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TOPS Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Living Trust Service Reviews

TOPS Review 1.5 Star Rating

TOPS

1.5 Star Rating
  • $82.51 for a living trust package
  • Made in the USA
  • 76 options for living trusts
  • Comes with an ebook, worksheets, and forms

TOPS specializes in distributing office products and organizational solutions with locations throughout the US. They own a family of brands including Oxford, Cardinal, Pendaflex, Quality Park, Adams, and others.

More than just binders and notebooks

Most people know of TOPS' organizational products like binders, notebooks, envelopes, index cards, folders, and more. Some may not realize that their range of products also includes legal forms for estate planning, family law, real estate, and businesses.

Confusing mix of products

TOPS' website is nothing special. Maybe this is just what you expect when you're shopping for office-like supplies. How exciting can it really be? The problem is that TOPS has so many options for different products that it may be confusing to find what you need. Their website could be much more straightforward, so it definitely lacks user-friendliness. For example, if you search for a living trust, 76 options will pop up. Most of them have the same display photo and product name, so it's hard to know what you need.

Too complicated

For this review, we looked into the "Living Trust Kit, Forms and Instructions." This is an ebook that comes with beneficiary worksheets and living trust forms. The kit also includes a beneficiary questionnaire and the option to download multiple manuals and state-specific forms. Already we are exhausted at the thought of going through the work to create a living trust here. It's so much easier to go to a site where you can specify your state and have them take you straight through the process. You're less likely to mess up and it saves so much time.

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Can't buy just one

The cost to purchase TOPS' living trust kit is $82.51. However, the real kicker is that you can't actually buy just one. For whatever reason, TOPS only allows you to purchase these kits in quantities of 24. So if for some reason you're this far into our review and still feel inclined to make a living trust through TOPS, you'll be forking out a whopping $1,980.24. Crazy, right? This is likely for companies who buy these forms in bulk and then turn around and resell them to other customers. Of course there are other living trust products from TOPS, but we have no good advice on how to sort through it all to find what works for you.

No reviews

We weren't able to find a Better Business Bureau rating for TOPS. In addition, they rarely have customer reviews on their products or elsewhere. We can't imagine that many people are turning to them for legal forms. Their bread and butter is office supplies and there probably aren't people rushing to leave reviews about the quality of the paper they are using.

Look elsewhere

Overall, TOPS is not the best in the business of selling legal forms. There are companies who have simplified that process at an inexpensive price, so we definitely recommend turning to them instead. TOPS has earned our lowest rating for making a living trust.

Where is the Best Place to Create a Living Trust Online?

While making a living trust may not be on the top of your to-do list, it should be. Not to be confused with a living will, a living trust allows you to manage and distribute your assets both during your lifetime and after you pass away. It goes into effect as soon as it is signed and can give you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that no one will have to worry about going through a probate process.

Creating a living trust online has seen a significant surge in popularity over the last few years due to several reasons. In addition to being both convenient and inexpensive, online living trusts are easily accessible when needed. In fact, this method of estate planning has revolutionized the way individuals protect their assets and plan for the distribution of their wealth after their passing.

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Living Trust Service FAQ

A living trust is a legal document created in one's lifetime where a designated person (trustee) is given the responsibility for managing a person's assets for a beneficiary. A living trust is used in the event that the trust creator passes away and needs their assets transferred to someone else. This helps bypass the complex and expensive processes of probate. An irrevocable living trust can also be used to protect one's assets by creating a separate entity to "own" them: if an individual is sued, their property can't be taken if it's held by the trust.
A living trust is ideal for anyone who is single and has assets tied up in their sole name. This will allow beneficiaries to avoid the costs and hassles of probate. Since a living trust does nothing for someone during their lifetime, they are typically drafted by people who are 60 years and older who start to become concerned about their health as they age and want to avoid issues for their loved ones if they pass away unexpectedly.
Drafting up a living trust can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 if you choose to do it yourself. This is a much more cost-effective option when compared to hiring a lawyer and paying upwards of $1,000 or more. When creating a living trust, you'll be paying for the online platform you use or the software you purchase and download.
A living trust usually expires up to 21 years after the creator of the trust passes away. However, it's unlikely that assets won't be settled by then, so most expire when the trustor dies and the assets are immediately distributed. A person who makes a living trust during their lifetime will not have to worry about it expiring before they die.
A living trust becomes effective as soon as it is created. The final act of making a living trust valid is when the trustor "funds" the trust by transferring assets into it. People who create a living trust can immediately have peace of mind knowing that their assets are going to be taken care of as soon as they pass away.
No! With simple online tools, you can follow a fill-in-the-blank process to create your living trust. You'll walk step-by-step through the process and be able to provide all the necessary information at your own pace. This is a lot easier than meeting in-person with a lawyer and going back and forth on the requirements for the living trust. It is also a lot less expensive!
A revocable living trust can be altered whenever the trustor wants. It is flexible in that you can change the terms whenever you choose with or without an attorney. If you have a living trust in both you and your spouse's names, your spouse can also make changes at any time. On the other hand, an irrevocable living trust is fixed and can't be altered once established.
No. The terms of a living trust never need to be made public. Unlike a will that becomes a matter of public record when it is submitted to probate court, a living trust can remain private. The only people who need ever review the terms of the trust is the trustor(s), trustee, beneficiaries, and an attorney if necessary.
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Continued from above...

Online living trusts let you create these legal documents from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for multiple visits to attorneys' offices and streamlining the entire process.

Another reason people are drawn to online living trust services is the cost factor. Traditional estate planning services can be prohibitively expensive, often with high attorney fees and administrative costs. By contrast, online living trusts provide an affordable alternative, letting you create a legally binding document at a fraction of the cost.

Regardless of your income status, it's important to save your family both time and money by getting things in order with a living trust. Not only will you be able to choose who distributes your property in the event that you become disabled or die, but you'll remain in complete control of all your assets in the meantime.

Another reason to take this legal step is to avoid bank issues, not have to wait on a judge, and protect your own privacy while ensuring that your assets are legally accounted for.

We'll be the first to acknowledge that end-of-life affairs are not fun to think about, let alone spend time taking care of. However, getting it over with will provide immeasurable relief for you and your loved ones and it's much easier than you'd think. There are fantastic online platforms that will walk you through all the steps to creating a living trust without spending hundreds of dollars. Real lawyers will verify the validity of your documents and ensure they meet all necessary legal requirements for a fraction of the cost you might find elsewhere.

Many online legal services have round-the-clock access to customer service agents who will make sure you're taken care of and confident with the process of creating your living trust. When deciding which company to use, take the following things into consideration:

  • Professionalism. When it comes to legal documents, all I's need to be dotted and T's need to be crossed. There's no room to engage with a company that won't show the utmost professionalism and attention to detail. Check the background of their legal team. Are they transparent with their processes and guarantee that their documents are up to legal standards?
  • Cost. Regardless of how you spin it, you'll be saving tons of money by not dealing with a lawyer in-person to create your living trust. However, you still want to save as much money as you can while making sure you're using a legitimate company. How competitive is the company's costs when compared to others who offer the same services?
  • User friendliness. Most of us aren't very familiar with legal jargon and may not understand all the processes that come with legally binding documents. Make sure you find a company that makes you feel confident and leaves no room for questions. Do they have an FAQ page? Is there always someone available to answer your questions?

Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best companies to help you create a living trust. We hope this information helps you take care of your end-of-life affairs without any stress or hassle!

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