March 18, 2020

Fabric Review: A Life Insurance Company that Offers a Free Will as a Bonus

Estate Planning

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  • Fabric
    • Basics: Fabric offers a free will to anyone who considers life insurance on its site. Note that you don’t actually have to purchase life insurance in order to get your will.
    • Pros: You get a free will that takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
    • Cons: There is little customization to make the will personal to your situation.
    Cost (Details) 10/10
     
    User Experience (Details) 9/10
     
    Situations Covered (Details) 3/10
     
    Accuracy (Details) 7/10
     
    Ongoing Planning (Details) 10/10
     
    Customer Support (Details) 7/10
     
    • FEES

      Free

    • REFUND POLICY

      There is no refund policy described on the site, but it’s not necessary since the will is free.

    • TIME REQUIRED

      15 minutes

As an estate planning lawyer, I have used and reviewed a variety of estate planning programs, including premium (more expensive) options and some free options.

Some of these programs have a lot of bells and whistles, usually that consumers pay for. While the Fabric will document is basic, it is a good, free option for people with basic estate planning needs.

In this review of the Fabric will creation service, I explain what your Fabric will includes and details about it so you can decide whether or not it is a good fit for your particular needs. 

Fabric Overview

Here are the basics behind the Fabric will. 

What Is Fabric? 

Fabric sells life insurance products online. It is geared toward young families who want to establish a solid financial footing and plan for their future.

It provides a free will to consumers whether or not they purchase insurance through its platform.

How Fabric Works 

Fabric asks you some basic questions to assess your life insurance needs. It also offers you a free will that you can draft within 15 minutes.

You walk through a simple question-and-answer format and then a will is generated based on your selections. 

Once you complete the document, you can print it and finalize it so you can make and finalize the will on the same day.

Fabric offers a free will as an auxiliary product for people considering purchasing life insurance. 

Fabric vs. an Attorney 

Fabric offers you a free will by asking you a few simple questions. The document is made specific to your state and you receive instructions on how to make it legally-binding.

This is a free and simple way to put an important estate planning document in place. 

Fabric states that you may want to consult an attorney if you want to leave your belongings to loved ones in a non-standard way, want to create a trust for your minor children, have a large estate and have questions about tax planning, want to disinherit a spouse or child or have another situation that feels specific to you or your family in some way that is not uncommon. 

Fabric is a good tool for people who cannot afford the expensive fees of estate planning attorneys, which average $250 – $310 per hour.

However, if you have any of the situations described above, not paying for a lawyer and relying solely on a Fabric will could leave your estate vulnerable or leave you with an estate planning document that does not fully address your specific needs.

What You Get with Fabric

Fabric provides the following:

Wills 

You can get a free will with Fabric that uses common plans, such as leaving all of your property to your spouse and then your children. 

Final Arrangements Document

You can also prepare a free document that specifies your wishes regarding your final arrangements. This document is included in the will PDF that you receive via email.

Be sure that you mention this document to loved ones so that they are aware of its existence since your will will not be probated until well after your death and the time that your loved ones will need to know what final arrangements to make for your body. 

Ongoing Planning 

You can return to the Fabric site to make updates or edits to your will. Just be sure you download, print, and finalize your documents so that your changes are legally-binding.

While the Fabric will is a simple estate planning document, it will meet the needs of many young families.

3/5 Rating

Who Fabric Is Good For 

Fabric provides a basic will that will likely benefit the following groups of people:

People Who Have Common Estate Planning Wishes 

Fabric’s will uses the most common estate planning selections for you to choose from.

Young Families

When you first get married or have a child, it is important that you put a will in place so that your wishes are honored and your estate can avoid your state’s default rules. Putting this document in place can help you.

People Who Want to Share Their Wishes Electronically

Fabric allows you to email your will or a summary of your will to your selected guardians, executors, and other loved ones. 

Who Fabric Isn’t Good For 

Fabric may not be appropriate for the following people:

People who Want a Revocable Living Trust

Fabric does not allow you to instruct how your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance or how they can use it. If you want to include these types of instructions — and if you want to avoid your estate being probated — a living revocable trust may be more appropriate.

People Who Need Other Estate Planning Documents

Fabric currently only offers a will. It does not provide other common estate planning documents, such as a durable financial power of attorney, living will, or advance directive.

People Who Want to Disinherit Someone

One common option Fabric lets you select is to give your property to your children in equal shares to the exclusion of your spouse.

However, many states do not allow you to disinherit your spouse, or they allow your spouse to make a claim for the share that they would have received had you not had a will.

People who truly want to disinherit their spouse may be disappointed to learn that their selection may not have the weight they think it does or may accidentally select this option without understanding the potential consequences.

People Who Want to Leave Unequal Shares of Their Estate to Their Beneficiaries

Fabric only allows you to leave equal shares to your children.

However, if one of your children was a long-term caretaker for you or other children are more financially sound, you may want to leave unequal shares to your beneficiaries.

Fabric does not currently provide this option, other than letting you list a variety of specific gifts to give to your chosen beneficiaries. 

How to Create Your Plan with Fabric 

Fabric walks you through a simple questionnaire to prepare your will.

Get Started

Simply click on “Get Started” on the home page to begin.

get started with fabric

Answer Some Basic Questions

The Fabric questionnaire starts by asking you questions to assess your need for life insurance, such as whether you are married and have kids, assets, or debts.

 Answer these questions by clicking on the appropriate boxes that apply to your personal situation.

Click “Next” after you make the appropriate selections. 

answer basic questions on fabric
fabric personalized checklist

Fill in Basic Information

You will also need to type basic information, such as your legal name, address and phone number.

Scroll to the appropriate numbers to fill in your date of birth.

fill in basic information fabric

Create an Account

While answering other questions, you can provide your email address and a password you select to create an account on the Fabric website.

You will then receive an email to activate your account.

You can still continue with the rest of the will without creating the account or verifying your email address.

Answer Questions for Your Will

Next, you will answer questions so that an appropriate will is generated for you, such as if you have minor children and want to make specific gifts to beneficiaries you name.

Input the appropriate information as you go through the simple question-and-answer process.

There is a purple progress bar at the top of the page that shows how far you are into the process.

fabric the will
answer questions for your will on fabric

Decide How to Divide Your Estate

Fabric only gives you two options to divide your estate:

  • All of your estate to your spouse and then your children equally
  • All of your estate to your children equally

 You will be given the option of making a will for your spouse, too, which is a great time-saver if the instructions will be mostly the same.

decide how to divide your estate with fabric

Name a Guardian for Your Children

You can nominate a guardian who you would like to care for your children in case both parents pass away.

The program asks whether you have a personal or professional relationship with the guardian so that it can provide you appropriate instructions on how to communicate with this person about your wishes. 

You can also email the nominated guardian to notify them of your selection. 

Complete the same information to name an alternate guardian.

name a guardian for your children estate planning
name a guardian for your children with fabric

Make Gifts

You can then make specific gifts to people of your choosing.

Type in a description that will help your loved ones identify the property. 

make gifts with fabric

Name an Executor

Select an executor who will be responsible for carrying out the instructions in your will.

Select whether your relationship with your chosen executor is personal or professional so the program can generate appropriate instructions.

You can email your executor.

You can also select an alternate executor.

name an executor with fabric
fabric will executor
send will to executor on fabric

Share Details of Your Will

You can choose relatives, close family friends or other loved ones to receive a summary of your will. The program emails the recipients.

share details of your will with fabric

Make Decisions About Final Arrangements

The program will next ask you about your final arrangements and give you a few options, such as burial, cremation or letting your family decide.

Select your preferred arrangements.

You will have a few more screens that ask you for details about your final arrangements and that allow you to type in special requests.

fabric final arrangements
make decisions about final arrangements on fabric

Email Witnesses to Your Will

You can email the people who will witness your will to initiate the process.

These witnesses should be disinterested, meaning that they are not related to you and do not stand to inherit anything in your will.

email your will to witnesses

Apply for Life Insurance

The program will automatically launch into a questionnaire about life insurance.

You can navigate away from this page if you don’t want to look into your life insurance options at this time.

apply for life insurance with fabric

Check Your Email

Your will is sent to your email account in a PDF version. Review it, and if you are satisfied with it, you can print it out.

A self-proving affidavit is also included if you made this section.

Read the Finalization Instructions

Read over the instructions about how to make your will legally-binding, including instructions on having your will witnessed, whether to include a self-proving affidavit and how to safely store it.

There are also helpful prompts about how you can communicate your estate plan details to your loved ones.

read finalization instructions on fabric
summary of estate plans on fabric

Make Updates

You can return to your Fabric account to make updates later on.

If you make changes, you will need to print out the newest version of your will and have it finalized again.

You should also notify anyone who has a previous version of your will about your updates.

You can store your finalized documents and other important documents in the Fabric Vault.

make updates on fabric

Fabric Consumer Reviews 

Better Business Bureau 

Fabric does not currently have a Better Business Bureau rating.

User Reviews 

Users had an easy experience with using Fabric to create their will. Some reported being able to finish their will in only 5 minutes on their phone.

Others wanted more robust options, such as a revocable living trust.

The site asks for a review as you are completing the will and has more than 1,400 reviews with a high rating at the time of the publication of this Fabric review.

Customer Support

Consumers can instantly chat with support or review FAQs.  

Will
Free
Power of Attorney
Not Available
Trust
Not Available

Fabric Pros and Cons

Fabric Pros 

  • Free. You don’t have to agree to a membership, purchase life insurance, donate to charity or anything else. The product is actually free.
  • Safe storage. Fabric provides a vault where you can safely store your important documents online.
  • Fast drafting. You can draft your will in less than 15 minutes. You can also draft a similar will for your spouse at the same time.
  • Instant download. You receive an email with a PDF of your will within a few minutes of your document being created.
  • Free revisions. You can make unlimited, free revisions to your will.
  • Prompts for difficult conversations. Your will kit includes a set of useful prompts to help you discuss your estate plan with your children and loved ones. These prompts help you explain the roles you have assigned and why you assigned them.

Fabric Cons

  • Not for complex estates. The Fabric site specifically lists a number of situations for when you might want an attorney to review your will, such as if you want a living revocable trust or want to disinherit someone.
  • No living trust option. Fabric does not currently give you an option to draft a living trust.
  • No other estate planning documents. You may need to supplement your will with other estate planning documents from other providers, such as your living will and durable financial power of attorney.

Fabric Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I change my documents at a later date?

    Yes. You can make changes at any time to your documents by logging into your account going to your Dashboard and clicking on the “Update Kit” option. You can then make edits.

  • How secure is Fabric?

    Fabric uses 256-bit encryption to secure your data. You also control who has access to your documents.

  • What is Fabric Vault?

    Fabric Vault provides a complete list of your financial accounts so that a trusted person can access this information in case of an emergency. Your Fabric Will and any life insurance policies you purchase through Fabric are automatically added to your vault.

Alternatives to Fabric

 FabricFreeWill.comTrust & WillGentreo
 
Best
For
  • People who want to use the same site to purchase life insurance
  • People who want a free will with a few customization options
  • People who want the option to also create a trust
  • People who want to safely store their important documents online
Cost
for
Will
  • $0
  • $0
  • $69
  • $129.99/year
Cost
for
Trust
  • Not currently available
  • Not currently available
  • $399
  • $249.99/year projected price (not yet available)
Lawyer
Involvement
  • You cannot have an attorney review your will as part of this current service
  • You can use the search function to find a local attorney to review your will
  • The company hired a team of lawyers to prepare the basic templates so that they are compliant in all states. There is no option to receive attorney advice while preparing the will.
  • A lawyer on the company’s team helped develop the templates, but the company specifically states that it cannot offer legal advice or explanations
Digital
Download
  • Yes, in a PDF file
  • Yes. You can download a PDF of your documents, print them and finalize them
  • You can view a PDF of your documents, but the company mails the official forms
  • Yes, during your term of membership
Free
Revisions
  • Yes as long as you have an account
  • Yes. You have unlimited, free revisions
  • Yes as long as you have a Fabric account
  • Yes
Other
Documents
Available
  • Funeral arrangement plan, ability to purchase life insurance
  • Living will, durable financial power of attorney
  • Pour-over will, living will, guardianship nomination and power of attorney
  • Health care proxy, living will, power of attorney, power of attorney for pets, digital vault
Customer
Support
  • You can review FAQs or chat with support
  • You can email customer support. There is also a Help Center for FAQs
  • There is a chat option you can use while preparing your documents
  • You can call or email customer support
 
Valerie Keene, J.D.

Valerie graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law where she also participated in Moot Court and the Arkansas Law Review. She practices law in Arkansas, focusing primarily on estate planning and elder law. She has prepared countless estate planning documents and has participated in a number of guardianship cases since she was admitted to the bar. She is a regular contributor to Nolo.

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