I thought I needed a lawyer from my state to write my will, but I was able to do it online in minutes for a fraction of the cost
- After years of procrastination, I used Trust & Will to create estate planning documents that explain my final wishes and protect my family if I die.
- The process of using Trust & Will was simple and easy to follow. It left me with a will and other important estate planning documents, including a living will and power of attorney.
- The cost of Trust & Will was a fraction of what human attorneys charge, and I was very happy with the self-service experience of creating my will online.
- Use Trust & Will to create a legal will online in minutes »
A will or trust is an important document that tells the courts, your family, and anyone else what should happen with your money and other assets if you die.
While people with few assets and responsibilities may not have to worry about a will, anyone with children, other dependents (including pets), or assets (such as property, retirement accounts, or savings) should certainly take the time to lay out a plan for what should happen to their estate.
Here's an inside look at exactly how I used online service Trust & Will to put a will together myself.
How I picked Trust & Will
Hiring a lawyer to put together your will seems to be the common wisdom when it comes to estate planning. Because each state has different laws and every household is unique, I was under the impression I had to hire someone from my state to put together a custom will or trust for myself (and my wife).
Trust & Will flipped the script on that idea. This company has custom templates for each state, so I knew my California needs would be met. Everything else would be more or less the same.
Trust & Will
Things like guardianship for my kids, where I want my cash and financial accounts to go, and other needs are going to be very similar for most people. I realized that because my needs are fairly common, a template is A-OK with me.
Trust & Will charged me a total of $119 to create documents for myself and my wife. I can update them for free for a year, and it costs $20 to get fresh paper copies mailed out. That's a fraction of what a lawyer would have charged for the exact same thing.
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The documents I created
I created four documents for myself and my wife using Trust & Will. The final documents we have are a Last Will & Testament and healthcare documents explaining what should happen if one of us is alive and can't speak for ourselves.
A will, as most people know, is a form that explains who gets what if you die. In my case, I gave everything to my wife and she gave everything to me if one of us bites the dust before the other.
If we die at the same time, our assets are divided evenly among our three children. The will also explains who takes guardianship of our kids and pets if we are not here to care for them ourselves.
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We also created living wills that explain our wishes for things like life support and medical care if we end up in a coma, vegetative state, or any other major injury or illness where we can't make our own directions.
To round things out, we have HIPPA forms and power of attorney forms that allow my wife and I to access each other's medical records and make legal decisions for the other if warranted.
I could have added a trust or schedule of assets, and can still tack one on to my estate plan, but they seemed like overkill for my needs.
The online experience was so easy that nearly anyone with basic computer chops can do it. If you can navigate email programs and shop online, you have enough computer skills to create a will or trust with Trust & Will.
The software did a good job of tactfully asking some uncomfortable questions. While you may not want to plan your own funeral, it's a good idea to explain what kind of funeral you want. Due to my beliefs, I want a traditional Jewish burial and specified that in my will.
Trust & Will
The forms were all thorough, easy to use, and made me feel like I did a good job covering all of my bases. I don't see how it could have been any easier or better. Aside from ads all over the site to add a trust for an extra $370, I have no complaints.
Does Trust & Will make sense for you?
If you need a trust or a will, Trust & Will does a good job at covering what's most important.
For households with extremely complicated assets or family situations, a custom job from a lawyer may be prudent. But for most people, this online process should more than suffice.
If you've been putting off getting a will or trust, this is an easy way to do it without breaking the bank.
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