How Much Does a Trust Cost?

three children confused wondering what a trust costs

The cost to create a revocable living trust can range from $0 to $10,000+ depending on a variety of factors:

These same choices also dictate what it costs to maintain your revocable living trust. Maintaining a revocable living trust involves adjusting the trust document provisions as your desires change, funding assets in and out of the trust, and compensating your trustees.

Although revocable trusts tend to cost more than last wills to create and require some additional maintenance during your life, revocable trusts can sometimes save money on the back end by avoiding probate and its associated expenses.

How you create your revocable living trust

You can create your revocable living trust by yourself, with the help of an estate planning attorney, or through digital trustmaking software like Just In Case Estates.

Bar graph showing cost to create a trust
You can create a revocable living trust with a digital service at a fraction of the cost of creating one with an attorney.

There is no legal requirement that you create a revocable living trust with an attorney. Unless you are already familiar with or plan to research your state’s trust laws, however, the time and energy exhausted by creating your trust independently are unlikely to be worth the savings. This leaves two options -- creating your trust with an attorney or creating your trust with a digital trustmaking service.

Attorney-prepared revocable living trusts cost between $1,000 and $10,000+. In addition to the other cost factors referenced in this article, expect to pay on the higher end of this range if you opt for a more experienced estate planning attorney or if you live in a large metropolitan area.

Creating a revocable living trust with a digital trustmaking service costs between $100 and $600, depending on which online trustmaker you choose. Variance within that range is typically dictated by the level of customer support offered – no support, live customer support, or 1:1 review with a licensed attorney – as well as company-specific factors, such as the amount of money the company spends (and must recoup) on marketing or the target rate of return it seeks to deliver its investors.

As of 2024, the cost to create a revocable living trust with JIC Estates, LegalZoom, and Trust & Will -- three of the most popular online trustmakers -- is as follows:

JIC Estates Legal Zoom Trust & Will
Document Creation Costs
Revocable Trust (I) $348 $499 $499
Revocable Trust (C) $398 $599 $599
Additional Services
Live Support
Attorney Review +$200 +$100 +$300
Help with Trust Funding Requires Attorney Review


(I) represents the cost of making an indvidiual plan

(C) represents the cost of making a couple's plan

Whether you are creating a trust for an individual or a couple

Creating trusts for couples – two separate trusts or one joint trust – costs more than creating a single trust for an individual.

Digital providers tend to charge 20-30% more to complete trusts for couples compared to the price of a single individual trust, whereas attorneys often charge 30-50% more.

The complexity of your gifts

One of the primary advantages of a revocable living trust is that it provides you with greater control over the timing and condition of gift distributions compared to a last will. For example, you can specify in your revocable living trust that a beneficiary receive distributions only after attaining a certain age, upon completion of college, or so long as they continue to maintain a full-time job. You can also dictate that distributions be used only for certain allowable expenses, such as higher education, medical expenses, or to maintain a given standard of living.

As the number of your beneficiaries or the conditions on gift distributions increases, expect to pay more in drafting costs when creating your revocable trust with an attorney. If you create your plan with a digital trustmaking service, you won't pay more for complex gift distributions.

In addition to these initial costs, keep in mind that trust administration -- the process of supervising and distributing the gifts after you pass away -- may be a bit more expensive if you're making a lot of gifts or if the provisions of your trust are such that it needs to continue to exist for a longer period of time.

The complexity of your assets

Different assets are funded into a trust in different ways, and some of the ways these titles change carry additional cost. For example, you may pay a small fee at the local town clerk or title company when changing the deed to your house. Transferring or assigning your stock ownership in a privately held company to your trust may incur some pass-through expenses from the company.

If you own a business, creating an effective estate plan may involve not just transferring ownership of the business to the trust, but also a more involved discussion around succession and continuity planning that requires the assistance and payment of various advisors.

How you fund your trust

A trust must be funded in order to be effective. Funding a trust simply means transferring ownership of assets to the name of the trust.

Our Guide to Funding Trusts walks through the process for funding different types of assets into a trust. The process is not particularly difficult, but it does take some time and coordination with multiple third parties.

If you need help funding your trust, you may incur some additional set up costs. Some financial and wealth advisors help their clients fund revocable living trusts as part of their base fee. When you create your revocable living trust with Just In Case Estates, our Member Success team is available to guide you through the process free of charge. If you ask your estate planning attorney to do it for you, you may need to pay for additional billable hours.

Cost of maintaining your trust

The cost of a revocable living trust extends beyond the initial document drafting and funding of assets. The three major costs of maintaining a trust are as follows:

  1. Changes to your trust provisions
  2. Continuing to fund assets in and out of your revocable trust
  3. Compensating your trustees
Changes To Your Trust Provisions

As your needs, desires, or family structure change, you may wish to change certain provisions in your revocable living trust. Perhaps you celebrated the birth of a new child and want to set up a subtrust for her benefit. Maybe your first choice of successor trustee is no longer available and you need to nominate someone else. Whatever the motivation, the only way to do this is to update or amend the revocable trust.

The cost to make changes to your trust provisions varies depending on how you intend to make them.

If you created your trust with an estate planning attorney and wish to use the same one on your revisions, expect to pay as much as 20-30% of the original drafting price on those revisions -- even for a small change. If you opt to make the revisions with a different estate planning attorney, you may even have to pay for a full draft all over again.

Making changes to a revocable trust you created with a digital trustmaking service is generally far less expensive than making changes with an attorney. The cost to do so ranges from free to the price of an annual subscription. The table below shows representative costs of making a change at the 5 and 10 year market with some of the most popular trustmaking software in 2024. You can add these costs to the initial document drafting cost to calculate an "all-in" cost of using each provider.

JIC Estates Legal Zoom* Trust & Will**
Ongoing Subscription Costs
Annual Subscription Cost FREE $199 $39
5 Yr Subscription $0 $896 $156
10 Yr Subscription $0 $1,891 $351
All-In Costs
Initial Drafting Cost, Individual $348 $499 $499
Total 10 Yr Ownership Cost $348 $2,390 $850


* Trust & Will includes one year of free updates with the initial purchase. Ability to update your plan renews at $39 / yr

** LegalZoom does not have a standalone subscription to continue to have ability to update your plan. This ability is instead lumped in with their Legal Assist Plan, which renews annually at $199.

Funding assets in and out of your revocable trust

With a revocable living trust, you continue to retain full control over all the assets in your trust as the trustmaker. You can buy, use, and sell assets just as you'd normally do.

Just as with the initial trust funding, the one difference is that you need to pay a little more attention to how each asset is titled (i.e., funded). If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, you may incur additional costs as assets move into or out of the trust.

Compensating your trustees

The trustee is the person responsible for managing the trust's affairs. Depending on who serves as trustee, you may need to compensate your trustee for his or her service.

In many cases, trustmakers choose to serve as the sole trustee of their own revocable living trust or together with a spouse in the case of creating a joint revocable living trust. In these cases, you don't need to worry about compensating yourself as trustee.

Some trustmakers opt for a different approach, bringing in a paid third-party to serve alongside them initially as a co-trustee.

Additionally, depending on the language in your trust, a paid successor trustee may step in to manage the trust if you are at any time deemed to be incapacitated (i.e., unable to manage your own finances).

Is a revocable living trust worth it?

Choosing to create a revocable living trust or a last will is a personal decision driven by how you much value the advantages of a revocable living trust versus the higher setup and ongoing maintenance requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, if you own assets less than $100k in value with a relatively simple asset structure, you probably don’t need a revocable living trust and may even qualify for an expedited small estate probate in your state. A last will could be a great "set it and forget it" estate planning strategy for you. You'll also save on drafting and maintenance, since the cost of a last will is less than that of a trust.

As your assets increase in value, the complexity of your assets increases, or you want greater control and privacy, a revocable living trust makes more sense.

How to Choose Where You Create Your Trust

Cost is but one factor to consider when creating your revocable living trust.

You should also take into account the level of support you'll receive -- not just in creating the trust but funding the trust as well, since properly funding your trust is vital to ensuring that the trust is effective.

An experienced estate planning attorney and/or financial advisor can be a great resource if you want to pursue a mostly hands-off approach and have a higher willingness to pay.

When you create your revocable living trust with JIC Estates, our member success team will be standing by via email, phone, and text to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the trust funding process -- all at no extra charge.

You can get started on your revocable living trust today and finish creating your documents in as little as 20-30 minutes.


Just In Case Estates is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please use our legal expert matching service to connect with a qualified, licensed estate planning attorney near you.