5 minute read

What is Trust & Will Attorney Support

In this digital era of everything being online, including estate planning, learn about Trust & Will's platform and the attorney support feature.

Samuel Deane

Samuel Deane, @samueldeane

Founder, Deane Wealth Management

In today's fast-paced digital age, online estate planning platforms are gaining momentum as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional, attorney-assisted estate planning. These platforms have democratized the process and broken down barriers to access. 

Historically, estate planning involved lengthy consultations with attorneys, piles of paperwork, and significant legal fees. While this aspect of estate planning is still present for families with complex financial situations or unique needs, it often seemed inaccessible or overwhelming to those with more straightforward estate planning goals. The advent of online estate planning platforms has indeed transformed this landscape.

The pros and cons of online estate planning platforms

There are lots of assumptions advisors may have about online estate planning platforms, so let's dive into some pros and cons of leveraging this technology. 

Pros:

  • Affordability: Online estate planning platforms are typically more affordable than hiring an attorney, ultimately making estate planning accessible to a broader range of individuals and families.

  • Accessibility: Clients can access and update their estate planning documents as needed, which is especially beneficial if their circumstances change. 

  • Speed: The process can be quicker than traditional estate planning, as clients can complete documents at their convenience.

  • Education: These platforms often serve as an educational resource and guidance to help clients and advisors better understand the estate planning process.

Cons:

  • Complex situations: Online platforms may not be suitable for individuals with complex financial situations, multiple properties, blended families, or unique estate planning needs. A personalized approach with an attorney's guidance may be necessary in such scenarios.

  • Legal expertise: Online platforms provide templates and guidance but may not offer the depth of legal expertise that an attorney can provide. Advisors may be concerned about potential legal pitfalls or nuances that could be overlooked. And to be candid, most attorneys also use templated documents.

  • Privacy and security: Online platforms handle sensitive personal and financial information, which can be a concern if data security and privacy are not adequately addressed. As we know, attorneys are held to higher legal and ethical standards and must adhere to attorney-client privilege. 

  • Lack of personalization: Online platforms may offer a different level of customized advice than an attorney can provide. As financial planners, we see the value in tailoring estate planning to a client's unique needs and goals and aligning it with their financial plan.

Financial advisors must consider these factors when recommending estate planning solutions, and it's essential for clients to make informed decisions by understanding the pros and cons and, if necessary, consult with an attorney to address complex or unique situations. To that point, having support from human attorneys is critical, and it is where Trust and Will is genuinely unique. 

Real support from human attorneys

Similar to how estate planning isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, neither is the advice that our clients need. Ideally, the goal is to offer products and estate planning tools that are inclusive for everyone, whether they have a multi-million dollar estate or are starting out planning for the future. That's why Trust and Will gives our clients access to one-on-one time with licensed, experienced and vetted estate planning attorneys in their state. 

Like a financial planning engagement, attorneys will connect with clients and begin the data-gathering process. They'll ask for information pertaining to family dynamics, assets, liabilities, goals, etc. From there, clients can review their estate plans and make changes depending on attorney insights. Attorneys also have access to client inputs and can be a confidence check to ensure no inconsistencies. 

All attorneys in the Trust and Will network are independent contractors who own their practices and primarily focus on estate planning. When a member of Trust and Will elects for attorney support, they will have access to the attorney's availability, can schedule a meeting with their attorney directly from the platform, and have unlimited access to their attorney for 12 months. Since leveraging Trust and Will, some of the benefits attorney support has provided include:

  • Legal advice for business owners about how to make their entity Trust-owned

  • Understanding of potential tax consequences & future liabilities

  • Line-by-line document review

  • Considerations for couples or blended families

  • Detailed advice about how to fund the client's Trust

  • Expert advice on dealing with the probate process

As one can imagine, this direct access to customized legal advice can give both advisors and their clients additional peace of mind. 

At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement  options today!

Is there a question here we didn’t answer? Browse more topics in our learn center or chat with a live member support representative! 

Trust & Will is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice.

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