If you’re an eligible Haven Term policyholder, you might already know that you’re entitled to no-cost online single or joint will services (including a full year of updates) from our friends at Trust & Will. This service normally costs $259, so … yeah. You’re welcome.
But that’s not news. You might already know that. And you might have even discovered that a will isn’t really what you need. For some people — if you have young kids, for example — it might make more sense to get a trust. And that brings us to something that is news: As of today, eligible Haven Term policyholders are also entitled to a no-cost single or joint trust, courtesy of those same estate planning experts at Trust & Will. This would normally cost up to $699. It’s just the latest perk of Haven Life Plus, a rider that gets you access to extra services at no- or low-cost.
So how do you know if you might need a trust? What else do you need to know about Trust & Will? Friend, these are the same questions we had when we heard the news. Here’s the scoop.
Who is Trust & Will?
You know how, if we may be so bold, Haven Life helped bring the life insurance industry into the 21st century by pairing our digital-first experience with best-in-class customer care? How you can apply for a term life insurance policy in minutes, do it online (no phone calls or faxes), and manage your account for the next few decades from your sofa?
Well, Trust & Will is like-minded. Making a trust or will can feel overwhelming and complicated — you typically need to find an attorney, who helps you navigate a labyrinth of state laws, then charges you for the privilege of putting down in writing your most personal wishes. It’s a process that can feel outdated at best, hugely frustrating at worst — and moreover, the sheer work of it all might prevent you from getting this important document.
Trust & Will solves for this by bringing the process online, while still providing the kind of knowledge and personal attention you would expect from a modern day disruptor. Got detailed questions? They can answer them. Looking for something quick and simple to make sure your assets are protected? They can do that, too. This ease and expertise has earned Trust & Will more than 250,000 customers since it launched in 2017, and on top of all that, it’s powered by good-hearted people. (Five words: Free will services for teachers.) It was only natural for us to link up, and it just made sense to expand that partnership now.
“While life insurance is an essential part of end-of-life planning, it is not the only piece of the puzzle and our original partnership with Trust & Will was designed to support our long-standing mission of making life less hard for our customers,” says John Latona, General Manager at Haven Life. “We’ve always believed in maintaining a long-term relationship with policyholders and their loved ones. When their needs change, that means our services need to evolve too. That’s why we’re excited to expand on our relationship with Trust & Will to provide enhanced estate planning resources.”
The feeling is mutual: “We are thrilled to expand our existing partnership with Haven Life, which now includes access to even more estate planning tools to create truly customized plans,” says Cody Barbo, Founder and CEO of Trust & Will. “Reflecting on the past three years of working together, we are grateful to partner with incredible brands that share our vision of helping as many families as possible get their financial affairs in order. Haven Life believed in us early on, and we’re so proud to have helped thousands of their members to date.”
What is a trust?
So let’s get down to it: What, exactly, is a trust? And how is it different from a will?
Think of it this way: A trust is for managing your assets while you’re still alive. A will only goes into effect after you die. You can transfer assets to your trust whenever you want, and the trust in turn will transfer them to your beneficiaries in the future, generally after your death. Maybe you have kids. Rather than leaving them their inheritance when you die — which could be when they’re still relatively young — you can dictate that a trust will transfer to them when, say, they turn 25. A will doesn’t give you that option. A trust does.
Also, a will requires going through a probate process, which in turn risks that the state might take over your assets, and distribute them against your wishes. A trust prevents that from happening.
Finally, a trust might help you reduce the state or federal taxes on your assets, and we can’t remember anyone complaining about that.
As for setting one up, it’s never been easier thanks to Trust & Will. You’ll answer a few questions about your life, your family, your goals. All online. Many people will want a revocable living trust, because this offers more flexibility to manage your assets while you’re alive. (As suggested by the words “revocable” and “living.”). As Trust & Will’s head of legal once told us, “Trusts give you a lot of control over what you want to do. A trust is really a blank sheet of paper, and you can make it anything you want it to be.”
Who needs a trust?
Along with getting a life insurance policy, estate planning — putting your final plans and wishes down in a will or a trust — is a critical step in planning for the end of your life, even if we all hope that’s a long, long time from now. After all, someone needs to decide what should happen with all your stuff — from clothes to bank accounts to your house to your email and social media accounts. It might as well be you.
A will or trust can help, but there are a few key differences that will determine which one you need.
As with anything like this, you should probably consult with a professional — including the experts at Trust & Will — to determine which approach is right for you. A trust might make sense if you have a loved one who needs long-term care; if you own a business; if you have children, and how old they are. (You might not want to leave your money and belongings to a 10-year-old, though you can also name a legal guardian through a will.) A trust can be useful for outlining what should happen if you experience mental or physical incapacitation.
Oh, and if you’re reading this and thinking “Whoops, I already went down the road of making a will,” you should know that a no-cost upgrade from a will to a trust is included with this expanded offering. Also, you might want to consider getting both. (Indeed, you can even name a trust as a life insurance beneficiary, to help ensure your death benefit is paid out in accordance with your wishes.) Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask a pro.
To be clear, all this sounds complicated. But that’s the genius of Trust & Will: Making a hard thing like estate planning less hard. And hey, that’s kind of what we do at Haven Life, too. If you’ve already experienced the convenience and ease of Haven Life, you owe it to yourself — and more importantly, your loved ones — to see if Trust & Will makes sense for you.
About Louis Wilson
Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.
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