Some frequently asked questions:
How does this work?
- Learn—Read up on the basics of estate planning here and decide what documents are best for you.
- Tell us about you—Complete our comprehensive questionnaire here so that we can prepare your documents. If you cannot complete the questionnaire in one sitting, feel free to save it and return to complete it later.
- Sign—Your documents are not complete until you properly sign them. We can deliver your documents electronically or by mail with instructions on how to sign them to make your documents effective.
Can you help me choose which documents to get?
- We cannot give you personalized legal advice, but click here for a general guideline about the different documents we offer.
Who qualifies for a couples Trust?
- If you are married or in a registered domestic partnership so that you have community property with your spouse or RDP, you can create a couples Trust together. If you do not have community property (either because neither of you is earning money or because you signed an agreement to have only separate property), each spouse or RDP should have their own Trust.
How do I know if your documents are any good?
- All of our documents are prepared and reviewed by a California-licensed attorney with more than 27 years experience in estate planning.
What makes you different than other online document assembly websites?
- All of our documents are prepared and reviewed by a California-licensed attorney. We provide estate planning documents only because that is what we know. Also, all of our documents are written in plain English that makes it easier for you and your loved ones to understand.
How long have you been in business?
- California Trusts Online is brand new, however, CTO’s attorney has been an attorney since 1991 and has been in estate planning since 1993.
Can I sign my documents online?
- No, at this time, the State of California does not recognize estate planning documents that have been signed online. Please refer to our blog post about how to sign your documents for more information.
Do I need to go to a notary to sign my documents?
- For an explanation of how to properly sign each document, please see this blog post. If your document needs to be notarized, you will need to appear in person with the notary either by you traveling to the notary or by the notary traveling to you. You can sign the document before you meet with the notary if you acknowledge your signature to the notary in person.
Where can I find a notary?
- Many banks, financial institutions, AAA offices and UPS stores offer notary services to their customers. You can also search online for independent notaries and for mobile notaries who will travel to your home or office to notarize your documents for you. During COVID-19, notaries are still allowed to notarize documents. You may need to request an appointment if you are having documents notarized at an institution.
Can I hire you as an attorney?
- You cannot hire an attorney through this site. If you need to hire an attorney, please visit the California State Bar to locate an attorney close to you.
How long will it take for you to prepare my documents?
- Unless stated otherwise on this site, your documents will be prepared within 5-10 business days. If you choose to have your documents mailed to you, please remember to factor in delivery time.
Do I have to be a US citizen to make a California estate plan?
- You not have to be a US citizen. You do, however, have to live in California more than half the time. If you are not a US citizen and make a Will, we will follow the International Convention of Wills guidelines for your Will.
What if I need help?
- Contact us at email@example.com if you need help completing the questionnaire or if you have technical trouble. Please remember we cannot give you legal advice.