Trust and Will Review: Affordable Online Estate Planning
Trust & Will is an affordable estate planning service that is a fraction of the price of what it would cost to work with a lawyer. It’s best for those who need a simple will, trust or nomination of a guardian completed.
It’s not exactly pleasant to talk about your mortality and what you want to happen after you pass, but it’s crucial to plan for this. Think of it as a way to help your loved ones figure out what to do with your assets, final arrangements and who will take care of your dependents.
Sure, having an estate plan drawn up can be complex and expensive if you hire a lawyer to do so. However, there are a bunch of online estate planning services, such as Trust & Will to help you create one–it’s much more affordable than you think.
Is Trust & Will worth your while? Read on to find out how it works and who it’s best suited for.
What is Trust & Will?
Trust & Will is an online service that provides legal information and forms to help you create estate planning documents. The intention is to help you streamline the estate planning experience so that you can protect your assets and health directives and make it more affordable.
All of Trust & Will’s documents have been created and verified by experienced estate planning attorneys–the company warns it’s not a substitute for a lawyer when it comes to complex estate planning matters. In as little as 15 minutes (20 minutes if you’re a couple), you can create legal and state specific estate planning documents customized to your needs.
How It Works
Trust & Will offers a few levels of service for your estate planning needs and each one guides you through what information you’ll need to provide in order to create your will. All of this is completed online.
Once you sign up for an account, you’ll need to answer questions including:
- Listing and allocating assets
- Naming a beneficiary or beneficiaries
- Designating guardians for pets or minor children
- Funeral or burial requests
- Power of attorney
- Living will
Once complete, Trust & Will sends a copy of your documents by mail so you can get them notarized offline. You can also update your documents at any time and Trust & Will keeps tracks of changes to laws in your state. If you’re not satisfied with your documents you can get a refund within 30 days of purchase.
Unfortunately, Trust & Will isn’t available in Missouri, North Carolina or Washington.
Trust & Will Features
There are three different plans to choose from:
- Wills – A will has plans for your medical-related or estate directions. It’ll need to go through probate. Documents you’ll create include a last will and testament and medical power of attorney.
- Trusts – This type of estate plan lets you transfer your assets. It can be faster than the probate system with a will. Some of the trust documents you’ll create are a schedule of assets, revocable living trust, pour over will, living will and HIPAA authorization.
- Nomination of Guardian – This plan is for those who aren’t ready to create a full estate plan but want to ensure that minor children are taken care of. You’ll also get a living will and HIPAA authorization included.
How Much Does It Cost to Use Trust & Will?
Cost depends on the plan you choose:
- Wills – Individual ones are $69 and for an additional $10 you can add a spouse.
- Trusts – Individual ones start at $399 and an additional $100 to add a spouse.
- Nomination of Guardians – Individual ones are $39 and adding an additional spouse costs an extra $10.
Once you receive your documents, you’ll need to notarize them to be legal. Costs will vary. You can also update your documents for one year for free. Afterwards, you can get unlimited updates for $10 a year.
Pros and Cons
- Cost effective: Using Trust & Will is much cheaper than hiring a lawyer to create estate planning documents.
- Convenient: You can complete the entire process online in as little as 20 minutes since you don’t need to consult a lawyer.
- Not available nationwide: Trust & Will is currently available Nationwide, besides North Carolina.
- May not be for those with more complex situations: If you have more unique circumstances such as blended families, complicated or high net worth assets, Trust & Will mentions you should seek the advice of an attorney.
- Cannot replace legal advice: Although Trust & Will’s estate planning documents use attorneys and legal experts, it doesn’t replace working with one. If you need advice or more personal experience, you’ll need to consult an attorney.
Alternatives to Trust and Will
Tomorrow offers wills for free and you can create one right from your smartphone. This legal will has been created by over 52 attorneys across the U.S. However, it doesn’t offer more comprehensive documents such as trusts and power of attorney.
Customers can speak with an attorney before deciding which type of documents are best for them and other questions about the estate planning process with Legalzoom. Then, you’ll fill out a questionnaire and download completed documents along with instructions on how to make them legally binding. LegalZoom allows free updates for up to one year.
Who is Trust & Will Best For?
Creating estate planning documents are for most people, not just the wealthy or people in their golden years. Anyone who owns assets (especially large ones like a house), is married, has children or pets should seriously consider creating a will or a trust.
Will & Trust are best for those who want a convenient way to complete their estate planning documents and are worried about costs. It’s also best for those who don’t have a lot of complicated assets or family situations, as documents provided by Trust & Will may not address all of them.
Is It Worth Using Trust and Will?
If you don’t want to pay for a costly lawyer to create simple estate planning documents, then going to Trust & Will is a great choice. Doing so can also save you time considering it’ll only take up to 20 minutes to complete your documents. However, if you have more complex situations–such as stepchildren or multiple marriages–then Trust & Will may not be the best choice. That’s because it does not take the place of advice from an experienced lawyer.