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Online Living Trust Services 2021

What is a Living Trust and Why Do I Need It?

A living trust is an estate-planning document that puts all your assets into a trust and appoints a company or individual (typically, you would appoint yourself) as the trustee. This document also specifies who will become the successor trustee after your death. This person will be in charge of distributing your assets in accordance with your wishes.

Contrary to popular belief, living trusts are not just for the wealthy: virtually every individual can benefit from having a living trust. A living trust will help your family receive their inheritance without having to go through the probate court system, saving them time and money. Plus, a living trust protects your privacy, since all information about your assets contained in the trust will remain confidential.

Top 3 Online Living Trust Makers

1
Overall rating 96.8
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Oldest Will Making Service
Services
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  • Will Codicil
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  • Revocation of Living Trust
Pros and cons
  • Detailed forms and instructions
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2
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Excellent Customer Support
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
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  • Self-proving affidavit
Pros and cons
  • State-specific documents
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3
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Perfect for Complex Estates
Services
  • Last will and testament
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Financial Power of Attorney
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Pros and cons
  • Suitable for complex situations
  • 60-day satisfaction guarantee
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What is the Cost of Creating a Living Trust Online?

While living trusts created by attorneys are quite expensive and usually cost upwards of $1,000, you can create a living trust online for a fraction of that price. For instance, Law Depot provides online trust-making services for just $39, a trust created by LegalZoom costs $279, and a Nolo online living trust comes together in a package with a revocation of living trust form at the combined price of $80. If you want to use the best living trust online service, check out the websites above.Tomorrow Me even allows people to create a living trust online free of charge, although this option has numerous drawbacks.

Types of Living Trusts: Revocable and Irrevocable

There are numerous types of trusts you can create but most people go with a revocable or irrevocable trust. In the table below, you can find the advantages and disadvantages of both trust types and choose the document that suits you best.

Revocable TrustIrrevocable Living Trust
  • Revocable trusts can be changed or even revoked at any time, unless you die or become incapacitated. Trusts are also easier to change than a living will.
  • You will continue to have full control over your assets as the trustee.
  • If you become incapacitated for a period of time, you will easily be able to regain full control of your assets after recovering.
  • Assets placed in an irrevocable trust are protected from creditors—if somebody sues you and wins, they will only be able to collect assets that are NOT in the trust.
  • If you have a very large estate, putting your assets in a trust can help you minimize or even avoid a federal estate tax.
  • Putting your assets in a living trust can help you qualify for government assistance programs such as Medicare.
  • Creating a revocable trust will not provide any additional tax relief or benefits for you.
  • As long as you are alive, the assets in your trust are not protected from creditors.
  • You need to update the trust every time your family situation changes.
  • An irrevocable trust generally can’t be changed or terminated, except for some states which allow amendments if all trust beneficiaries approve the changes.
  • You lose ownership of your property: the trust becomes the new owner.
  • Irrevocable trusts are complicated and require an attorney to create and amend the document.
 

Revocable trusts are more popular than irrevocable documents because they can be changed at any time during the grantor’s life.

Who Needs a Living Trust?

When deciding whether or not you need a living trust, you should consider your age, health condition, marital status, and wealth. Single people with a high net worth and those who are old or in poor health are more likely to benefit from creating a living trust than young married individuals with a moderate income who are not likely to die or become incapacitated any time soon.

Parties to a Living Trust

  • Grantor of the Trust – one or several people who create the trust and transfer assets to it.
  • Trustee and Successor Trustee – the individual who is in charge of the trust. Typically, the grantor of the trust also becomes its trustee until he or she dies or becomes incapacitated, at which point the successor trustee takes over.
  • Beneficiaries – people who receive benefits from the trust either in the form of income or as a portion of the assets held in the trust. There are three types of trust beneficiaries: primary, contingent, and remainder beneficiaries.

How To Set Up a Living Trust?

Several online will makers allow you to create a living trust online. The process is quick, simple, and affordable. However, once the trust has been created, you need to actually transfer your assets to the trust. The list of assets that are usually put into a living trust include real estate, vehicles, valuable tangible assets such as jewelry, non-retirement investment accounts, life insurance, stocks, bonds, etc.

When funding the trust, you can list assets without official title documents directly in the trust to transfer them. However, if the asset has a title document with your name on it, such as your home, you will need to create a new deed that has the trust listed as the new owner. Additionally, it is important to list yourself as the trustee if you want to maintain control over your assets.

Revoking a Living Trust

As the grantor, you can terminate a revocable trust at any moment. Before the trust can be terminated, you need to re-title all the assets in the trust in your name. Once that step has been completed, you need to create a Revocation of Living Trust document, which you will sign and date in the presence of a notary.

Will and Living Trust Differences: Do I Need a Will in Addition to a Living Trust?

While a living trust is created to deal with your assets, a last will also allows you to appoint guardians for your children, designate an executor of your estate, and specify your wishes regarding end-of-life matters. All the assets that are listed only in your will must go through probate after your death, while assets that are part of the trust will be distributed directly to beneficiaries.

You can also create a pour-over will, which is a short legal document that transfers all your assets that are not a part of your trust at the time of your death to the trust, essentially acting as a fail-safe.

Islamic Trust

While there are nearly 3.5 million Muslims residing in the United States, Shariawiz is the only service that offers an online Islamic trust. Since Muslim Americans have to follow Islamic inheritance laws when planning their estates, it is crucial for them to use only services that offer Sharia-compliant documents.

Final Words About Living Trust Documents

A living trust is a legal document that allows your assets to be transferred to your family after your death without going through probate and paying probate fees. Today, you can quickly set up a living trust online using one of the best online trust-making websites. Preparing a revocable living trust online usually costs significantly less than using an attorney. Depending on your needs, you can set up a revocable or irrevocable trust. Couples may also opt to set up a shared living trust that will hold assets owned by one or both spouses.

Despite all the advantages of creating a living trust online, if your estate is complicated, you should consult a lawyer regarding your trust. Some online living trust makers, including Nolo, Legal Zoom, and Trust & Will, offer free or paid attorney consultations where a licensed lawyer can check your documents for accuracy.