Just In Case Estates is the best value offline and online to create your estate plan.
You can create your last will or revocable living trust at a fraction of the cost of a traditional, offline attorney and save more than 70% compared to other popular online options. And since Just In Case Estates offers free updates on your estate plan for life, the lifetime savings on your plan is even greater!
Cost to Create and Manage an Estate Plan
|JIC Estates||Attorney*||% Inc.||Legal Zoom**||% Inc.||Trust & Will||% Inc.|
|Plan Creation Costs|
|Last Will (I)||$88||$300+||241%||$163||85%||$159||81%|
|Last Will (C)||$148||$500+||238%||$326||120%||$259||75%|
|Revocable Trust (I)||$348||$1,000+||241%||$353||1%||$599||72%|
|Revocable Trust (C)||$398||$1,500+||277%||$706||77%||$699||76%|
|Annual Subscription (LW)||Free||--||--||--||--||$19||n/a|
|Annual Subscription (T)||Free||--||--||--||--||$39||n/a|
|10-yr Subscription Cost (LW)||Free||$500||n/a||--||--||$171||n/a|
|10-yr Subscription Cost (T)||Free||$500||n/a||--||--||$351||n/a|
|10-Yr Ownership Costs|
|Last Will (I)||$88||$800+||809%||--||--||$330||275%|
|Last Will (C)||$148||$1,000+||576%||--||--||$430||191%|
|Revocable Trust (I)||$348||$1,500+||331%||--||--||$950||173%|
|Revocable Trust (C)||$398||$2,000+||403%||--||--||$1,050||164%|
(I) represents the cost of making an indvidiual plan
(C) represents the cost of making a couple's plan
* Showing low-end of range for attorney-priced plans
** LegalZoom does not offer revision-only subscriptions. Annual 'Attorney Assist' subscription with unlimited revisions is $199/year
How to Compare the Cost of Creating an Estate Plan
When comparing the cost of different estate planning options, you should consider both the initial cost of creating the plan as well as the cost to update it as your life or desires change.
We use a “10-year cost of ownership” as a conservative way to compare the total cost of choosing one estate plan option vs. another. For most people who create their estate plans in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s, they will have even longer ownership periods, meaning the true lifetime savings with Just In Case Estates is even more pronounced.
For online estate planning options, the 10-year cost of ownership is equal to the cost of maintaining an annual subscription with the online estate planning company over a 10-year period based on current subscription prices.
The 10-year cost of ownership creating your estate plan with a traditional offline attorney is less straightforward. This cost can be highly variable for different people based on three factors:
- the number of times that they need to make changes
- the extent of the required changes, and
- the attorney’s hourly rates
For simplicity and as a conservative approach, we’ll assume in our comparison that you make relatively light changes amounting to approximately one hours’ worth of attorney time once every 5 years. Furthermore, we'll assume that you are able to engage an attorney for $250 per hour, which is on the lower end of rates in most metropolitan areas. These assumptions yield an additional cost of $500 for each plan over a 10-year period ($250 per hour x 1 hour x 2 visits = $500).
Cost of an Offline Attorney vs. Just In Case Estates
You can create your estate plan with Just In Case Estates at a fraction of the cost of engaging an offline attorney.
The cost of an attorney-prepared last will ranges from $300 to $1,500+ depending on where you live, whether the attorney charges a flat fee or fixed rate, and the complexity of the will. Expect to pay $1,000 to several thousand dollars for a revocable living trust.
That means that if you're lucky to find an attorney who prices on the low end of the range, you'll still pay at least 3.5x (250% increase) what it would cost to make your customized, state-specific last will or revocable living trust with Just In Case Estates!
Costs to Make Changes to Your Attorney-Prepared Estate Plan
If you want to make changes to your attorney-prepared estate planning document, you might expect at least one billable hour for every visit occasion. If you update your plan even just once every five years, you’ll pay for two additional billable hours ($500+) over a 10-year period.
Since the cost to create an attorney-prepared will can range from $300-$1,500+, this means that the 10-year cost of creating an attorney-prepared last will is anywhere from $800 to $2,000+. Similarly, the cost to create an attorney-prepared revocable trust is anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500+.
You'll save a small fortune over a 10-year period by creating and managing your estate plan with Just In Case Estates compared to what you'd pay with an attorney.
Cost of LegalZoom vs. Just In Case Estates
LegalZoom is a publicly-traded company that offers a wide range of legal services online. Today, LegalZoom's business focuses primarily on the legal needs of small- and medium-size businesses, but the company does still offer online estate planning.
LegalZoom has two pricing models for its estate planning documents:
- Documents a la carte, through which you can individually purchase a last will, advance health care directive, or financial power of attorney
- Estate plan bundles, through which you purchase all three documents along with one year of attorney assistance on estate planning legal matters
Cost of LegalZoom Documents 'a la Carte'
The most economical way to create a comprehensive last will package with LegalZoom is to combine a last will ($89), durable financial power of attorney ($35), and living will ($39) for a total of $163. If you want to add a limited 2-week attorney review, you can do so for an additional $10 per document ($173 – $193 total).
The most economical way to create a revocable living trust package with LegalZoom is to combine a revocable living trust ($279), durable financial power of attorney ($35) and living will ($39) for a total of $353. If you want to add a limited 2-week attorney review, you can do so for an additional $20 on the revocable living trust and $10 for each of the financial power of attorney and living will, bringing the total to $363 - $393 for the revocable living trust package.
LegalZoom does not offer any discounts for couples who are making their estate plans at the same time. If you are making your estate plan as a couple, you will pay twice the individual rate (i.e., $326 - $386 for two last will packages and $706 – $786 for two revocable living trust packages).
Creating your revocable living trust package costs about the same for an individual ($348 vs. $353) but 70% more for couples ($398 vs $706).
Cost of LegalZoom Estate Plan Bundles
In addition to its a la carte document pricing, LegalZoom offers estate plan bundles. The bundles include all three of the core estate planning documents plus one year of attorney support on estate planning related questions.
The cost of the estate plan bundle is $249 for a last will package and $399 for a revocable living trust package. Attorney access with LegalZoom’s estate plan bundle is limited to participating LegalZoom firms, capped at 30 minutes per call, and limited to one call per legal matter.
Rather than pay for the estate plan bundle, if you want to add attorney review of your estate plan documents with LegalZoom, the most economical way is to pay the small surcharge for attorney access over an initial two-week period ($10 – $20 per document). Just like with the estate plan bundle, the attorney access is limited to participating LegalZoom firms, capped at 30 minutes per call, and limited to one call per legal matter.
Cost to Make Changes to Your LegalZoom Estate Plan
When you create your estate plan documents with LegalZoom, you can make free revisions to your documents for 30 days following your purchase. If you’d like to edit your documents beyond 30 days, you have two options:
- Extend the free revisions up to one year when you purchase the last will or revocable living trust estate plan bundle. After the first year, the legal assistance renews at $199 per year
- Wait to make changes to your estate plan documents until needed and pay a “to-be-determined price”
Assuming that you are comfortable making changes directly, the most economical way to make changes to your LegalZoom estate plan documents is to pay the “to-be-determined price.” We refer to this as a “to-be-determined price” because LegalZoom does not publicly disclose what the price is for various edits, nor does LegalZoom even share what the variables used to calculate the price are. In researching this article, we asked a LegalZoom customer service what the cost would be to make changes to a last will 2 or 5 years after creating it. He wasn’t sure. “I can’t see the price. The system calculates it and displays it to the user.”
Without knowing exactly what the LegalZoom to-be-determined price is in every situation, we can nonetheless reason that paying that price for a given document is going to be less expensive than paying for a $199 per year 'Attorney Assist' subscription cost because the cost to make the underlying documents from scratch is less than $199.
Cost of Trust & Will vs. Just In Case Estates
Trust & Will is an online estate planning company founded in 2017 that has significantly grown its awareness over the past few years with an aggressive TV and online media buying spree.
Trust & Will’s pricing model is similar to that of Just In Case Estates in that it offers all-in-one, comprehensive last will and revocable living trust packages that include all three of the core estate planning documents:
- Last Will or Revocable Living Trust
- Advance Health Care Directive, which is a Medical Power of Attorney and a Living Will
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney
Like Just In Case Estates, Trust & Will also offers discounts for couples who are creating their estate plans together.
Although the pricing model to create an estate plan is the same, the cost is very different. Creating a last will package with Trust & Will costs almost twice as much for an individual ($159 with Trust & Will vs. $88 with Just In Case Estates) and for a couple ($259 vs. $148). Creating a revocable living trust package with Trust & Will costs 70%+ more for an individual ($599 vs. $348) and 75% more for a couple ($699 vs. $398).
Other than the higher cost, you get the same product and same great customer service when you make your estate plan with Just In Case Estates as you do with Trust & Will. The different pricing levels are merely a reflection that Trust & Will spends on a lot more money acquiring new customers than Just In Case Estates (large national TV campaigns are expensive!) which it has to make up by charging higher prices.
Making Changes to Your Trust & Will Estate Plan Documents
If you create your estate plan with Trust & Will, you’ll automatically get free revisions to your documents for the first year. After that first year, you can continue to make revisions for $19 / year for a last will package and $39 / year for a revocable living trust package.
Over a 10-year period, these Trust & Will subscription costs increase the cost of a last will package by $171 and a revocable living trust package by $351.
When you create your estate plan with Just In Case Estates, you get free revisions on your plan for life. This means that the 10-year ownership cost of your Just In Case Estates plan is just what you pay upfront.
The Bottom Line
Creating your estate plan with Just In Case Estates saves you a small fortune compared to the cost of engaging a traditional offline attorney. Comparing Just In Case Estates to popular online estate planning tools LegalZoom and Trust & Will, you'll also save big -- an immediate 70%+ when you create your estate plan and multiple times more over a 10-year horizon.
If you're looking for the best value estate planning solution, look no more. As a family-led, veteran-owned company, Just In Case Estates puts our members first with honest pricing you can trust. All our estate plans are customized to you and guaranteed to meet the legal requirements of your state.
Start your last will or revocable living trust today and cross creating your estate plan off your list in as little as 15 to 30 minutes.