Frequently Asked Questions

TRUST BASICS

A living trust is a legal document that states who you want to receive your trust assets if you pass away, and who you would like to manage your trust assets if you become incapacitated. A trust helps communicate your wishes so your loved ones aren't left guessing or dealing with the probate court.

A trust is a way of holding title to the things you already own, and a place to hold things that you will acquire in the future. You can own your house, bank accounts, investments and other real and personal property in a trust. During your lifetime, you are the creator, trustee, and the beneficiary of your own trust. This kind of trust is often referred to as a living trust or a revocable trust. You can cancel, revoke, or change your trust anytime during your lifetime. After you’re gone, your trust can pass assets to your loved ones just like a will, only much more efficiently.

A trust is a document meant to be administered privately. A will, on the other hand, is a public document that usually goes through the public probate court, and almost always requires an attorney to administer and interpret. It often takes months or years to probate a will, and it can also be very expensive, sometimes costing 6% or more of the entire gross estate in court costs and attorney fees. Alternatively, with a trust, your hand-picked successor trustee can distribute your assets to your loved ones privately after you’ve passed, under the exact terms you dictated, without having to go through an expensive, public probate court process or incurring attorney fees.

Bottom line: wills are public and are usually quite expensive in the end, while trusts are private, efficient, and less expensive to administer.

A properly funded revocable trust allows you to hold assets in trust for your own use and enjoyment during your lifetime and pass them on to your loved ones upon your own terms after you’re gone, privately and efficiently, without probate. A will, on the other hand, usually has to go through a public probate court before it is considered valid, and it is often expensive and time consuming to administer. A will usually requires an attorney to administer; a trust can be administered and distributed privately without a court or an attorney.

MODERN TRUST BASICS

It’s simple: to protect what you’ve worked hard for and your loved ones, in an easy-to-update and decipherable digital format. All that without notaries, probate, and vulnerable paper documents.

Create your Modern Trust in four basic steps:

  1. Choose your beneficiaries
  2. Choose your trustees
  3. Add your assets
  4. Sign and maintain your trust online

It’s $250 to start your trust, and only $99/ year to make updates. That’s all it takes to protect your possessions and loved ones from the lengthy and expensive public probate process.

15 minutes! Complete your Modern Trust now, and get busy living!

Anyone who wants to protect their assets from probate, preserve their privacy and make sure loved ones can privately receive their inheritance efficiently once you pass. It’s not just for the wealthy—it’s for everyone. Click here to learn what satisfied Modern Trust customers have to say.

Historically, living trusts are printed on paper and signed in front of a notary public. The private document is usually kept hidden until a person passes away or becomes incapacitated. Unfortunately, paper documents are often misplaced or lost, thereby becoming ineffective. With Modern Trust, your living trust document is always accessible online, and can never be lost or misplaced.

During your lifetime, only you can open and read your living trust by accessing ModernTrust.com and entering your own private credentials, including your user name and password. Upon your passing or incapacitation, your chosen successor trustee can then access your trust document by providing a certified death certificate to Modern Trust. Or, in the event that you become incapacitated, your successor trustee must provide Modern Trust with a court degree or evidence from two licensed physicians demonstrating that you are no longer capable of managing your affairs, after which Modern Trust will provide your trustee with access to your trust document. Finally, if you choose, you can forward an electronic copy of your Modern Trust document to your successor trustee, or to anyone, at any time.

Basically, no one can read your trust unless you say so.

Yes, for your trust to work properly, you must change the title of any bank accounts, credit union accounts, investment accounts, business interests, or real property (where there is not already a designated beneficiary), into the name of your living Modern Trust in order to avoid probate. If you fail to transfer an account or property into the trust, it may go through probate when you pass, and that asset could be distributed, after probate, to your next of kin.

So, it is important to use the forms provided to you, go to the bank, or speak with your financial advisor in order to properly change the title of each bank account into the name of your trust. For real estate, a grant deed transferring your interest in the property into your trust to avoid a public probate of the asset must be created, signed and recorded in the county where the property is.

You can if you want to, but it’s up to you. After you electronically sign your living trust, your trust document will be maintained online in a protected, encrypted digital format. If you’d like, you can print it out on paper to keep with you records, or to send someone a copy at any time. Sometimes a bank or financial institution may want to see a paper copy of your trust. In that case you can print out a copy and show it to them.

Simply go online, open your trust document, and make changes to the beneficiaries, assets, or successor trustees of your trust. Then, review and electronically sign your revised trust document. The new document you've just signed will completely replace the old one, and will be maintained privately online until you make another change.

Yes, Modern Trust can help you create real estate transfer documents to move your real property into your trust. Modern Trust can also help create business assignments to transfer your businesses into your trust. Modern Trust also provides you with forms that you can use at banks and other financial institutions to help you change the titles of those accounts into the name of your trust.

Yes. In most states, you can also disinherit your spouse from your trust if you don’t want them to receive anything. But, you may have to notify your spouse that you have created a new trust document in case they also want to create their own trust.

If you have an existing revocable trust, your new Modern Trust will effectively revoke and terminate the old trust, and the beneficiaries and new distribution terms of your Modern Trust will take the place of the old trust.

You should update your trust document anytime you want to modify your beneficiaries, change your successor trustee, or if you want to make new special bequests of specific items of personal property to particular individuals.

A minor cannot create a Modern Trust . However, you can help an adult friend or family member use Modern Trust to create their own living trust for the benefit of their minor children or beneficiaries.

Yes, if you’re not married, but have a same-sex partner, then you and your partner can jointly create a same-sex couples’ trust using Modern Trust. Or, if you’re not married but have a registered domestic partner, then you can both create a Living trust using Modern Trust. Or, if just one of you wants to create a trust for the benefit of your partner, you, or each of you, you can also do that.

SECURITY BASICS

Your trust document is kept private, and securely stored online in an encrypted format. You have the individual power to indicate who should receive your trust assets when you pass and who has access to view your document. Modern Trust uses the most advanced technology ensuring that your trust document is safeguarded, encrypted, and absolutely private.

At Modern Trust, we use the latest security framework to safeguard your data. For example, sensitive personal information is transmitted, encrypted, and authenticated using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS), the best online security protocol.

When you visit the secured ModernTrust website, it will send the TLS certificate to your browser so it can check that the certificate is valid. The Modern Trust website and your browser will then generate a secure connection. Additionally, a username and password is required to log into your account. We will soon offer two-step authentication when logging in.

Modern Trust will send you an email notification each time your account is logged into, with the start and end times of each session. Also, if you become inactive once logged in to the system, you are automatically logged out. You’ll need to log in again to access your account.

Keeping your information safe is a shared responsibility. You can help by never giving anyone your user ID and password, using unique and difficult passwords, and being vigilant about updating your information.

We use DocuSign to help you electronically sign all of your trust documents. DocuSign uses the application-level Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption. Documents stored in our ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 data centers use the highest levels of encryption.

Modern Trust uses Amazon Web Services (AWS). The AWS infrastructure puts strong safeguards in place to help protect customer privacy. All data is stored in highly secure AWS data centers behind firewalls. All data flowing across the AWS global network that connects with our data centers is automatically encrypted before leaving our secured facilities.

Trustees are notified that you have added them as trustees to your Modern Trust. However, beneficiaries are not notified when you add them to your Trust. Beyond that, it is up to you whether or not you choose to share the contents of your trust with others.

LEGAL BASICS

Not necessarily. Modern Trust is not a law firm, nor does it offer legal advice. While your Modern Trust document will be effective, legal, and valid upon your individual signature, Modern Trust recommends that each user consult an attorney before signing any legal document.

There aren’t many: You must be an adult and have the mental capacity to create and understand the meaning and effect of your trust document. You must also be able to voluntarily make important decisions about who you want to manage and receive your trust assets when you’re gone.

If all of your probatable assets are properly accounted for in your Modern Trust, you probably don’t need a will. But, if you forget to put something in your trust, then it is useful to have a will that can transfer the assets into the trust. This type of will is often referred to as a “pour-over will”, but it is the trust, not the will, where all of your beneficiaries should be listed, because the trust can be administered privately without the supervision of the court, whereas the will usually must go through the public probate court system.

Yes, the Modern Trust living trust is valid in any state in the United States. Trusts are also recognized in many countries around the world, but not in all. Some countries, such as France and certain countries in Asia, still do not recognize the legal principle of a trust. Most countries that use English common law do recognize and use trusts.

When you agree to use an electronic signature to execute your Modern Trust document and then electronically sign the document, it becomes a legal, binding document. Of course, you can make updates to your trust at any time.

A power of attorney gives someone the right to make legal decisions for you and your assets in the event you become incapacitated. Some of these decisions include paying bills, making financial transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, and operating businesses.

Probate is a court process through which a will is interpreted before it is considered valid and property can be distributed. Probate can often take many months or years and can be very expensive, often costing 6% or more of the entire gross estate in court costs and attorney fees. In some states probate costs less, but it is always a public process, and usually involves an attorney who must be compensated.

A trust, however, does not require probate, so your assets can be distributed to your beneficiaries and loved ones faster, privately, and without burdensome costs. Enter Modern Trust.

If you pass away without a will or trust in effect, you are said to have died “intestate.” This means the state you live in has automatic distribution laws for your assets. If you become incapacitated without proper estate planning documents, then the court could also appoint a conservator to manage your affairs. This usually involves a public hearing in the probate court, and you will not have a say in who is appointed to make decisions on your behalf. The person appointed by the court could have the power to make all kinds of financial and medical decisions for you.

Yes, but the laws surrounding the validity of trusts are very similar between most states and have existed for centuries. The laws allowing individuals to create their own personal trusts are valid throughout the United States and most English speaking common law countries.

Both are types of living trusts. An irrevocable trust can’t be modified or terminated without the beneficiary’s permission. A revocable trust, on the other hand, can be cancelled, revoked or modified at any time by the grantor.

There are no tax implications from placing your assets into a living trust. Your Modern Trust uses your social security number to account for any income attributable to the trust assets. So, while there are no income tax implications involved in creating a living trust, be sure to keep filing your income tax return and pay your taxes on time.

Yes, your business expenses can still be deducted even though your business becomes a trust asset.

Yes, subject to any existing limitations regarding the deductibility of mortgage interest for individuals.

Yes, and in fact, the naming of multiple beneficiaries in your Modern Trust can actually increase the amount of insurance for each FDIC insured account.

Insurance does not go through probate when the policy has a named beneficiary. So, there is usually no need to place your insurance into your trust, because you can name your own beneficiaries on your life insurance policy outside your Modern Trust. Actually, a named beneficiary on a life insurance policy always takes priority over those named in a trust or a will.

Nope! The living trust is just another way for you to hold title to your existing assets, and your Modern Trust operates under your social security number.

ACCOUNT BASICS

Absolutely! Check out the Modern Trust app.

Go to “Profile” and change or update your email address or login credentials at any time.

It happens! If you forget your password, then indicate that you “forgot password” when you log in and Modern Trust will send you an email allowing you to set a new password.

Log in to your account, go to your Document Dashboard, open your document, and select “print”.

Call us and talk to a real human! Toll-free: (888) 700-3677

If for whatever reason you are unsatisfied with your Modern Trust, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Modern Trust accepts all major credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.

Check the billing address, credit card information, and expiration date and try re-entering. If that doesn’t work, try another form of payment. And if you’re still having difficulty, contact Modern Trust for assistance.

No, the old trustee will not automatically be notified that you have changed your trust. However, the new trustee will be notified that you have recently appointed them as successor trustee in your new trust document.

Go to your Document Dashboard and select “Trust Revocation.” Then review and digitally sign the document. You may also want to print out the signed trust revocation document for your records.