About the Voluntary Legal Service Plan
The PEF Membership Benefits Program provides active, dues-paying members and retiree members with a Voluntary Legal Service Plan at an affordable annual fee that can be paid for bi-weekly or monthly (see plan costs) or by a single payment. The Plan also provides savings you receive through fees that have maximum caps. The Voluntary Legal Service Plan is a benefit members and retirees can use for every day matters. Lawyers are not just for emergencies, they are there to help you make informed decisions about a variety of personal matters throughout your life. That is why the investment in a legal service plan is a good decision for most. A legal service plan provides you with reliable advice from a powerful team of legal experts, at substantially reduced rates.
The Voluntary Legal Service Plan is your legal team for many personal matters such as:
- Estate Planning, including the creation of one (1) free Simple Will, one (1) free Health Care Proxy, one (1) free Power of Attorney, and one (1) free Living Will per year, as well as consultation regarding a Simple Promissory Note, a Simple Trust, and Simple Reciprocal Will with Simple Trust
- Family Matters, such as marriage, separation, divorce, and child support
- Financial Issues, including real estate, refinancing a mortgage, and personal bankruptcy
- Other matters, such as a traffic violation, misdemeanor, name change, and driving while intoxicated
Individuals covered by the plan
Once an active, dues-paying PEF member or retiree member purchases the Legal Service Plan, the following individuals are covered:
- The PEF member/retiree and his/her spouse or domestic partner who is living with the covered individual.
- The PEF member’s/retiree’s unmarried dependent children or domestic partner’s unmarried children (including stepchildren and legally adopted children) under the age of nineteen (19) years or under the age of twenty-five (25) years if they are wholly dependent upon the covered individual for support and maintenance and are enrolled as a full-time student in an educational institution.
- The PEF member’s/retiree’s parents, provided the parents are wholly dependent upon the covered participant for their own support and maintenance and reside with the covered individual.
The Voluntary Legal Service Plan & COVID-19
Special assistance for families of COVID-19 victims
If a PEF member who participates in the Legal Service Plan tragically passes away due to COVID-19, Feldman, Kramer and Monaco will extend free legal services to their loved ones.
Free guidance and assistance regarding the PEF member’s estate, if uncontested, including:
- Questions in connection with marshaling assets
- Obtaining a death certificate
- Locating family members
- Reviewing beneficiary forms
- Filing the necessary documentation with the applicable probate court
- Accessing a safety deposit box
- Car title issues
- Redirecting mail
Offering direction to the member’s family regarding the next steps to take, such as:
- Transferring of assets
- Contacting financial institutions
- Free estate administration (probate) when needed
- Most importantly, they will provide a compassionate sounding board for the family
To access these special COVID-19 services, contact Christine Cavanagh at (631) 231-1450, ext. 264.
Legal assistance with other COVID-related concerns
The benefits afforded PEF members and PEF retirees with the purchase of the Voluntary Legal Service Plan, are more valuable than ever before. The Legal Plan can help members/retirees who may be facing issues such as:
- Bankruptcy (use the services of the plan to help stop bill collectors)
- Foreclosure (get guidance needed to help you keep or vacate a home)
- Landlord/Tenant Issues (seek advice regarding rent reduction or eviction moratorium)
- Estate Planning (protect yourself and your spouse with the creation of a free Simple Will, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, and Living Will)
- Family Law Issues (seek advice on how to deal with child/spousal support modifications that may be needed)
- Real Estate (get the legal assistance you need if you are moving out of the city, looking for a more affordable housing alternative, or buying a home to take advantage of low interest rates)
Voluntary Legal Service Plan Costs
Active, dues-paying PEF members and retirees may purchase the plan via a direct pay option or payroll/pension deduction option:
Direct Pay Plan Cost: $78 per year (for members and retirees)
- PEF Member Payroll Deduction Plan Cost: $3 per pay period (26 pay periods)
- PEF Retiree Pension Deduction Plan Cost: $6.50 per pension deduction period (12 periods)
30-day free-look period:
If you are not completely satisfied after reviewing your Legal Plan Certificate of Coverage that you will receive after purchasing the plan, you may cancel your plan for a full refund within 30 days of purchase by contacting the PEF Membership Benefits Program, 10 Airline Drive, Suite 101, Albany, NY 12205, (800) 342-4306, ext. 243. This is a risk free plan.
Important Information About the Plan
For more information about the Voluntary Legal Service Plan, please view any of the plan features listed below:
Domestic legal matters
In any proceeding in which both the plaintiff and defendant are Covered individuals, the entitlement to telephone advice and consultation from the National Legal Office shall rest with the named covered Participant. However, Covered Individuals may be referred to two (2) Participating Referral Attorneys, providing there is no relationship between such Participating Referral Attorney’s and the National Legal Office except for the Referral Legal Benefit Agreement between such parties.
Continuation of coverage
Any PEF member/retiree purchasing the Voluntary Legal Service Plan will be entitled to the Plan legal services for the effective term of the coverage. Upon termination of coverage, any specific representation in progress will be continued by the National Legal Office for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from the date of such termination. Specific representation by a Participating Referral Attorney will continue to the conclusion of a specific matter already in progress and at the legal fees stipulated in the Certificate of Coverage for any case, item, matter, or service being performed.
Termination of coverage
A covered individual’s eligibility for legal services will terminate:
- In the event that the annual renewal amount is not received by PEF MBP.
- On the day following the expiration date for a covered participant’s Legal Plan coverage, if the covered individual ceases to continue to qualify (via repurchase or renewal) for participation in the Plan.
How to Purchase the Voluntary Legal Service Plan
To purchase the Voluntary Legal Service Plan online, by Visa, MasterCard, or Discover:
- Click on the “Buy Now” button below, or
- Call (800) 342-4306, ext. 243, opt. 1, to purchase by credit card over the phone.
Once you purchase the basic plan, you may also purchase your riders online by credit card:
- Simply click the product rider button(s) below, or call (800) 342-4306, ext. 243, opt. 1.
To purchase the plan by payroll/pension deduction, check, or money order, simply download, complete, and mail the form to:
PEF Membership Benefits Program
10 Airline Drive, Suite 101
Albany, NY 12205
Footnotes, Additional Details & DisclaimersAbout Feldman, Kramer & Monaco:
For the past 35 years, Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. Law Firm has been committed to satisfying the needs of their clients. They are tough but caring; honest but shrewd; smart but respectful; strong but sensitive. They use all their legal expertise and creativity to solve their clients’ legal problems. They combine a powerful mix of insight, business acumen, legal talent, responsiveness, and sophisticated transactional and entrepreneurial expertise to guide clients through periods of challenge and opportunity. Their approach to the practice of law has earned them the coveted peer review ranking of “Preeminent A-V” which is the highest rating which can be awarded to a firm by the prestigious ranking authority Martindale-Hubbell.