The Bottom Line: Trust and Will in the digital age offers an online, efficient, no-frills way to provide your family with estate planning peace-of-mind. Those looking for straightforward, low-cost entry into estate planning and/or legal guardians, especially new families and Boomers with no prior preparation.
Online Wills & Estate Planning
AT A GLANCE
- Start as low as $39
- Customized estate plans
- Fast, secure, & easy to use
- Outstanding customer reviews
Best online wills and estate planning platform
Pros & Cons
The digital revolution has taken firm hold of every sector and service imaginable.
One industry undergoing digital transformation is estate planning, an unpleasant but necessary service. Briefly, estate planning is the legal management and disposal of a person’s estate — their assets, or net worth — at the end of life.
Trust & Will is looking to modernize estate planning, making it far easier to find, create, and purchase a legally valid estate planning package — all without a lawyer or any legal knowledge.
To this end, the company offers three estate planning products: Wills, trusts, and legal guardians. For those new to estate planning, a will is a document that determines who inherits assets after death.
A trust, on the other hand is a legal vehicle that distributes assets before, at, or after death. The last product, a legal guardian, appoints a person to care for children in the event of a parent’s early death.
For many people, estate planning is not top-of-mind. In a recent study, AARP reported that only 4 in 10 Americans have some form of estate planning.
While 60% of the population lacks estate planning, one generation is especially unprepared: Millennials. The report continues, stating that 78% of people ages 18 to 36 have not prepared themselves should something terrible happen.
Trust & Will is offering a stress-free, low-cost solution to help families get started with estate planning. Most importantly, the company does not offer legal advice, and should not be used for those with more complex estate planning needs.
What is Trust & Will?
Trust & Will is an online-only service for creating, purchasing, and updating wills, trusts, and legal guardianship. The company targets first-time buyers who want to save time and money by purchasing online.
Trust & Will makes clear that they are not a law firm nor do they offer legal advice — the company simply provides information and legal forms.
Still in its second year, the company has grown quickly. Early on, Trust & Will partnered with Haven Life to offer a will service as part of Haven Life’s extras.
Although not the first entrant into the online legal document space, the company is targeting first-time buyers and younger families with less complex estates.
San Diego-based Trust & Will grew out of millennial co-founder Cody Barbo’s experience starting a family.
As Cody explains during an episode of Entrepreneur magazine’s Elevator Pitch, he couldn’t find estate planning that would grow with him “during these early stages of life”.
To this end, Cody and his two other co-founders — Brian Lamb and Daniel Goldstein — hatched a plan to offer digital estate planning.
The team formed the idea just weeks before attending Quick Pitch, a San Diego event aimed to jump-start local startups.
They took third place and founded the company shortly thereafter, in October of 2017. Not too long after the team was invited to the prestigious Techstars Anywhere accelerator, graduating in 2018.
Though still a small financial technology company, the firm has continued to hit important milestones. In January 2019 the company raised $1.5 million in seed funding from five early-stage venture capital funds.
Also in January 2019, the company delivered the first end-to-end digital will to a Nevada police officer.
The company continues to grow, offering online estate planning nationwide to two primary audiences: 25 - 45-year-old parents and Boomers.
Trust & Will competes against a variety of direct and indirect competitors, generally those focused on providing estate planning products or services to customers. There are two types of competitors: Direct and indirect.
Direct competitors offer online services that let you build and buy your estate planning documents.
Some of these services come with the option of including legal advice. Indirect competitors offer services in relation to estate planning, such as offline software, legal advice, or estate planning guides.
Trust & Will Features
Low Cost. Buy important estate planning documents at a fraction of the cost of traditional legal services.
Easy Online Purchase. Create and buy a will, trust, or legal guardian online with virtually no hassle.
Lawyer-approved. Legal documents created by a professional legal team.
30-Day Guarantee. Not satisfied? Get a full refund up to 30 days after purchase.
State-specific. Get a legal trust or will applicable to your state.
Built-in Guide. Create personalized legal documents easily.
Free Updates. Make changes or updates to your documents for free for an entire year.
Estate Planning in One Hour. Prepare the right legal documents for your family’s future in under one hour.
Free Mailed Copies. Make changes or updates to your documents for free for an entire year.
Online Customer Service. Email any time 9am – 5pm PST, M – F.
How Does Trust & Will Work?
Trust & Will is an online provider of legally valid estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, and legal guardians.
The system was created for customers who don’t have estate planning documents, who are intimidated by planning and need guidance, or those with reasonably simple estates that want to save money.
Trust & Will Costs
- Guardians - $39 for parents to create legal guardian for children (+$10 to add a spouse)
- Trusts - $399+ (+$100 to add a spouse)
- Wills - $69 (+$60 to add a spouse)
Each of the three products can be created and purchased online in less than one hour, even in less than 15 minutes for a straight-forward document like declaring a legal guardian for one’s children.
Below is a description of each product that Trust & Will offers.
A will (or testament) is a legal document that states how a person’s assets will be distributed after death and who will oversee (execute) the will.
A will is used to ensure that certain assets are left to the right people after a person’s passing. There are many types of wills, and for more information, it is best to consult legal advice and a more comprehensive review of a will (because it is complicated!)
Trust & Will offers a will product that can be purchased online. The price, as of this writing, is $69 for one person, and an extra $60 for a spouse.
Trust & Will has created state-specific wills, vetted by a team of legal experts. This means that no matter what your state requirements are, you can get a will that meets the legal requirements of the state for the price.
The will covers your final wishes for your dependents, your possessions, any assets, and your final arrangements.
You can also declare who will become guardians of your dependent children and pets. A will can probably be completed in under 30 minutes for most people. It contains a few important documents, including:
- Last Will and Testament
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization
- Living Will
A trust is usually created to distribute assets to a certain person or group on or around the time of death.
The assets are held with a third party that manages the assets on behalf of the owner of the assets, making sure that the assets are distributed per the owner’s requests.
Trusts have many benefits, including avoiding taxes or prolonged legal battles over assets, while deciding the terms of an inheritance.
There are many different types of trusts. For more information, seek out a more comprehensive review on trusts and check with legal advisors.
Trust & Will’s most expensive product is the trust, which costs $399 for one person and an additional $100 for a spouse.
The increased price is most likely due to the more complex nature of the trust. The trust is also state-specific and is guaranteed to meet the legal requirements of any US state.
Trusts are used to make sure that assets are divided up properly, avoiding probate court. The trust will take longer to complete, and on average should take one to two hours.
A trust comes with the following documents:
- Revocable Living Trust
- Schedule of Assets
- Pour Over Will
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization
- Living Will
For families with dependents, nominating a guardian is a crucial step in ensuring the children are taken care of in the event of a tragedy.
This document will specify who will become legal guardians of the children in the case of death. Trust & Will has again created a system that will build a state-specific document, meaning all you have to do is follow the system’s lead.
Guardians is the cheapest product, costing $39 for one adult, with a $10 fee to add a spouse.
Trust & Will markets this for those families considering estate planning, but not ready to work on either a will or an estate. This is a single document that should take less than 15 minutes to create.
For all three products, Trust & Will offers one year of free updates. Any update after the first year will cost extra.
What Are the Benefits of Each Product?
Will & Trust has created a helpful checklist for first-time buyers. While it can be challenging and a little scary to navigate estate planning, Trust & Will goes out of the way to make it easy and hassle-free.
Below are the benefits of each product.
Avoid probate court
Specify healthcare wishes
Nominate guardians for children
Nominate guardians for pets
Determine final arrangements
Leave specific gifts
Note special requests
Transfer assets into Trust
Assets go directly to beneficiaries
What Exactly Do I Get With Each Product?
1 year of unlimited updates
Unlimited updates after year 1
Review by Trust & Will
How to Get Started with Will & Trust
The signup process for Trust & Will is a breeze. In just a few steps, you can select and create a legal, state-specific estate plan.
Most estate plans can be created in about an hour or so. Follow along as we dive into the five steps to get started on Trust & Will.
Trust & Will understands that many of its customers will be first-time buyers, unsure of their estate planning needs.
With this in mind, the first step will be telling the system a few things about yourself, such as whether or not you have children and if you own a home.
Based on your answers in step one, you’ll be directed to what the Trust & Will system thinks are the right products for you.
This includes a list of the products available, what they do, and the costs.
The next step wants to know how far you’ve gotten in the estate planning process. Do you already have a living will or a trust?
This will make sure that all of your documents are in one place, with Trust & Will. You’ll be asked to update the documents you have.
After selecting your product and adding the documents you already have, you’ll move on to actually filling out the rest of the estate plan you’ve selected.
This could be one simple form, such as with the guardian product, or you may have to fill out detailed information about your assets, trustees, and final arrangements.
After you finish, you’ll have the chance to receive copies of your will or trust in the mail.
You can then log into the system any time to update your documents, free for one year and an extra cost after the first year.
Should You Do Your Estate Planning with Will & Trust?
Trust & Will has created a simple, hassle-free system that lets customers create, purchase, and maintain important estate planning documents.
The experience is 100% online, which means you can take your time, talk with friends and family, and buy when you are ready.
For the millions of Americans without any form of estate planning, this can be an easy, cost-effective way to get some sort of document in place to protect loved ones.
While few want to consider what might happen after death, estate planning is well worth the peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be cared for.
If you’ve resisted creating an estate plan, then Trust & Will might be the right product for you. No more worrying about lawyers or complicated legal requirements — even state-by-state estate planning requirements.
The Trust & Will team keeps digital copies of your documents for updating while offering you both digital and physical copies at no charge.
This is great, knowing that you have access to the documents any time you need, including a paper backup.
All in all, Trust & Will offers good products at a reasonable price. They have made it easy for anyone to get a basic estate plan.
Will & Trust
Trust and Will in the digital age offers an online, efficient, no-frills way to provide your family with estate planning peace-of-mind. Those looking for straightforward, low-cost entry into estate planning and/or legal guardians, especially new families and Boomers with no prior preparation.
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Courtney Bower writes about investing, behavior economics, real estate, and psychology. He served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. He is originally from the Midwest.