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Plan Provides Access to Low-Cost Legal Advice

The service offers two basic plans for $16 or $25 a month, both with unlimited phone access to an attorney.


Many corporations offer prepaid legal services to their members under group plans, but there is also a way for the individual or a small business to have legal advice at a very low cost.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, a pioneer in the industry, offers two basic plans: a family plan, at $16 a month, and an expanded plan, which costs $25 monthly. Both offer unlimited telephone access to an attorney.

Many lawsuits could probably be avoided with a little advance planning and some sound legal advice, which is why the "unlimited telephone calls" has such appeal.

Obviously, a $25-a-month legal plan is not all-encompassing. For many of us, just the telephone access makes it worthwhile. But the plan offers many other services, including making a will and updating it annually; reviewing legal documents up to 10 pages; IRS audit legal support; and legal assistance in regard to debt collection, eviction, adoption, partnerships, bankruptcy, consumer fraud, property purchase, creditor harassment and a slew of other situations.

Many people just need the basics; just one letter from an attorney might do the trick. One member of Pre-Paid Legal Services, a salesman from the Los Feliz area, was bitten by a dog but couldn't get remuneration from the dog's owners. After one phone call to his provider attorney, who sent a letter to the owners of the dog, he received a check for $500.

Alan Slepoy of Beverly Hills needed legal consultation on bringing money into the United States. "My phone call was returned in two hours by an attorney who specializes in customs procedures. My problems were solved."


What if a situation arises that Pre-Paid doesn't cover? Small business owner Gabriel GarciaMendez, a Pre-Paid Legal Services member, recently needed legal services that fell into an area not covered, and a retainer was required.

"The attorney I had on retainer for 10 years would have charged $2,000; Pre-Paid charged me a $250 retainer, and what really surprised me was that later they sent me a check for $115, saying that they didn't use a whole hour," he said.

Pre-Paid Legal Services contracts only with law firms that have high ratings in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory and with the state bar associations. No fly-by-nights. All the variables are too many to be included in this column, but they will provide you with information for the asking. Call Ron Bailey, independent associate for Pre-Paid Legal Services at (800) 305-5342.

Having an attorney available for legal situations gives me some peace of mind for very little bit of money. It's sort of like having a lawyer in the family.

Weekend Super Sale: There's probably not a store in town that isn't having a sale this weekend, but I got wind of an incredible luggage deal at Luggage For Less that starts this weekend.

A three-piece upright set by Ciao (a 22-inch carry-on, a 26-inch weekender and a 29-inch for longer trips) with locking handles will be $99.99. One major department store recently advertised this on sale for $289! Luggage For Less, 5144 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, (818) 760-1360, and 11667 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 268-6698).

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