It's Time for Your Legal Checkup
Each year 57 million full-time working Americans experience some type of legal event. As a LegalShield member, you have a network of provider law firms in 50 states and 4 provinces in Canada to assist you and answer your legal questions. Certain legal matters can be avoided with careful planning and review. Use your LegalShield membership to take preventative action. The following information will help you review your estate plan, insurance coverage, credit report, contracts and more. If you have any questions, contact your LegalShield provider law firm. Your provider law firm information can be located on your LegalShield mobile app or through the “Ask Erin” feature on www.legalshield.com.
- Protect your family with a will. One of the greatest benefits of a LegalShield membership is the will package. Even if you already have a will, your benefits include a yearly review to make sure your information is accurate and up to date. The process of obtaining your will begins with completing the LegalShield will questionnaire. You can complete the will questionnaire via the LegalShield app (download for iOS or Android). You may also obtain a copy of the questionnaire by logging into the member’s only portal contacting LegalShield or your provider law firm. The LegalShield provider law firms use the information you provide to develop an estate plan that meets your specific needs. If you have questions as you complete the questionnaire, please call your provider firm and speak with an attorney.
- Get a living will or healthcare power of attorney. A living will, sometimes known as a health care declaration or advance directive, is a legal document that allows you to specify in writing the kinds of life-sustaining treatments you are or are not willing to receive should you become incapacitated. A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent or proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf. Unlike a general durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney is limited to medical decisions only. The laws where you live will determine which forms will best protect your wishes. It is always important to discuss your wishes with your family and your health care providers. If you need assistance or have any questions, contact your LegalShield provider law firm today.
- Review your insurance coverage. The Insurance Information Institute reports that in tough financial times many people switch insurance companies to lower their premiums, but do not fully understand the limits of the lower priced coverage. Some individuals drop portions of their insurance to save money or cancel the policy in its entirety because they can no longer cover the cost. You need to periodically review your policies to ensure they cover the essential investments in your property, changes in your life and recent purchases. Do not wait until after you suffer a loss. Contact your LegalShield provider law firm today and put your mind at ease by having an attorney review the terms of your insurance contracts.
- Review your credit report. Your credit reports include information on your residence; whether you pay your bills on time and whether you have been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. The credit reporting companies sell your information to a number of entities you may deal with, including creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses. Therefore, errors or an unfavorable report may affect your employment. It may also make it difficult or impossible to obtain life or casualty insurance or to obtain favorable premiums. In the United States, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that the three consumer credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—provide you with a free copy of their credit reports once every 12 months. You can order your free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers Canadians online resources on how to obtain and understand your credit reports.
- Watch for signs of identity theft. Large scale hacks have target some of the largest retailers and financial institutions. So the chances of your personally identifying information being exposed are great. There are still some precautions you can take. Be wary of sharing personal information over the phone or email, especially if you’ve received an unsolicited communication (even if you do regular business with the organization). Many scammers pose as representatives of trusted businesses. Do not leave personal financial documents out in the open or anywhere you cannot limit access. If you are already an IDShield member, make sure that you have enrolled on www.myidshield.com. If you do not yet have an IDShield membership visit www.idshield.com to learn more.
- Have contracts reviewed by an attorney before you sign. Lawyers cannot change the past; NEVER sign a contract, lease or other agreement before you call your LegalShield attorney for review and advice. Contracts and other agreements are sometimes written to intentionally obscure the true meaning. Your LegalShield attorney can help you make sense of a contract, lease or other agreement to ensure you fully understand your obligations.