Rocket Lawyer Review: A Cheap, Online Estate-Planning Solution

Rocket Lawyer provides all the documents you need to plan your estate, with both a membership plan and per-document pricing to meet your financial needs.

Brian Acton

Published March 13, 2019

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Any adult that wants to dictate what happens after they die needs an estate plan. Estate plans consist of legal documents that clarify how your assets and property should be distributed, who should care for your dependents, and who will manage your affairs (among other important decisions).

But hiring a lawyer to guide you through the estate-planning process and create your documents isn’t cheap. Online legal document companies like Rocket Lawyer aim to provide an affordable alternative, helping you create estate-planning documents online for a cheaper price.

So how does Rocket Lawyer work, and how do you know if it’s right for you?

What Rocket Lawyer provides

Rocket Lawyer is a website that lets you create estate-planning documents that are personalized to your situation and state of residence. Many of these documents can be created in a matter of minutes using Rocket Lawyer’s templates, which were researched and created by legal professionals.

Rocket Lawyer recommends that anyone creating an estate plan should, at minimum, create a power of attorney and a last will and testament. They also provide other legal documents that can help you prepare for your death and medical emergencies.

Estate-planning documents you can create with Rocket Lawyer:

  • Power of attorney: Grants an individual the authority to handle financial and business matters on your behalf when you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
  • Last will and testament: Wills allow you to name the beneficiaries who will receive your assets after your death, appoint guardians who will care for your minor children, and nominate an executor who will ensure that your will is carried out. You can even name a guardian and set aside funds for the care of your pets.
  • Living trust: Transfer the ownership of your assets into a trust that is managed by you while you’re still living. Your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust according to the terms of the trust document. Unlike wills, trusts usually don’t have to go through probate, which is managed by the courts and can take much longer.

Rocket Lawyer also offers many additional documents that can help you prepare for your death or medical emergencies. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Health care power of attorney: designates a person to make health care and medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so.
  • Living will: makes medical and health care decisions ahead of time in the event you are unable to do so. (Read more about living wills.)
  • Pet trust: designates a guardian for your pets and allocates funds for their care.
  • Digital assets and social media addendums: defines your wishes for digital assets, such as family photos, and social media accounts in your name.

Rocket Lawyer provides documents for updating, amending or even revoking previous legal documents as well.

How to create and validate your documents with Rocket Lawyer

Creating your documents

Once you decide to create your legal documents through Rocket Lawyer, you’ll select the documents you want through the website. You’ll immediately be taken to the first page of the document to enter basic details including your name, city, and state of residence.

From there, you’ll be asked a series of questions that is designed to populate the content in your document. For each set of questions, you’ll have the ability to preview the page(s) of the template that you are creating.

The questions will vary based on the document you’re creating. For example, if you’re creating a last will and testament, you’ll be required to answer information including:

  • Basic personal information about yourself and your family.
  • The beneficiaries you wish to receive your assets.
  • The assets you wish to leave to specific individuals or organizations.
  • The executor of your estate (the person you wish to carry out your will).
  • The guardians you wish to care for your minor children.

As you answer the questions, Rocket Lawyer will take your responses and use them to create your legal documents. Throughout the process, Rocket Lawyer’s website will supply additional information for when you need guidance. If you need time to research a question and come back, you can save your progress and return later.

For an additional cost, you can even get answers from lawyers along the way (it’s $49.99 per question or $59.99 per 30-minute phone consultation, or included at no extra cost with Rocket Lawyer’s membership plan).

Once you’re finished answering the questions, your documents are created and available for immediate download and printing.

Every document on Rocket Lawyer costs a flat fee of $39.99. If you sign up for a membership ($39.99 per month after a seven-day free trial), you get unlimited documents. If you are unhappy with your documents, you may request a refund within 30 days.

Validating your documents

The act of creating your documents doesn’t necessarily make them legal. Many documents, such as trusts and wills, must be printed out and signed before they become legal. Requirements vary from state to state, but generally you’ll need to sign your will or trust in the presence of two witnesses.

Additionally, while most states don’t require a notary, getting your documents notarized can speed up the probate process.

Rocket Lawyer’s Next Steps estate planning checklist can help you determine how to make your document legal in your state.

Once your documents are signed, you should keep copies in a safe place in your home, and accessible to relevant parties such as your spouse, family members, or the executor of your estate. You can also make and distribute copies to the right people; for example, it is a good idea to give your physician copies of your living will and other medical documents.

When you need to make changes — such as following the birth of a child, marriage or divorce — you can make updates, revoke old documents or create completely new ones (in the case of a will, making updates is known as making a codicil). Rocket Lawyer can help you manage these changes, too.

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The advantages and disadvantages of Rocket Lawyer:

Rocket Lawyer is appealing for its ease of use, speed and cost:

  • Ease of use: You can create your documents from a computer, with the ability to save your progress and return at any time.
  • Speed: Once you’re done completing them, your documents are immediately available for printing and downloading.
  • Expense: Without a membership, every single document costs $39.99.

When compared to similar companies, Rocket Lawyer’s transparent pricing and speed help it stand out. Every document costs the same, and members who pay a monthly fee get unlimited access to legal documents and (limited) access to attorney advice. Unlike some competitors, Rocket Lawyer’s documents are immediately available after creation.

However, there are a few disadvantages to Rocket Lawyer:

  • One downside of Rocket Lawyer’s flat fee structure is that every document must be separately completed. Some online competitors offer convenient bundles that consolidate many estate-planning documents in a single package.
  • There is an enormous selection of documents for estate-planning and beyond, but navigating and finding the right document for you, especially when it’s a less common one, can be difficult.
  • Whether or not you’re not a paid monthly member, Rocket Lawyer’s attorney consultations and questions may not match the same level of service you’d get from hiring a personal lawyer.

Bottom line

Rocket Lawyer offers a very transparent, affordable way to create your legal documents fast. Plus, you can opt in for legal advice at the same time.

But if you have a complex estate with a higher level of guidance, you may be better off hiring a lawyer (if you can afford one) who will guide you through the estate-planning process. Or, if you want a bundled package of estate-planning documents, take a look at the products offered by other online competitors before you decide which service is right for you.

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Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by a certified financial planner or advisor. It’s intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or investment advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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