consultation on legal matters, or phone calls made on your behalf to third parties. Other benefits bundled in the plan are limited: regular visits to your attorney's office is restricted to a dozen or so hours per month, the wills you want drafted or sample contracts reviewed will be carried out on two or three copies per year. More complex legal matters involving more time and effort on the part of your attorney are not provided outright.

If you need representation in a court for a lawsuit on the recovery of damages, or a complex lease contract reviewed and approved, then you have to pay regular lawyer fees. Some discounts of up to 25% apply, but you could get the same discounts if not better by the simple virtue of simple negotiations and clever comparison shopping.

Second is the restriction on your choice of attorney and the quality of legal work provided. Although you are free to choose your own attorney, client-lawyer relationship and the building of rapport are harder to come by in this scheme.

Pre-paid legal plans are fraught with the "rookie" syndrome: the providers usually resort to employing newly-licensed or trainee attorneys in a cost-cutting exercise. Someone who does mostly wills, trusts and sample contracts is probably not a good fit for a more complex legal issue like the custody of children. In this day of age of increasing specialisation, it is better to ask someone with specialised knowledge and years of experience then it is to rely on a novice with a limited professional track-record.

If you go down the traditional way, then there is restricted "pool of attorneys" you can choose from. Your research will be easier and a lot more comprehensive. You can set up interviews with lawyers, ask for referrals from friends, previous customers or check your local bar association. You are more likely to get a top-notch lawyer with who to build rapport get competent advice and trust the judgement.

How To Enroll For A Legal Plan

Online Gambler Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Are you thinking of getting on the pre-paid bandwagon? Choosing a particular enrolment method can be very important in determining the benefits, costs and conditions of coverage of your legal plan.

A voluntary enrolment refers to a membership of a legal plan where people "voluntarily" subscribe to a pre-paid legal service in response to a direct email offer, during an employer's open enrolment period or during individual sales representations. In this arrangement, you pay the prepaid charge, get the standard discounts open to all other members of the plan and get the coverage as per the terms and conditions of the plan.

In a group plan, all members are automatically included in the plan because of their status as a group. For instance, many employees enjoy a 100% participation in legal plans sponsored by their employers. They do not have to pay any pre-paid charge or premium, as legal coverage in the work place is now regarded as an employee fringe-benefit. Some universities also provide legal coverage for their students, financing the plans from their general tuition fees. - A blog about Blogging and Online Marketing highly recommends Thesis Wordpress Theme for your blog!

How To Choose An Attorney?

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Throughout the course of your legal problems, you will have to make some tough decisions - If you were involved in an accident then you have to choose between bringing criminal damages or press with a plaintiff case, if you have a small business and you were involved in a deal, then you have to decide whether to sign it or let it pass. There is no clear-cut answer in many of these dilemmas, and getting the right lawyer is crucial to you. We examine the perks of choosing a lawyer in a pre-paid legal plan as opposed to hiring your own lawyer, and some simple steps you can take to choose a good attorney.

The number one criterion has to do with a lawyer's legal ability: someone who lays the law down for you, present you with options, explain the ramifications of each decision you make and give you recommendations on the best course of action. In this day and age of complicated legal matters, many lawyers are increasingly specialised and you stand to get better information from someone with a practice focus in a particular area of the law than a generalist who deals with a broad spectrum of legal issues. Building rapport is also very important: your relationship with your lawyer can make or break your case. You need a lawyer who gives you candid advice and council you can trust, someone with enough perspective to step back from an issue and look at it from all perspectives.

Client-lawyer relationships are very limited within a pre-paid legal plan. Because of "preventive" nature of most plans, your contact with your lawyer will be limited on many occasions. You seldom get to talk to your lawyer face-to-face - as most of the consultation is done over the phone - and even when you get to talk to them, it's difficult to build rapport when your office consultations are limited to a dozen hours a year.

The good news, however, is you still have some options left. When you sign up for a legal plan, you get to choose your lawyer and there is a number of steps you can take to increase the likelihood of getting a good lawyer. First, you need to ask for referrals from previous clients. Ask around about good attorneys in the network. Once you get a few names, check their educational background, their qualifications and their professional track record with your state's bar association.

After you receive your referrals, don't shy away from setting up interviews with attorneys in the network. Most don't mind receiving enquiries about what they do and how able there are. |Ask tough questions: How long have they been in practice? How satisfied are their previous clients? How many legal problems of interest to you have they taken recently?

Group Legal Plan Benefits For Employer And Employee

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A properly developed group legal insurance plan can be the perfect complement to any employer's work life initiative. Considering that many employees are nowadays increasingly swayed by benefit options when making career decisions, Legal insurance is a viable product for many employers.

However, there is no single fit-for-all group legal plan for all organizations. For a start, each organization has a distinct list of requirements when contracting for legal insurance. A requirement built on the premise of reduced administrative costs will require a different set of legal services than requirements built on enhancing a benefits package or protect against liability.

Legal plans also vary in what they offer: the quality of their customer service, flexibility of plan design and finally the experience and professional track record of their panel of attorneys.

In order to minimize the risk of poor service and plummeting employer satisfaction, an employer should conduct both requirements analysis amongst its employee base to cover for their difference needs, and a due research to select the most appropriate legal plan to fit those requirements based on experience, integrity and track record.

Group Legal Plans

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Group legal plans in the workplace have experienced rapid growth recently because of their usefulness to both employer and employee alike.

For the employee, a group legal plan is a cheap way to get legal coverage in much the same way as other traditional benefits. For as little as $20 per month deducted from payroll, an employee is put in touch with an attorney who can draft his will, buy or refinance a home, adopt a child and plan an estate. Unlimited legal advice is offered at no cost to the employee.

The benefits for the employer include increased efficiency and productivity from their workforce, and reduced administration costs to handle personal matters. Another very attractive benefit is the very low cost involved in researching and implementing a group legal plan. In fact, such plans cost employers very little in terms of time and investment. Group plans are structured on a voluntary basis, paid for through payroll deductions from the workforce. Additionally, the carrier handles all the claims, redundant paperwork and customer service related to the plan.

Differences Between Pre-Paid and Legal Plans

Online Gambler Saturday, August 23, 2008
It is not uncommon to see the terms "legal plans" and "pre-paid legal services" used interchangeably. While they share a lot of characteristics in common, there are a number of differences you should be aware of.

Both of these terms refer to an arrangement whereby you pay a fixed monthly or yearly fee in exchange for legal services. The idea behind them is to save consumers on high legal fees whilst offering a valuable service. That's where the differences lie: what kind of service is offered and what is covered. What are you entitled to in both schemes?

Pre-paid services cover for specific legal services: free phone consultation and advice, drafting of simple wills and trusts, review of sample contracts and writing of letters on your behalf. Legal services not provided will get charged at regular attorney fees, but you may be eligible for discounts. Legal insurance, by contrast, works much like other insurance plans, like health or car insurance. Although specific legal services are offered at times, your insurance provider will typically offer a policy that covers for all legal services. The policy will pay on behalf of you, the policy holder, or reimburse all expenses, costs or fees that you pay for legal services up to the policy limit. For instance, your policy might reimburse any fees incurred in your court judgments or pay your bail money - a service not provided by most pre-paid legal plans.

Your legal insurance is also pegged to other insurance policies you may already have. If you run into legal problems involving your other insurance, then your legal insurance policy will protect you against loss or liability. For instance, if you are involved in a car accident when your auto-insurance has already run out and you are subsequently sued for recovery of damages, you will be protected by a legal plan insurance. The other difference between the two schemes is related to your choice of attorney. In a pre-paid legal service, you get to choose from a restricted number of the attorneys in the network. By contrast, a legal insurance plan provides legal coverage regardless of attorney. You are free to set up interviews with any number of attorneys and choose the ones you think will provide the best service for your personal legal needs.

Finally, pre-paid legal plans are much more accessible to the general public. Legal plans are harder to come by as only a limited number of insurance companies offer such arrangements. - A blog about Blogging and Online Marketing highly recommends Thesis Wordpress Theme for your blog!

Comprehensive Access Plans

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If you are a member of a pre-paid access plan and are not getting the legal services you think you need, then it is probably time to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan.

A comprehensive prepaid legal service plan is designed to cover for the majority of your legal service needs in a given year. Access services, such as legal advice and information by toll-free number and follow-up service, are provided at no cost to you. It's in the realm of more complex legal matters that require more time and effort from your attorney, that the comprehensive plan is more beneficial than a basic, access plan. You can have your trust set up, instead of a simple will, and a more complicated business sale contract drawn up as opposed to a simple contract. Legal representation can equally be provided in court for some cases, such as child custody.

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Here's Why You Need To Use Landing Pages

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All the products that you want to sell online are ready. You have already signed up with the Google Adsense program or with other affiliate marketing programs and you have already prepared the ad you want to post on your affiliate's site. Your mind is now set to being the next most successful online businessman. But is there anything else that you might have forgotten to prepare? Maybe none. But how about your landing pages? Are they all set for your business?

Landing pages are simply web pages where visitors are directed to whenever they click a result in a web search or whenever they click a web ad. For affiliate marketing, landing pages would refer to the web page where you, as a merchant, would want your potential customer to be directed after clicking your ad on your affiliate's website. Landing pages are, at most times, nothing really different from other web pages in a particular website, especially if the said website is an e-commerce site. Some online businessmen would even use the homepage of their websites as the landing page for their ads. Are these businessmen making a big mistake? Or should you follow their method in creating landing pages for their ads?

Well, you can always follow what most online retailers do, directing their potential customers to the homepages of their websites. But if you want to achieve something more from your online business, and if you want to earn a lot of profits, you better create a special landing page for your web ads. Why? Here are a few reasons why you need to use landing pages for your web ads. And take note, it would do you a lot better if you create a great landing page than a so-so one.

Reason 1: It is the only way you earn conversions in an affiliate marketing program.

There are a variety of affiliate marketing programs today, but most of these programs let the merchant pay the affiliate in a pay per click basis. Basically, all you have to do is sign up with the program and submit your ad. The program owner would then distribute your ad to various affiliates who would then place your ad on their websites. Whenever your ad is clicked, a visitor would be directed to your landing page and you would have to pay the affiliate for his service.

As a merchant, you earn in an affiliate program through conversions that is whenever a visitor that is directed to your site actually buys a product on your site. Without these conversions, you actually earn nothing from the program. Also, the more visitors that your affiliates have directed to your site, the larger would your expense be. And the only way that you can recover from these expenses is through conversions.

Now, you sure won't get any conversion if you have posted an ad on your affiliate's site without an actual landing page for the potential customer to be redirected into. It's just like advertising a product without actually having a store to sell your product. Your advertisement may be enticing enough to encourage people to purchase a product, but without the landing page, how will they know how to purchase the product

It is therefore important to have landing pages for your ads because it is the only way for you to earn something in an affiliate program. Without landing pages, all you do is spend money paying your affiliates without actually getting anything in return.

Reason 2: Other web pages may just not be enough.

Many people make the mistake of making their website's homepage as the landing page for their ads. The same is true for those who make use of other pages like a "contact us" page or a product page. Homepages are often designed to serve multiple users and contains a lot of links to other pages or to other websites. The same is with the other two pages mentioned. If you want to be successful in an affiliate program, we're sure that you don't want your landing page to cater to the needs of various people, most of which may not be really interested with your product.

When choosing a landing page, you must always have the customer directed into that page in mind. Therefore, your landing page must be relevant to the keywords and the contents you placed on your ad. It is also important that the landing page can induce your visitor to take action that is to purchase your product or at least provide leads for potential customers.

Final Word

You probably entered into an affiliate marketing program with these things in mind: to save on advertising expenses and to gain more profit. But if you get into an affiliate marketing program without actually having a landing page, you'll end up paying too much without getting anything in return. So if you still don't have a landing page for your ads, you better start creating one now. And don't get us wrong; it isn't enough for you to have just a landing page it should be a great landing page! - Blogging and Online Marketing recommends Thesis Wordpress Theme.
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