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Trust & Will makes estate-planning easy, with affordable wills and trusts documents for people who don't have a legal background.
While the subject of your mortality isn’t the most pleasant topic to dwell on, it’s important for all adults to plan for their death. Legal estate-planning documents such as wills and trusts define what happens after you die, including how your assets will be distributed, what happens to your minor children, and even your final arrangements.
If you die without a plan in place, determining what happens to your estate can be a long, drawn-out process. Disputes could arise among family members and decisions could be made in the courts, whether or not they reflect your wishes.
But hiring a lawyer to create your estate plan can be prohibitively expensive; it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for especially complex estates. Online estate-planning service Trust & Will can help you create a legal will at a fraction of the cost. But how does it actually work, and how do you know if it’s for you?
Here’s how Trust & Will can help you plan for what happens after you pass away.
According to Trust & Will, the service enables you to create customized estate-planning documents, specific to your state of residence, in five to 15 minutes. These documents contain decisions regarding your estate, medical-related directions, and instructions for what happens to your children and pets.
Trust & Will provides three major services: trusts, wills and nomination of guardians. You can create a shared account with your spouse and even create a will for a spouse or parents. The “testator,” the person for whom the will is created, will need to review, approve and sign the document once it is written.
To learn more, check out our guide to estate planning.
The trust-based estate plan allows you to bequeath assets to survivors by setting them aside in a trust. Unlike a will, assets in a trust can usually bypass time-consuming and costly probate process that oversees the administration of a deceased person’s estate.
Some of the trust documents provided by Trust & Will are:
The will contains plans for your estate and medical-related directions. Unlike trusts, wills must move through probate for your estate to be properly administered. The unique legal document included in a will is:
The nomination of guardian is one of the most important aspects of planning for your death - it determines who will care for your children. While guardians are already defined in most wills, this is a good option to make sure your kids are will be cared for when you haven’t had the time or inclination to complete a full estate plan.
In addition to the services outlined above, Trust & Will can also help you make the following documents:
Once you decide to sign up for Trust & Will’s service, you’ll need to create an account on https://trustandwill.com/ using your email or signing in via Facebook or Google. You’ll answer a few basic questions about the value of your assets, your kids and pets, and choose which product you want (trust, will or nomination of guardian).
To build your legal documents, you will be asked to provide the following information (required information varies based on which document you are creating):
You will have the ability to supply additional information about your assets to help the executor distribute your estate and your beneficiaries to collect your estate.
During the process, Trust & Will provides online guidance and you’ll have access to real-time chat support with their customer service team.
Trust & Will will take the information you provide and use it to create your documents using templates that have been built by their legal team and are customized to meet the legal requirements of your state. At this point you will be able to review your documents.
Once your documents are created, you will need to pay for them:
Trusts and wills must be signed before they become legal. While each state has its own requirements, the typical process involves you signing the documents in the presence of two witnesses. (You should also get it notarized so that it holds up in court after you die.)
Trust & Will can ship you the documents at no extra charge, so you can sign and have the will witnessed and notarized at your convenience. Once this process is done, your documents are fully legal.
You should keep your documents in a safe place, and tell a trusted individual or individuals (including the executor of your estate) where they are kept. You can also make and distribute copies of your legal documents.
You may need to update your documents after life changes such as the birth of children, getting married or divorced, and other significant events. This is sometimes called adding a codicil. When changes need to be made, simply log in to your account to get started. You get free updates for a full year after creating your documents; after that, you can subscribe to unlimited updates for $10 per year.
If you are unsatisfied with your completed documents, you can request a full refund within 30 days.
No estate plan is complete without life insurance.
Policygenius can help you find the right policy for your family and your budget.
The primary benefits of Trust & Will are convenience, price and speed, which make legal documents accessible to folks who may not have the time or money to hire a lawyer.
Compared to some competitors, Trust & Will offers a lot of bang for your buck, including very comprehensive, straightforward services for reasonable prices. They don’t require subscriptions or make you pick and choose from a large, confusing menu of legal documents, which can be overwhelming for anyone who isn’t well versed in estate planning. Everything you need is included in one package.
However, there are some drawbacks to the process. Online legal services aren’t for everyone.
If you want the personal experience and guidance provided by hiring a lawyer (and you have the means to hire one), this may be the better option. But if you need a simple will, trust or nomination of guardian to ensure your wishes are followed after your death, Trust & Will can get the job done.
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