Julie Powell gets relief from creating a Will to protect her family.Text Only
Will PreparationText Only
"I heard about the ARAG plan through our benefits information and the reason I signed up is I wanted to create a Will. I'm a single mom and I knew that it was important for me to have a will for the benefit of my son. So I signed up for the program - was very pleased with everything from start to finish.
When I called up to get a referral for an attorney, the person on the phone was very friendly. When I went in to see my attorney, she was great. She was friendly, very professional.
In fact I told her when I was there I wish I had found her on the plan earlier because I had attorneys previously that I wasn't as pleased with and paid thousands of dollars to them.
It was such a painless process, it was so smooth. And when I got done, the plan took care of everything. There were no bills, nothing to submit, it was wonderful. And really for the same amount of money that you pay for like a warehouse membership - just a few dollars a month - you have the peace of mind of knowing that you have a plan that you can use at any time you want, it will cover you.
And to me, I consider it as valuable as having health insurance or life insurance. I really consider it one of our best employee benefits."
David Collins resolves a payment dispute with contractors after receiving storm damage from a hurricane.Text Only
Contractor DisputesText Only
"The 12 inches of water that flooded our house after Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 was only the beginning of the nightmare. When the flood restoration expert we hired to gut and clean our house finished weeks of work, he gave us a bill for $22,000. But then another flood restoration company called and demanded that we pay them that total because the other company had been working for them.
The dispute between the two companies apparently involved a handshake agreement that had fallen apart. But when it fell apart and what the original deal had been – I didn’t know. All I knew was that I had 2 different companies demanding I pay them $22,000.
Luckily I had enrolled in the ARAG legal insurance program through work. I called the for a free phone consultation and laid out the facts as I knew them. The attorney told me that this could get tricky and that I needed to have a local attorney working for me. She sent me a list of lawyers in my area and their specialties, and I soon met with my new attorney. He advised me that if I paid either company, the other could go after me for the same amount – and because of a loophole in Florida law, I could end up having to pay both bills!
The fight between the two companies was downright nasty, and my wife and I were stuck in the middle. My attorney repeatedly met with attorneys for both companies, but neither would budge. It took several months of meetings and letters, but just before we were set to move back into our rebuilt home, Gonzalez called with the good news: He had worked out an agreement to let us pay into an escrow account that the two companies could keep fighting over. That meant we could enjoy moving back into our home without having a $22,000 cloud hanging over our head.
And all it cost us was the small weekly deduction – less than the cost of a pizza. I’d like to say that was the end of the story and that we lived happily ever after. But the story took an unfortunate turn last month: Our house flooded again during Tropical Storm Fay’s assault on Florida. I don’t know what’s ahead for us this time, but at least we have ARAG on our side again."
Meryl Dean receives consumer protection help in returning a piece of custom furniture using her ARAG legal plan.Text Only
Consumer ProtectionText Only
"I had purchased a custom color hutch/work center for my third floor apartment in San Francisco. To my surprise, when it came time for delivery, we discovered that the only way to get this hutch into my apartment was to have it hoisted via an outside window. This would be a huge cost, and at this point in time, I wanted to return the item.
The store, of course, would not hear of this. You see, I had ordered a specific color of wood and my order was considered “custom”. I called several times to no avail. This went on for over six months. Then I remembered the ARAG service and made a call to the telephone attorneys. The attorney I spoke with suggested I write a letter and he provided me with some key phrases and words to use in the content. Lo and behold, I was credited the $1,600 to my account within a weeks time. Not only did I get my money back, which I could not afford to lose, but it also eased tensions at home! I LOVE this service!"
San Francisco, CA
Dealing with Credit Card Debt
Lisa Fussell works with an ARAG Network Attorney to address credit card debt.Text Only
Dealing with Credit Card DebtText Only
"One time in particular - actually recently - I found ARAG's plan to be of great use to me was when I was dealing with a situation with some credit card debt. I actually was sent a notification to appear in court and I didn't know what to do with that information.
I picked up the phone and said - as I usually do - and I called and I spoke with the phone attorney. She walked me through the whole process. I called up and what was going to be said and she told me how to respond.
I was so empowered because prior to that all I knew was that I had a notification. And I didn't know was going to happen - if they were going to take the house or take me or I didn't know what was going on.
Because of my conversation with the lawyer, with the attorney, I was able to be peaceful about being there, being in that place. I was able to give the right information when I was asked by the attorneys for the credit card companies.
ARAG has been most valuable to me in so many different life situations that have come up for me."
Selling a Home
Vickie Gil works with an ARAG Network Attorney to help her sell a home as a lease for sale.Text Only
Selling a HomeText Only
"The way I used my ARAG plan was when I actually put my home for sale. It was a sale by owner so I needed a lease-to-own contract setup.
I called ARAG and they actually provided me with a listing of several real estate attorneys within about a 20 mile radius of my home which made it very easy for me. I reached out the first attorney on the list - ended up being a fantastic real estate attorney. They immediately got me in that same week that I called.
I initially came in kind of nervous not knowing what to expect since that was the first time I've ever done something like that, but they immediately put me at ease - filled me in on all the things I would encounter.
She made it very easy for me. It was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders. Once the transaction was completed I hand no worries.
Considering what my minimal monthly premium is, didn't compare to what I know a normal real estate attorney would charge."
Karyn Krause reflects on how her ARAG attorney helped to protect and reunite her family.Text Only
Family ProtectionText Only
"If only I had ARAG coverage from the beginning of my ordeal," I remember telling my best friend, Jessica. "But you could not have appreciated your new ARAG attorney nearly as much as you do now," she reminded me. I often think life is about accruing gratitude, and wow have ARAG and my ARAG attorney raised my gratitude bar!
In the spring of 2007 I requested a separation from my husband, but never sought legal advice or counsel. In early May, I allowed him to take our two young sons on what was supposed to be a nine week visit with his family in Europe. A week before their intended return, he informed me by e-mail that they would not return and he had begun legal proceedings to keep our sons permanently in his country. I received the email at work. I burst into tears. I was completely unprepared both to live without my sons and to fight an international legal battle for their rightful return. When I had begun work for my alma mater I did not imagine ever needing legal insurance so had not opted in. Big life lesson: Everyone needs legal insurance!
Thus with the first firm I hired, I paid out of pocket - and paid and paid, month after harrowing month. Sadly, I ended up needing to edit the firm’s work, correcting factual and even grammatical errors. Even more troubling, they did not inform me of the basics of California divorce law, which was purportedly their area of expertise! In November, I went to Europe for the hearing for my son’s return and with the help of a local attorney (yes, I was paying two attorneys simultaneously) prevailed with a decree for their immediate return to California. But the boys’ father had time to flee with them yet again! I returned to California utterly heartbroken and exhausted, without my sons. The only silver lining in this black cloud was the opportunity to sign up for ARAG during my employer’s open enrollment period.
In late December, I received a call from my European counsel saying the boys had been located. We returned just in time to celebrate Christmas together. The boys began school in California in January 2008, and the California courts took up the custody case. At last, in May, I was in a position to dismiss the first firm and make use of my ARAG policy. I was only unrepresented for a week before getting in touch with ARAG to explore my options. Every person I spoke with was extremely friendly and helpful. Two days after I had an initial consultation with ARAG attorney I hired him and he represented me in a custody hearing.
At once I felt at ease with my attorney and could tell he was a person of integrity. In my experience, ARAG attorneys are service and client-centered; they have joined ARAG because they believe all people have the right to reasonably-priced legal help. In the four months my attorney has represented me, we have accomplished far more than with all of the other attorneys combined, all with good humor and transparent communication. My attorney immediately put the necessary protections in place to ensure my sons will not be re-abducted. I now have a working custody agreement, receive child support, and no longer fear my sons will be taken or hidden again. My attorney works quickly and efficiently and I have only been charged the most minimal fees for the minor areas not covered by my ARAG policy.
Happy 35th anniversary ARAG! I am so grateful for the assistance you have given me and my family. I am a better mother and employee now that I have quality, affordable legal representation!"
Marlise Mullins saves thousands of dollars with the help of an ARAG attorney.Text Only
Property TransfersText Only
"Around 20 years ago I went to a benefits fair at my employer and ARAG had a booth there. Reading through the literature I thought, "You know, this is something I could probably really use, you never know what things are going to come up in your life."
My most valuable experience with ARAG was when it came time to do a property transfer from my stepmother to myself. We found out that you can't transfer from step parent to child unless there is a legal adoption, which unfortunately there wasn't.
Through the ARAG attorney, they wrote a letter to the tax assessor letting them know that it was my father's wishes that the property be transferred to me and also that my mother had always felt like she had been my mother even though she didn't legally adopted me.
To everyone's surprise, this actually worked. With the property taxes being more than doubled - and they ended up not adjusting them - this saved thousands of dollars over the term of the loan of the house and in the future.
Even though all the years I've paid for it every month out of my paycheck, I'm sure that I've got more out of it than I've put into it."
Christine Robinson works with a Network Attorney to help her handle a property dispute.Text Only
Property DisputeText Only
"I have been a member of the ARAG legal plan through my employer for years. I consider it the very best value in my fringe benefits package because with legal care, acting proactively is a great value.
Among the issues that ARAG has helped me address (with the assistance of my attorney) has been how to prepare for hurricanes and their potential damage. My private residence adjoins a condo property and we had a large fichus tree that was in our yard but right on the property line/fence. I was concerned about the potential for the tree to fall over into the condo’s side during a hurricane. I could only trim the tree back on my side of the fence and heavy limbs had grown over the fence onto the condo’s side where I had no legal access.
My attorney assisted me in drafting a letter to the condo association advising and asking them to cut the tree on their side as I was cutting it on mine. I was afraid that the uneven load might push the tree over into the condo property in a potential windstorm.
Unfortunately, the condo association ignored my request and not more than six weeks later a hurricane indeed came through Miami and the tree fell over onto one of the condo homes.
My first reaction was relief that I had put them on notice with the Sue’s assistance. When I reached her by phone, she was able to assure me that the fallen tree was not going to be our obligation to remove under the Florida law in particular since I had sent notice of the potential for this outcome.
The condo association instead of removing the part of the tree that fell across into their common areas had a tractor push the entire tree into our yard! We were shocked by this legal violation
With my attorney’s assistance, we were able to draft a letter to the condo association’s legal counsel and advise them that this was an illegal act and that they were still responsible for the part of the tree that had fallen on to their property which of course my attorney had advised me to photograph. With my attorney’s assistance, we and the condo association were able to come to an agreement on how to share the costs for the tree’s removal and for the repair of the boundary fence.
ARAG and my attorney enabled me to see my way through a stressful situation and bring it to a comfortable conclusion for all parties. I remain a member and I intend to continue. As is the common phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ARAG allows me to get this “prevention” in many areas."
Alejandra Rodriguez uses ARAG's online resources to empower herself on her legal rights.Text Only
Legal EducationText Only
"I have been an ARAG member for over 10 years. Although some years I don't use the service as far as actual legal help with a lawyer, I constantly check the website for Do It Yourself Legal Documents and updates. Within the past 10 years I have changed my son’s last name, created various promissory notes when I have lent money to friends and neighbors, had my will testament, living trust for my children and power attorney set up and I'm only 33 years old.
I had a quit claim deed completed. I have been able to learn how to make my own bill of sales for cars that I have sold throughout the years. I learned how to write complaint letters to restaurants and for bad customer service. I have received invaluable information about my questions regarding immigration from a lawyer. I love the ARAG Do It Yourself Legal Documents and Legal Glossary.
ARAG has provided me with the knowledge and know how to proceed with general legal matters and have them taken care of. As a supervisor I use the legal documents to enforce my legal rights in writing. I had rented an apartment and sent my landlord letters of repair that if I didn't have ARAG might not have been completed.
I feel empowered by ARAG – I am no longer being taken advantage of. It has provided me with the tools to become a better person and expand my horizons."
Gina Rupert protects her family by creating a living will.Text Only
Living WillText Only
"It is pretty simple; having an ARAG legal plan has opened my eyes to the legal world and has taken away the stress of "trying to figure things out." With an ARAG legal plan there is a lot of leg work that I do not have to deal with. I simply call or refer to a list of attorneys and then go from there. Being a mother of three boys, I always have a full plate and this benefit has made a positive impact on my life. I know that anytime I need legal assistance, reputable guidance is within my reach.
So far I have met with 3 different attorneys, due to different matters and I felt really good about all three attorneys that I met with. One specific meeting was pertaining to my living will. This is definitely one of those tasks that I put off for years, because I didn't know who to turn to and I didn't know if I really needed an attorney or not. It turns out that I was covered to meet with an attorney for this type of service and it was in my best interest to go to an attorney as opposed to buying legal software or trying to draft it myself. The attorney I selected was one that I would recommend to others and will definitely turn to in the event that I need to amend my living will. He was very down to earth and did a great job of explaining everything to me.
I feel better knowing that I have excellent legal services available to me if and when they are needed. Thanks ARAG!"
Patty Smith protects her college-age daughter from a landlord dispute.Text Only
Landlord DisputeText Only
"I guess the most valuable time when ARAG came in handy for me was when my daughter went away to college. After her freshman year, she didn't want the dorm life any more. Two of her friends found a condo with her and they wanted to rent the condo. And no one wanted their name on the lease except my daughter. She signed it and everybody moved in, splitting a $900 rent three ways which wasn't bad, utilities three ways - none of this was bad, it was cheaper than the dorm.
Midway through the semester, one of the girls was flunking out and her parents made her move back home. And I don't remember what the other girl's reason was, but she left also. My daughter was on the hook for the full $900 a month, and all utilities. Which is really me being on the hook because I was still supporting her.
ARAG helped me find a lawyer near where I work who specializes in tenant law and leases and landlord law. He pointed out a paragraph that said that it was an agreement to sign a lease at a future date and if she chose not to do that her penalty was one month's rent. Well, I had already done that six consecutive months. He helped me draft a letter that very day pointing out that there was a clause that said the penalty is one month's rent if you don't sign a formal lease.
When my daughter was able to move out of the condo, it was a sense of relief for me, it was causing a great hardship on my whole family to be able to do this.
If you're a parent and you have a child going away to college, you need to consider this plan to cover them. It's just as important as having renter's insurance or health insurance for a child going off to college.
Let them have that card with them, let them know that they have that protection, explain it them. You want them to go off with all the other tools to be successful in college and I feel that legal protection is one of those tools."
Sonya Zachary works with an ARAG Network Attorney to get help with an adoption.Text Only
"My husband and I, we got married in 2005. I have a daughter and he wanted to make sure she was a part of the family - he wanted to adopt her. The day of our marriage, my husband gave me my wedding ring. To my daughter's surprise, he presented her with a silver necklace with a heart. And he called her to him and made a promise to her and told her that with our marriage being complete, she's brought into the fold.
We didn't start the process of the adoption until June of that year. The plan was just like a heaven-sent because we needed to have the process started but we knew that it was going to be a lot of money.
So about halfway through the process we met with the judge and found out that she wanted to do a little more bit more investigating. Our attorney had to walk us through that because we were hoping that it would be finalized, but the judge wanted to do more due diligence.
Just in the last four days, everything's worked out where it's completed. We are moving forward with our lives and we are very happy."
West Palm Beach, FL
About ARAG Legal Plans
Learn the basics of the ARAG Legal Plan, watch the video.Text Only
About ARAG Legal PlansText Only
Did you know 70% of Americans had a legal matter in the past year?
But don’t worry. The ARAG legal plan is here to protect you.
Similar to a health care plan, employees enroll as a benefit through their employer. Members have access to professional legal services, a nationwide network of attorneys, financial counselors, caregiving services and other valuable resources.
How much does it cost? The ARAG legal plan offers you and your family legal protection and peace of mind for about the same cost as a pizza delivered to your doorstep once a month.
Legal education, prevention and resolution combine to provide all you need in one comprehensive plan–the ARAG legal plan.
Before taking legal action educate yourself on your legal and financial rights. The ARAG legal plan provides you easy access to online educational tools like Do-It-Yourself Legal Documents and a Law Guide with hundreds of useful legal articles.
Prevent expensive legal troubles before they happen with estate planning documents, financial counseling and ID theft preventative services.
Should your matter require legal assistance, Network Attorneys are available over the phone, in-office or online to help you resolve legal issues involving your family, home, finances and auto.
Family legal matters could include a name change, adoption or divorce.
For your home, you can protect yourself from contractor disputes, landlord issues and selling your home.
Bankruptcy, foreclosures and IRS issues can also be covered to protect your personal finances.
Don’t forget about your auto. Protect yourself when buying a new or used car and from losing your driving license due to traffic violations.
Drive away…with peace of mind…knowing you have the legal protection you need – the ARAG legal plan.