Digital estate planning startup Trust & Will has executed the first-ever digital will in the United States, according to a report.
San-Diego based Trust & Will digitally guides people through the sometimes complicated process of creating legal guardians, creating wills and writing trusts. The firm was started by Cody Barbo, Daniel Goldstein and Brian Lamb.
The company teamed up with Notarize, which provides legal notarizations online, to execute a digital will for a man named Cory McCormick, a Nevada police officer. Currently, Nevada is the only state that allows digital wills.
“It was pretty cool to have completed the entire will process online from start to finish,” McCormick said in a press release. “Serving in the line of duty presents a lot of unknowns, but having a will now gives me peace of mind to support my family and loved ones.”
The estate planning industry is notoriously paper-based, and the industry faces challenges similar to most consumer-based startups: It costs a lot to get customers. Also, there are timing issues, as most don’t go around thinking about their impending death on a regular basis, whereas many do think about budgets or credit regularly.
“Our mission is help everyone leave a lasting legacy. We achieved that major milestone by completing the first ever digital will,” said Cody Barbo, founder and CEO of Trust & Will. “By digitizing the entire process, people can proactively manage their estate and dynamically update it with major life events such as children, liquidity, inheritance and more. As more states accept online wills, Notarize will be the dream partner to deliver this experience to more of the country.”
The company has found some nuances in the process, though. It has learned that new mothers are an important demographic in its business. Setting up legal guardianship for children is a tricky process – and, like wills, it’s almost exclusively paper-based. In response to this, Trust & Will launched a service called Guardian, which lets parents get their paperwork in order for $39.
The startup also announced that it closed on $2 million in funding from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. The investment includes $500,000 in money from Techstars, among others.