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ARAG A-to-Z Legal Issues Guide


ARAG plan members from across the country have experienced a wide-range of planned and unplanned legal matters. Thankfully these members were empowered with a legal plan from ARAG and able to rectify …

ARAG plan members from across the country have experienced a wide-range of planned and unplanned legal matters. Thankfully these members were empowered with a legal plan from ARAG and able to rectify their matters. In the following pages you will read members’ real-life stories, see the multitude of uses with the plan, and learn how members were able to get their lives back on track.

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  • 1. A TO Z MEMBER TESTIMONIALS Empowerment and EducationPlanning and Prevention Resolution and Insurance Protection
  • 2. A Special Thank You...To all of our members who submitted stories during the MyStory Campaign, ARAG® is deeply inspired by your passion about the plan and honored to have played an important role in helping protect your families, finances and futures. These stories remind all of us why we work so hard to provide affordable legal protection to all. Copyright ©2009 ARAG1
  • 3. ARAG plan members from across the country have experienced awide-range of planned and unplanned legal matters. Thankfully thesemembers were empowered with a legal plan from ARAG and able torectify their matters.In the following pages you will read members’ real-life stories, see themultitude of uses with the plan, and learn how members were able toget their lives back on track.A to Z Legal MattersA Adoption N Name ChangeB Bankruptcy O Obstructing MovementC Contractor Dispute P Property ProtectionD Divorce Q Quit Claim DeedE Eldercare R Rental IssuesF Follow-up Calls or Letters S Separation AgreementG Guardianship T TrustsH Home Purchase U Unpaid Traffic TicketsI Immigration Assistance V ViolenceJ Just-In-Case W WillsK Kids (Adoption and Custody) X eXplore Legal OptionsL Living Will Y Young Son’s Name ChangeM Medical Bills Z Zzzzz’s (A Better Night Sleep)Note: Select “My Stories” from ARAG legal plan members were rewritten due tospacing requirements. For more stories, please visit 2
  • 4. Adoption A “I was lucky and blessed enough to receive the phone call asking…’Do you and your husband still entertain the thought of adopting?’ I was so stunned that I said, ‘well, let me talk to him and I’ll get back to you.’ Of course, we called back and said, ‘absolutely, if this has been all thought through and thebiological parents are positive that this is something that they are for sure they wantto do.’ I was told, yes, it’s a for sure thing... call your lawyer and see what needs to bedone.Well, needless to say, I was not sure where to go from here, since it was all going tobe a private, non-contested adoption. I contacted a lawyer on the ARAG list andthey were very helpful! They directed me to the proper resources to meet all of thequalifications, and walk me through all of the steps over the next 3 months waitingfor him to be born. This for me was a very emotional time in my life. I really did notthink I would ever be a mom in my lifetime, and the thought that the biologicalmom could change her mind at any time had me in a tail spin.My lawyer covered all bases to protect me and they had me prepared for anythingand everything that would happen or anything that could possibly go wrong. Withall of their help and support, the adoption was finalized last month! My son is now 7months old, happy and thriving! Our family could not be any happier! ARAG and myattorney helped with such a huge chapter in our lives. I don’t think they will everknow how much we appreciate all of the support and help to make our familycomplete!”Anonymous3
  • 5. Bankruptcy B“I was having financial difficulty and had to file bankruptcywhen I decided to call and talk to someone. I told ARAG that oneof my creditors was garnishing my wages and I wondered what Ican do. Being my husband is disabled and my income pays thebills, I began to panic. I thought I had put the creditor on mybankruptcy and later found out that I didn’t. ARAG told me to call the creditor and talk to them. After speaking to my creditor and ARAG many times I felt there was nothing I could do. After several weeks I found out that since I had filed bankruptcy recently the judge closed my case and the creditor had to pay back all the money they had garnished. The creditor was upset and they didn’t want to send the money right away so I then calledARAG again, after speaking to someone else I started calling the courts within acouple of days I received all the money they owed me. If it wasn’t for ARAG Iwouldn’t have known what to do. Thanks for all your help on this. I couldn’t havedone it without you.”Kathy M.Buena Park, California 4
  • 6. Contractor Dispute C “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 beenworking for them.The dispute between the two companies apparently involved a handshakeagreement that had fallen apart. But when it fell apart and what the original dealhad been – I didn’t know. All I knew was thatI had 2 different companies demanding I paythem $22,000.Luckily I had enrolled in the ARAG legalinsurance program through work. I called thefor a free phone consultation and laid out thefacts as I knew them. The attorney told methat this could get tricky and that I needed tohave a local attorney working for me. Shesent me a list of lawyers in my area and theirspecialties, and I soon met with my new attorney. He advised me that if I paid eithercompany, the other could go after me for the same amount – and because of aloophole 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 werestuck 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 justbefore we were set to move back into our rebuilt home, [Attorney] called with thegood news: He had worked out an agreement to let us pay into an escrow accountthat the two companies could keep fighting over. That meant we could enjoymoving 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’dlike to say that was the end of the story and that we lived happily ever after. But thestory took an unfortunate turn last month: Our house flooded again during TropicalStorm Fay’s assault on Florida. I don’t know what’s ahead for us this time, but at leastwe have ARAG on our side again.”David C.Debary, Florida5
  • 7. Divorce D“I began my first day of employment and as I signed up for mybenefits online, a woman I had not yet met, was standing in thedoorway of my office. “Sign up for that legal insurance’ – it is thebest thing I ever did! I had no idea that the click of my mouse tosign up for ARAG Legal Insurance would be the best thing I haveever done.Life is uncertain and unexpected surprises are around every corner – good and bad.I was in for a roller coaster ride one year after my first day of work, my husband andlove of eight years asked me for a divorce. I knew I needed a lawyer and I e-mailedARAG for a list of network attorneys in my area. At a time of complete devastation inmy personal life, ARAG truly came to my aid. I found a lawyer on the list and shewas absolutely wonderful through the entire process.My legal insurance covered all of my expenses. All I paid to my lawyer was the $320filing fee to be submitted to the County Court. I must have saved myself somewherebetween $5,000 and $10,000 in lawyer feesalone. And, beyond the money I saved byusing ARAG, I felt very comfortable with mylawyer and she and her team were behind me100%.ARAG, in my opinion, is invaluable. Handsdown, the best decision I have made in my life.Since this experience, I have now switchedjobs – and the first thing I did as I signed up forbenefits was click my mouse to select ARAG Legal Insurance.”Elise B.Carlsbad, California 6
  • 8. Eldercare E About two year’s ago Christian’s wife’s grandmother was going through a pretty rough time. Not only had her husband died recently, but she was having a hard time keeping up on chores and daily housework. She desperately did not want to give up her freedom by going into assisted living, but needed help.Then the family had an idea. The basement of the grandmother’s house was largeenough to double as an apartment and they could hire a live-in nurse who couldhelp during the day. And the nursewould have his/her own space forrelaxation and privacy. This way costs “...the resources available throughwould be reduced with room and ARAG give me the same ability asboard being paid for and the going to a whole army of lawyersgrandmother could remain in her own across several legal disciplines, withhome. greater flexibility and a tiny fraction of the cost.”Christian did some research on theARAG web site and found an eldercaredocument to outline costs,responsibilities and duties of the live-in nurse. It gave his family the peace of mindthey needed that the caretaker would follow all state and country regulations.The next step was to call an ARAG Customer Care Specialist to get in touch with anattorney about renting the basement to the live-in nurse. After a few short hours,Christian was in contact with an attorney who understood both the eldercare andlandlord-tenant laws. By the end of the week all of the paperwork was ready for thelive-in nurse to agree to and sign.The nurse and her son moved in shortly thereafter and the grandmother wasallowed to keep her freedom but had the security of help near by. If it had not beenfor ARAG, Christian’s wife’s grandmother would not have been able to live in herhome and receive the care she needed.Christian P.Castle Rock, Colorado7
  • 9. Follow-up Calls or Letters F“I had purchased a custom color hutch/work center for my thirdfloor apartment in San Francisco. To my surprise, when it cametime for delivery, we discovered that the only way to get thishutch into my apartment was to have it hoisted via an outsidewindow. This would be a huge cost, and at this point in time, Iwanted to return the item.The store, of course, would not hear of this. You see, I had ordered a specific color ofwood and my order was considered “custom”. I called several times to no avail. Thiswent on for over 6 months. Then I remembered the ARAG service and made a call tothe telephone attorneys. The attorney I spoke with suggested I write a letter and heprovided me with some key phrases and words to use in the content. Lo andbehold, I was credited the $1600 to my account within a week’s time. Not only did Iget my money back, which I could not afford to lose, but it also eased tensions athome! I LOVE this service!”Meryl D.San Francisco, California 8
  • 10. Guardianship (and More) G “I originally enrolled in ARAG to do my estate planning (wills, living trust, etc.). A couple of years later, I married my husband, Steve. ARAG was there protecting us when Steve’s child support was recalculated(six times) because his ex-wife couldn’t accept that my income didn’t count in theequation.ARAG was there for us again when my grandson suddenly found himself in need ofa guardian.Then, after many years of searching, my husband and I found our dream home.ARAG was there for us again, providing us a list of well qualified real estate attorneysto help us with our contract.ARAG provides my family the services we need to live in today’s world.”Barbara W.Norman, Oklahoma9
  • 11. Home Purchase H“I have been a member of ARAG for many years, and one of thebenefits I have enjoyed is the enormous amount of money myhusband and I saved in closing costs in 2001 on the purchase ofour first home. After the initial contract signing, I contacted ourARAG attorney to represent us in this real estate transaction. Ourexperience with out attorney throughout the entire process was very professionaland informative. He answered all of our questions and dispelled any concerns wemay have had. He also ensured that all the necessary paper work was completed in time for our closing on April 30, 2001. Because of our attorney’s professionalism, we have continued to use him for our other New Jersey real estate transactions. I also appreciated the fact that by using the services provided by ARAG, my stress level was greatly reduced. I have called your Customer Service on numerous occasions, and was always satisfied with the response(s)provided by your Customer Care Specialist(s).”Dawn G.Edison, New Jersey 10
  • 12. Immigration Assistance I Three weeks before his wedding, Shaun and his fiancé were busy making last minute wedding preparations. The one thing that was different than other couples preparing for marriage was that Shaun’s fiancé was not an American citizen. Not only were they dealing with the pressures of planning a wedding, honeymoonand their life together, but they had to navigate the immigration process as well.Shaun was a member of the ARAG legal plan and got in touch with an immigration attorney. Soon they realized that traveling internationally for their honeymoon would prove to be difficult and could result in his fiancé not being about to be let back into the United States. After finding out the helpful information, the couple changed their honeymoon to Florida to forgo the headaches. With the help of ARAG, Shaun’s fiancé is in the process of becoming a United States citizen. They credit the assistance and information they received from ARAG to help with the process.Shaun H.Parkesburg, Pennsylvania11
  • 13. Just-In-Case J“Our story is not unusual or newsworthy but one of finallygetting something very important in life done. We signed up forARAG years ago via my company benefits and weren’t exactlysure why other than we had legal assistance as insurance for the‘Just-in-Case.’ Well, our tale is not an exciting one for the ‘just-in-case’ but it is one where we took advantage of what we were paying for and gotsomething in exchange settled.ARAG allowed us the legal resources at our fingertips to finally get our Will andTestament done. We did this at no further cost to us other than a piece of our timeresulting in our peace of mind. Our ARAG lawyer was there to give us insight andknowledge of the process as well as answeredour questions that guided us through thisprocess. So now, with this documentprocessing behind us we have the will to liveright now; without the worry of the What If’sof tomorrow for our loved ones.”Kathi R.Cumming, GA 12
  • 14. Kids (Adoption and Custody ) K Pam and Eric met in 2000 Pam’s 4th Grade Daughter and were married shortly Recalls the Day’s Events: thereafter. Both bringing daughters into their “We had to get up early this married life, in 2004 Eric morning so we can go to court.made plans to adopt Pam’s biological We sat in traffic for a very longdaughter. With the help of ARAG, they were time. But we finally got to theable to find an attorney to complete the court house almost late. My momadoption process and make their family dropped me and my dad off atcomplete. the front so we wouldn’t be late and she went to park the car.Pam’s story doesn’t end there, a year later, one When we got into court the judgeof her step-daughters was having difficulty asked my dad some questionswith her biological mother. Pam called an and asked me some questionsARAG attorney to help assist with child and then asked my mom somecustody. Pam and Eric saved at least $10,000 questions. Then he said a bunchin fighting for the best interest of their of stuff I did not under stand anddaughter and received full custody. then he said that I was officially a Hagen and belonged to my dad. IIf it were not for ARAG they would have not was so happy I wanted to cry.been able to afford these services to make Then we got the paper work fromtheir daughters lives better. The help they down stairs and then went out toreceived changed their family for life. breakfast to celebrate and then my mom and dad dropped me off at school. I am so happy to havePam H. my dad really be my dad!”Aurora, Colorado13
  • 15. Living Will L“It is pretty simple; having an ARAG legal plan has opened myeyes to the legal world and has taken away the stress of trying tofigure things out. With an ARAG legal plan there is a lot of legwork that I do not have to deal with. I simply call or refer to a listof attorneys and then go from there. Being a mother of twoboys, I always have a full plate and this benefit has made a positive impact on mylife. I know that anytime I need legal assistance, reputable guidance is within myreach.So far I have met with three different attorneys, due to different matters and I feltreally good about all three attorneys that I met with. One specific meeting waspertaining to my living will. This is definitelyone of those tasks that I put off for years,because I didn’t know who to turn to and Ididn’t know if I really needed an attorney ornot. It turns out that I was covered to meetwith an attorney for this type of service and itwas in my best interest to go to an attorneyas opposed to buying legal software or tryingto draft it myself. The attorney I selected wasone that I would recommend to others andwill definitely turn to in the event that I need to amend my living will. He was verydown 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 whenthey are needed.”Gina R.Roseville, California 14
  • 16. Medical Bills M “This is a story of how being a member of the ARAG group plan helped me greatly in the most stressful of situations. In the Spring of 2004, my 11-year-old daughter, Danielle, was diagnosed with leukemia. Little did we know that the medical battle would be accompanied by a legal one as well.My family has comprehensive health insurance through my employer, a largecompany. The plan is clear that my out-of-pocket maximum for an individual in agiven year is $1,350.00.Soon after medical claims started, I startedreceiving medical bills with balances as highas $53,000.00, demanding payment withinone week! I contacted my health insurancecompany, who claimed that they were not inthe wrong. It soon became clear that I was ina standoff situation with my health insurancecompany. I contacted an ARAG lawyer, andset up an appointment. I was able to have several discussions with him about mysituation, all covered by my ARAG policy. My attorney helped me understand myrights, and helped me draft letters to the insurance company’s grievance andappeals department. My attorney also assured me that I was in the right, and ‘eitherthey will come around, or we’ll sue them and they’ll put your daughter throughcollege.’My attorney’s words and actions were of great relief. In the end, once the insurancecompany saw that we were building the case for a suit, they started paying theclaims. I am happy to report that my daughter’s leukemia is in complete remission,and I have not paid one penny more than my due for her medical treatments.I recommend ARAG coverage to anyone when the opportunity arises.”Jeffrey G.West Chester, Ohio15
  • 17. Name Change NDionne and her husband were married in July of 2001, bringingDionne’s daughter and her husband’s two children into theirfamily. All of them, except for Dionne’s daughter, had the samelast name. This often caused confusion when others asked themabout their family. They all wanted to be looked at as a familyand wanted to eliminate the questions. To do so, they needed help in changing theirdaughter’s last name to be the same as the rest of the family.Normally, a name change may have cost thefamily at least $1,100. However, as a member ofthe ARAG legal plan, Dionne contacted aNetwork Attorney and was able to get thedaughter’s name change by just paying themonthly premium. And now they ALL carrythe proud name, and feel like a family withthe help from ARAG.Dionne D.Miami, Florida 16
  • 18. Obstructing Movement O In July of 2008, a main road in Chris’s home town was shut for construction. Unfortunately, all of the traffic was detoured onto their residential street. This street was known to have children playing and be a quiet street in the neighborhood. But with the detour, cars were whizzing into theneighborhood at 50 mph or more. Chris was concerned,and put a trash can in the road with a sign saying, “Pleaseslow down, children at play.”Chris was told by a police officer that the trash can wouldneed to be removed, as it was “Obstructing Movement.”Chris moved the trash can and didn’t think much of it. Twoweeks later, Chris saw his name in the paper as being“arrested and charged with Obstructing Movement.” Thepolice officer would not back down on the charges, soChris contacted ARAG. Shortly after Chris was in contactwith an attorney who found that there was a statute which allowed for “temporarybarriers implemented for public safety.” The charges were dropped and Chris savedhundreds of dollars with the help of ARAG.Chris B.Los Alamos, New Mexico17
  • 19. Property Protection P“I have been a member of the ARAG legal plan through myemployer for years. I consider it the very best value in my fringebenefits package because with legal care, acting proactively is agreat value.Among the issues that ARAG has helped me address... has beenhow to prepare for hurricanes and their potential damage. My private residence adjoinsa condo property and we had a large fichus tree that was in our yard but right on theproperty line/fence... I could only trim the tree back on my side of the fence and heavylimbs 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 andasking them to cut the tree on their side as I was cutting it on mine. I was afraid that theuneven load might push the tree over into the condo property in a potentialwindstorm. Unfortunately, the condo association ignored my request and notmore than six weeks later a hurricane indeed came throughMiami and the tree fell over onto one of the condohomes.My first reaction was relief that I had put them on noticewith [my attorney’s] assistance. When I reached her byphone, she was able to assure me that the fallen tree was notgoing to be our obligation to remove under the Florida law inparticular since I had sent notice of the potential for thisoutcome. The condo association instead of removing the part ofthe tree that fell across into their common areas had a tractorpush 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’slegal counsel and advise them that... they were still responsible for the part of the treethat had fallen on to their property which of course my attorney had advised me tophotograph. With my attorney’s assistance, we and the condo association were able tocome to an agreement on how to share the costs for the tree’s removal and for therepair of the boundary fence.ARAG and my attorney enabled me to see my way through a stressful situation andbring it to a comfortable conclusion for all parties. I remain a member and I intend tocontinue. 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.”Christine R.Miami, Florida 18
  • 20. Quit Claim Deed (and More) Q “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 noteswhen I have lent money to friends and neighbors, had my will testament, living trustfor my children and power attorney set up and Im only 33 years old.I had a quit claim deed completed. I have been able to learn how to make my ownbill of sales for cars that I have sold throughout the years. I learned how to writecomplaint 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 hadrented an apartment and sent my landlord letters of repair that if I didn’t have ARAGmight not have been completed.I feel empowered by ARAG – I am no longer being taken advantage of. It hasprovided me with the tools to become a better person and expand my horizons.”Alejandra R.North Lake, Illinois19
  • 21. Rental Issues RPatricia’s daughter signed a lease for a condo while in college.The monthly rent of the condo was $900, but Patricia was okaywith this as two other girls were going to live there and share the rent. Thus, $300 was very affordable for the three girls. The problems started when Patricia’s daughter was the only girl to sign the lease. Three months into the year lease, the two other girls moved out without notice. Since Patricia’s daughter was the only one to sign the lease, she was responsible for the whole$900 a month rent. Patricia did what she could to help out including cash advancesto make ends meet.Patricia called ARAG to find an attorney who specialized in tenant/landlord laws.After meeting with an attorney only one mile from her work, Patricia was glad tofind out the lease wasn’t valid. The attorney helped her write a letter to the ownerciting the facts about the lease making it invalid. Thankfully, Patricia and herdaughter were not responsible for the remainder of the rent. Patricia and her familyare relieved that they got help so fast and that ARAG will be there for her and herfamily should they need assistance again.Patricia S.Duluth, Georgia 20
  • 22. Separation Agreement S “ARAG provided tremendous benefits to me during a highly stressful time in my life. In 2006 I was going through a marital separation and had completed mediation about 9 months prior to having the ARAG benefits available to me. Our mediation agreement was just sitting there… neither my ex-wife nor I hadtaken the next step to finalize a separation agreement and move on with our lives.Even though we had a mediated agreement and we tried to move to a separationagreement, her attorney wanted to change the terms to better suit her personalneeds. I felt like my life was in a complete state of ‘limbo’ and I didn’t know how tomove forward.Then I found a great attorney in my area by searching the list of available attorneyson the ARAG site. I met with her and within another 3 months we had completedthe terms to my satisfaction and had a completed separation agreement. It truly feltlike the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders and the best part was thatthe entire process was almost free!The cost for the ARAG program per paycheck is extremely low and I can honestly sayit was probably the best value I’ve ever received for a service that was so importantto my life and well being. The ARAG program literally saved me thousands of dollarsduring this highly stressful time in my life. Thank you ARAG for standing behind meand offering your service.”Tim S.Clifton Park, New York21
  • 23. Trusts T“One moment you are a vibrant, hard-working father andhusband with responsibilities and dreams ahead of you, and in asingle moment your life changes forever. At forty-five years ofage, my husband Greg was diagnosed with sinonasalundifferentiated carcinoma, an extremely rare and aggressiveform of head and neck cancer. During the past six months of undergoing surgeryand treatment, we had managed to provide ourselves with a basic will and durable powers of attorney thanks to the assistance of close personal friends. Now we decided it was time to create something more permanent to protect both our children and ourselves legally and financially. At this point, we contacted an ARAG associated attorney in Woodland, California. As a carpenter and an elementary school teacher, both Greg and myself found the idea of creating a trust and managing all the necessary paperwork to be daunting, especially at this particular point in ourjourney with cancer. From the first phone call, our attorney has provided instructiveyet delicate guidance throughout this process. While remaining sensitive to Greg’smedical and health limitations and working around my own hectic teachingschedule, he has shared his expertise and insight, and has helped us create anirrevocable trust designed to minimize and protect our family as we wait and seewhat each new day brings.Thank you to my ARAG Attorney and the professionals at ARAG, for keeping us ‘safe’during this challenging time!”Carol M.Matthews, North Carolina 22
  • 24. Unpaid Traffic Tickets U “It was the first week of January, 2008 when I left my wallet in a bus. It contained my Driver’s License, credit cards, employee ID and over $250 cash. Adding insult to injury, the DMV refused to give me a replacement Driver’s License ID because I was ineligible due totwo tickets I received about 15 years ago.One thing led to another; I moved out of state, completelyforgetting about tickets, only to find that the NY DMV did not. Iwas gravely concerned because public transportation is an issue, I occasionally runerrands for my office and I am a volunteer for emergency disasters so a valid driver’slicense is required in my position. All of my research for fees showed an average of$700-$900; not including the possible fines. All this, to have a representative andthey weren’t even lawyers. I never thought of ARAG, being a member for so manyyears because I never had a need. I was delighted to find that ARAG not onlyhandles traffic issues but, their attorneys are located nationally.I called the 800 # and I was immediately sent a list of ARAG attorneys to my email.Before long, I found an attorney close to the city where I received my personal invitation to either pay the tickets or show up at court. My attorney was very professional, courteous, returned calls and was caring. She instructed me on what I needed prior to her appearing for me. My driving records and all other pertinent information were sent to her and as soon as she had the information; she made arrangements to appear and the charges were dropped. I really feel that she did her job very well and if I ever need ARAG again, I feel confident the job will be doneconscientiously and in a timely manner. It really pays to be a member of ARAG, theysaved me time, money and the most stressful moments melted away. If I ever needlegal services again they will be the first I call, and not the last.”Miriam O.San Diego, California23
  • 25. Violence (Domestic) V“Ten years ago, I had no idea how purchasing my ARAG LegalPlan would protect my life. I began my teaching career in 1998,and my employer offered the ARAG plan as a benefit. The intentwas to purchase the plan for incidentals such as traffic tickets.However, the ARAG plan turned out to be even more valuable.Shortly after I began my teaching career, I began to experience domestic violence inmy marriage. I suffered physical harm and was emotionally exhausted. Feeling as if Ihad no way to pay for a divorce and nowhere to go with my two small girls, I stayedin my destructive marriage. The situation had gotten to a point where I had to moveinto a battered women’s shelter.Finally, I thought I would try to use my plan to help me get out. ARAG proved to be agreat decision. I used the plan to locate a participating attorney. The attorney wasexcellent in working my case, and the attorney’s office took care of all of the filing.All I had to do was get out of my tormenting situation. I do not know what my lifewould have been like if I did not have the ARAG plan. The ARAG planned helped meget out of a domestic violence situation, and I was able to change my life around forthe better.”Constance S.Lawrenceville, Georgia 24
  • 26. WillW “My wife and I had the mindset that we were too young to have a Will. We have lost people that were close to us but were taking the notion of dying out of our picture. We have two kids and are having fun playing, learning and growing with them. They are our lives. We could not imagine any pain that can come to them,from any bumps or bruises to any loss like one of their parents.My business offered the Legal Plan that included sitting with an attorney to workthrough a Will. Again we did not really want to work through this process because itis talking about dying for either one of us. We were doing this for our kids. It wouldhard to go through any death of a parent at any age. My wife lost her Dad but it wasat a point where my wife was an adult and had somewhat of an understanding thatdying is a part of living. As a child, most of them do not understand that kind oflogic. That was one thought for not wanting to go through with getting a Will. Wethen thought about how much harder it might be if something did happen to usand our kids were not given the proper care or direction in life. We started to thinkthat way and it added more value in getting a Will put together just for our kidsfuture. Nothing may happen to us for our kids to worry about but we can at leasthave a little bit of comfort knowing that there is one less fear.”Geoff N.Omaha, Nebraska25
  • 27. X e plore Legal Options XLeslie signed up for ARAG since she first joined her company.She never knew there was even a legal benefit before andthought it would only be used when you were in trouble withthe law. However, once she logged on to the ARAG Legal BenefitWeb Site, she found helpful resources and excellent customerservice.While on the web site, Leslie found information on her credit card debt, patentinformation and basic information on parking tickets. ARAG also helped Leslie as shethought about divorce. She was embarrassed and ARAG Customer Care Specialistswere able to find the help she needed. Timewent by and Leslie decided to stop thefiling for her divorce and ARAG helped herunderstand she was not legally bound tocontinue with the divorce if she did notwant to.ARAG helped Leslie know all theinformation she needed to make thebest and timely decisions for her andher family. And now Leslie and herhusband are still happily marriedwith a young son.Leslie S.Moreno Valley, California 26
  • 28. Young Son’s Name Change Y “The father of my youngest son refused to pay child support. One day my youngest son asked, if we were divorced than why was he Rios and we, meaning his brother and I were Roybal. He requested I change his last name. I had the legal insurance and requested a consultation with an attorney. All the paper workwas submitted.On the day we appeared in front of the Judge, my son was asked what was thereason for his request. He told the Judge that his father wanted nothing to do withhim and he wanted to have the same last name as his mother and brother. TheJudge asked him if he intended to defraud the government. Not reallyunderstanding what the Judge meant by his question the look on his face made theJudge chuckle and he told the court how could an innocent face have badintentions and the name change was granted.”Marietta R.Santa Fe, New Mexico27
  • 29. Zzzzz’s (A Better Night’s Sleep) Z“I contacted ARAG to inquire on estate planning. I’m a singlemom and it was important to me to set up a plan for mydaughter in the event of my death. At 32 years old, it seemedtoo early to think to be creating a Will when I just had mydaughter 5 years ago. However, I knew it was smart to havepreparations in place to take care of Kendall and it insured a better night’s sleep!I referenced the ARAG web site, easily found the appropriate contact number andreached a very friendly and helpful ARAG representative. The Rep sent me a list ofattorneys within a couple hours. I set an appointment with theattorney close to home. The attorney workedwith ARAG to set up my account andpayments. The attorney explained theoptions of Wills, Trusts and plan costs. Ifelt at ease instantly with the attorneyand he made a depressing project anaccomplishment I’m proud of!”Nicole B.Kalamazoo, Michigan 28
  • 30. Legal Term IndexA LAdoption, 3, 13 Living Will, 14B MBankruptcy, 4 Medical Bills, 15C NCaregiving, 7 Name Change, 16, 27Child Custody, 13Child Support, 9, 24, 27 OComplaint Letter, 19 Obstructing Movement, 17Consumer Protection, 5, 8, 15 Online Legal Documents, 7, 19, 26Contractor Dispute, 5Contract Review, 10 P Property Protection, 18DDivorce, 6, 24, 26 QDomestic Violence, 24 Quit Claim Deed, 19Driving Privilege Protection, 23 RE Rental Issues, 20Eldercare, 7Estate Planning, 9, 28 S Separation Agreement, 21FFollow-up Calls, 4, 8 TFollow-up Letters, 8, 15, 18 Tenant Issues, 20 Traffic Tickets, 23G Trusts, 22Guardianship, 9 WH Will, 12, 25, 28Home Purchase, 9, 10IImmigration, 1129
  • 31. Insurance products are underwritten by ARAG® Insurance Company of Des Moines, Iowa, GuideOne®Mutual Insurance Company of West Des Moines, Iowa or GuideOne Specialty Mutual Insurance Companyof West Des Moines, Iowa. Service products are provided by ARAG LLC, ARAG Services LLC or AdvisoryCommunication Systems Inc, depending on the product and state. Some products are only availablethrough membership in the ARAG Association LC. This material is for illustrative purposes only and is nota contract. For terms, benefits or exclusions, call our toll-free number. 30
  • 32. ARAG P.O. Box 93180 Des Moines, Iowa 50393-3180 800-247-4184 800-383-4184 TTY 515-246-8710 Fax www.ARAGgroup.com173109