What is LegalShield?
LegalShield, formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, markets a membership program that offers pre-paid legal plans and identity theft protection. I like to think of the program as a type of insurance with easy access to legal help, especially in the event of an emergency. The latter of which was my main reason for subscribing to their program.
A Real Estate transaction and a dying parent
It’s January of 2022. My parents have moved into a care home and I’m in the process of helping them sell the half duplex where they lived for the past 35 years.
During the morning of Sunday, January 09 I receive notice that my father has been taken to the hospital with a lung infection and isn’t expected to make it.
By Monday morning we had received three offers on the house and need to make a decision regarding which one to accept. Since Dad is too sick to sign, we need to enable the Power of Attorney process that Dad had set up many years ago.
Enter Foisy Law, St. Albert
Foisy Law is a legal firm based in St. Albert, Alberta. They are the law firm assigned to me by LegalShield.
On Tuesday, January 11, I reach out to Foisy Law to submit a request for help with the Power of Attorney paperwork. The lady who answered the phone had difficulty finding my membership. After some difficulty with the computer system a file is created and I’m told someone will get back with me before close of business.
By the afternoon of Wednesday, January 12, I hadn’t heard back from Foisy Law so I make a follow-up call. The male who answered the phone couldn’t find my request in the computer system. Since I didn’t have a file number, another request was generated.
Dad passes away
Thursday morning I check my phone and find an SMS telling me that Dad has passed away. Since I’m now extremely irritated that Foisy Law hasn’t returned any of my calls I decide to contact a different law firm, unrelated to Foisy Law or the LegalShield program.
I reach out again to Foisy Law and am told they can’t talk to me and that my file has been transferred to the Conflict Department of LegalShield and they will let me know which law firm my case has been referred to.
FOISY LAW: Incompetent meatheads
One of your first tasks is to determine if there’s a conflict with taking my case. Why didn’t you tell me there was a conflict when I initiated my request?
LegalShield Conflict Line
No word from LegalShield regarding where my file was transferred so I reach out to the Conflict Line. I’m unable to reach anyone. Only a weird outgoing message saying they’re closed or unavailable.
I call the regular LegalShield help line and find out Conflict is unavailable due to the American holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Yet another bit of stupidity: I’m in Canada dealing with a Canadian law firm and have to face yet another delay due to an American holiday.
It is now Saturday, January 22 as I write this and still no contact from LegalShield or their conflict line.
Foisy Law dropped the ball big time by not telling me right away about the potential conflict with them helping me.
One of the first thing a law firm is supposed to do when a request is submitted is check for conflict of interest to make sure they aren’t already representing one of the parties on a different matter.
It is my opinion that Foisy Law messed up and caused me undue delay and stress by not telling me right away about potential conflict.
As often happens with American firms, LegalShield are a big dumb company not prepared to do business in Canada. Among other things, I shouldn’t have to be delayed by an American holiday when the matter involved has no dealings outside the province of Alberta.
My final verdict is I recommend against LegalShield for Canadians. In fact the person who recommended LegalShield to me and I have both canceled our memberships as the result of this debacle.