When you need legal assistance, it can be costly and stressful. That's why the union recently created a Legal Services Plan exclusively for UFT members that provides in-service members with access to attorneys who will assist them, for free or at discounted rates.
Lawyers from the national law office of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C., will help for free with preparing a will and other estate planning and a range of other personal legal matters including answering legal questions, writing letters and reviewing leases and other documents. There is a fee, at a discounted rate for UFT members, for more complex legal matters.
To access this legal plan, union members should call the UFT-dedicated line at 212-331-6325.
The UFT Legal Services Plan covers spouses or domestic partners who are living with the UFT member who is the plan participant as well as the member's unmarried, dependent children under the age of 19 (or under the age of 25 if the child is wholly dependent upon the plan participant for support and maintenance and is enrolled as a full-time student).
More than 11,000 members have taken advantage of these services since the UFT created the plan in 2020.
Retired Teachers Chapter Members have access to the UFT Legal Plan with an Elder Law Supplement, which is administered by the same law firm.
Free legal services under the Legal Services Plan include:
- Unlimited legal advice and consultation by phone. In matters such as consumer protection and credit resolution, a telephone call from an attorney is often the ideal solution.
- Two office consultations per calendar year concerning any new legal matter.
- As many legal letters written by an attorney on your behalf as needed.
- Review of car leases, promissory notes, retail sales agreements and other contracts or legal documents of up to 10 pages.
- Preparation of a will, a living will, the designation of a health care proxy and a power of attorney annually. Reciprocal wills are also prepared at no charge for spouses or domestic partners.
- A special needs trust or supplemental needs trust that can be incorporated into your will if you have a dependent with special needs.
- Assistance coping with identity theft, including legal advice on the laws governing this crime, the proper entities to contact to place a fraud alert and assistance with the formulation of dispute letters to affected agencies and creditors.
- Advice on alternatives to declaring bankruptcy, such as a creditor workout in situations of overwhelming debt. Where appropriate, the plan attorney may contact the creditor involved to discuss favorable alternatives to ever-mounting debt or collection litigation.
Other legal services provided at a reduced fee are:
- Representation and advice regarding elder law matters, either by the law firm itself or by a referral attorney.
- More complex trusts.
- Legal representation in a divorce.
Read more information about the UFT Legal Services Plan.