Voluntary Legal Service Plan Features
Unlimited telephone advice and consultation with a National Legal Office Attorney
Includes legal letters written* and telephone calls made on behalf of a covered individual. All requests for legal services in connection with a new legal matter must be directed to the National Legal Office, including legal advice. The law office can be reached by telephone, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. The office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Telephone numbers include:
- From area code 631: (631) 231-1450
- Toll-free within New York State: (800) 832-5182
- Toll-free nationwide: (800) 292-8063
- Emergency hotline: (800) 292-8063
Florida residents and individuals needing legal assistance for matters arising out of the state of Florida should call the Florida State Legal Office, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. Same office closures apply.
- From area code 954 and outside the state of Florida: (954) 424-1200
- Toll free within the state of Florida: (800) 654-1945
- Emergency hotline: (800) 654-1945
The covered individual is entitled to two (2), one-hour, free, initial office consultations per calendar year with the National Legal Office or Participating Referral Attorney. Consultations can be used to meet and interview an attorney who may be representing you. Consultations are often used to determine compatibility, examine qualifications, or discuss strategy.
PLEASE NOTE: Consultations cannot be used to reduce the “Plan Maximum Fees” or for the preparation of a Will or for estate planning purposes. The two (2), one-hour, free consultations cannot be combined.
Referral to participating attorneys, guaranteed hourly fees, limited document review
If, in the opinion of the National Legal Office, the subject of the legal matter is unclear, complex, or the telephone consultation would not be in the best interest of the covered individual, the National Legal Office may refer the covered individual to a Participating Referral Attorney. Referral Attorneys are located throughout the continental United States. All are licensed. All have agreed, by contract with the National Legal Office, to charge or bill the covered individual no more than the Maximum Hourly Rate provided in the chart, or thirty percent (30%) reduction from the attorney’s usual hourly rate, whichever is lower, for legal work related to covered matters*, except for Probate matters and Personal Injury cases, as well as other contingent fee matters and all matters for which attorney fees are established by the court.
The National Legal Office may also act in the capacity of a Participating Referral Attorney if the covered individual is in the general geographical area in which the National Legal Office is located. They may also, in response to specific limited questions regarding simple documents six (6) pages or less (i.e., purchase agreements, loan agreements, lease agreements, real estate documents, and written warranties), direct the covered individual to forward the document(s) to the National Legal Office for review.*Referral Attorney is not bound to reductions within the Plan to the extent that the reduction lowers the hourly rate below $195 per hour.
Simple Will and estate documents
The covered individual is entitled to one (1) free, annually:
- Simple Will
- Health Care Proxy
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will
If the covered individual does not obtain a Simple Will during the first Plan year, the covered individual and spouse or domestic partner are entitled to free Reciprocal Simple Wills and the other documents above, simultaneously, during the second Plan year. No more than two (2) Wills for every two (2) years of plan membership will be written. If the covered individual utilizes the Simple Will in the first year of the plan, the spouse or domestic partner may utilize the Simple Will in year two.
The National Legal Office’s responsibility to provide the Simple Will and Estate Documents at no additional cost, shall be limited to information and/or documents received and/or dispensed by the United States mail and/or telephone. In addition, the National Legal Office will provide attorneys who shall supervise the execution of Simple Wills and related Estate Documents for all covered individuals at no cost. Each covered individual is entitled to an additional set of Legal Security Package Documents with a POA for their spouse or domestic partner, at any time for a flat fee of $100.
Plan maximum legal fees
The legal service performed by a Referral Attorney in connection with the legal matters listed in the chart below, shall be subject to the hourly rates set forth, but shall not exceed the maximum fees indicated. Additional fees may be charged for court costs, trial fees, process service, etc.
Maximum Hourly Fees: In matters not otherwise covered by the Guaranteed Maximum Fees below, and where an hourly rate is customary, the Maximum Hourly Rates charged by the National Legal Office and/or Referral Attorneys will be:
Uncontested estates, probate
In the event of the death of the covered individual, Referral Attorney(s) shall extend a thirty percent (30%) reduction of fee to the estate of the covered individual. This thirty percent (30%) reduction shall apply to the percentile contingencies (as applied to all assets that are included in the estate for estate tax purposes).
Personal injury case
Contingency fee cases* arising out of negligence, breach of warranty, or products liability and accepted on a contingent fee basis by a Participating Referral Attorney, are not subject to the fee limitations set forth in the Maximum Fee Schedule, but instead, Participating Attorney(s) agree to accept as their fee in those cases, the following reductions from the standard contingency fees approved by the Court of the applicable state:
- Twenty Percent (20%) reduction if the case is settled prior to Examination Before Trial
- Ten Percent (10%) reduction if the case is settled after Examination Before Trial or if tried to conclusion
24-hour emergency hotline
If the covered individual is confronted with a situation that requires immediate legal advice, he or she may call the emergency hotline to talk with an attorney after regular business hours. This emergency service may only be used in situations that cannot wait until the next business day, such as an arrest, accident, or assault.
Small claims protection
The National Legal Office and Florida State Legal Office will provide advice regarding procedure and evidence preparation for Small Claims Court matters.
Regulatory agency referral
In matters where a Staff Attorney deems appropriate, referrals will be made to the appropriate Federal, State, or Municipal Agencies.PLEASE NOTE: This is a brief summary of plan benefits and terms but is subject to the actual expanded Certificate of Coverage.