Gentreo Review 2023: Honest Review by an AttorneyEstate Planning
- Basics: Gentreo is an all-encompassing estate planning document service that seamlessly integrates your estate into your digital life.
- Pros: You can prepare documents and other information in less than 30 minutes, store them safely, and share them.
- Cons: There are some less expensive options out there that have some of the same features.
• $99.99 first year and $50 each year thereafter
- REFUND POLICY
Gentreo offers a full refund if requested within seven days. It also automatically renews in a year if you don’t cancel it.
- TIME REQUIRED
• 20 minutes to draft will and read explanations, plus time to review the completed documents
• 5 minutes to complete other documents.
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The co-founder of Gentreo, Renee Fry, took her parents to an estate planning lawyer who charged them $10,000 to prepare what she believed were standard documents. She thought: there has to be a better way. And Gentreo was born.
It makes sense to have a more affordable alternative, which allows updates to documents without extra costs. However, Gentreo does disclaim that it is “not a law firm or a substitute for a law firm” and that it simply provides self-help services.
With this in mind, this product is an affordable, accessible solution for the average American; Gentreo offers advising partner attorneys at a guaranteed rate.
In this Gentreo review, I will give you an overview of what Gentreo has to offer and its pros and cons so you can decide if it is a good fit for you.
Table of Contents
Here are the basics behind the Gentreo platform and products.
What Is Gentreo?
Gentreo “provides self-help services at your specific direction.” It is a platform that allows you to prepare a will, several other estate planning documents, a revocable living trust, a pet trust, and medical and financial power of attorney.
Additionally, you can upload and store important documents in the digital vault. You can also store and share digital asset information, funeral plans, medical information, and more.
How Gentreo Works
Much like with a tax planning program, you answer a series of questions and type in information specific to your situation.
The information that you input replaces the underlined portions in the estate planning documents that are generated. The remainder of the document includes standard boilerplate language that is common on similar documents.
Gentreo describes this as a simple three-step process:
Step 1: Protect
Step 2: Share
Step 3: Relax
Gentreo vs. an Attorney
You can have your estate planning documents drafted with Gentreo through a simple question-and-answer format. It provides a good template for wills and allows you to input successor beneficiaries for your property as well as specific gifts of tangible property, intangible property, and cash.
You can exclude certain beneficiaries if you wish. If you do, it provides clear language stating that this is your wish. It also allows you to name successor guardians and personal representatives and backups for those, too. This format allows three contingencies as well.
Gentreo also allows you to draft other estate planning documents other than your will, including medical and financial powers of attorney, living trusts, and pet trusts. It also stores your documents safely online.
As stated above, Gentreo is not a law firm or a lawyer and you do not have attorney/client privilege by using the site. Attorneys who provide estate planning services are generally much more expensive than Gentreo.
If you have specific concerns or estate planning needs, an attorney would be better equipped to address them and create safeguards.
Gentreo documents (wills, powers of attorney, etc.) includ instructions in regards to self-proving affidavits in all allowed jurisdictions.
Gentre currently provides two types of trusts — a revocable living trust and pet trust– as other do-it-yourself estate planning websites do.
If you have special instructions to leave about how your property is managed, a trust might be a better option than a will. Trusts are helpful because you can transfer property to them and likely avoid probate.
What You Get with Gentreo
You can create estate planning documents with Gentreo. Additionally, you can store and upload documents through its digital vault. You can also share this information with trusted people.
The current plan includes:
The plan is $100/year plus tax before any discounts. It includes the following documents:
- Will: Decide how you want your assets distributed after you pass; nominate guardians for your minor children and nominate an executor, someone to manage your estate.
- Living Trust: Designate an alternate way of distributing your assets and likely avoid probate.
- Health Care Proxy: Nominate someone to make medical decisions for you.
- Living Will: Explain your wishes for life-sustaining treatment and ongoing medical care if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
- HIPAA Authorization: Give a trusted person the right to access your private medical records.
- Power of Attorney: Designate a person to handle your financial affairs for a limited time or if you become disabled.
- Pet Trust: Create and fund a trust to protect your pet(s).
- Emergency Card: Provide your emergency contact information, current list of medications, a person who has access to your estate planning documents, your health insurance provider and number, your blood type, your medical conditions, your allergies and whether you are a blood donor in case of an emergency.
- Family Vault: Provide access to your documents to upload, store and share your documents.
- Unlimited Sharing: Share your documents with as many people as you would like, as many times as you would like.
- Unlimited Updating: Update your documents wherever you need to.
With Gentreo, you can download information and documents shared with you and can create a family vault to share with other members of your family.
You can also invite friends and family to join your team for free and choose which documents to share with specific individuals. You receive alerts when there are changes in your state’s estate planning laws.
Additionally, you can input important information, upload documents and share information with others, including contact information, legal and business contacts, medical information, financial information, real estate, and critical assets and digital accounts to streamline your information and keep it in one convenient place.
Gentreo allows you to make unlimited changes to your estate plan for one year at no additional cost.
The model is subscription-based, and you are charged annually. It renews annually for $50.
If you like the idea of having your entire estate plan stored digitally, Gentreo may be the option for you.
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Who Gentreo Is Good For
People who would likely get the most out of Gentreo include:
People Who Want to Share Information with Others
Gentreo is ideal for people who want one repository to store all of their important documents, including their estate plan.
People Who Have Pets
Gentreo asks whether the customer has pets and allows you to leave a separate designation for a pet agent and a pet caretaker.
People with Basic Estate Planning Needs
Gentreo can generate legally binding documents that contain standard provisions and who do not need truly customized documents.
Who Gentreo Isn’t Good For
While Gentreo offers several attractive features, it is not ideal for everyone, such as:
People with High Wealth
Gentreo is not designed to assist high wealth individuals in protecting their assets from estate tax. Currently the federal estate tax exemption is over 11 million dollars. So if you have that amount in estate, it is prudent to seek legal counsel.
How to Create Your Plan with Gentreo
Gentreo provides a simple interface and helpful suggestions along the way that don’t require you to have a law degree to use.
Create Your Account
There are several “Get Started” buttons on the home page, under “Pricing” and under “Family Plan.”
You will input your name and email address and then verify your account. Prepare an account by answering the questions and inputting the relevant information.
Select the Document You Want to Create
Click on the “Start” button beside the document you want to create.
Read the Description
Read the description for the document you click on.
Answer the Questions
Some questions you will click on “yes” or “no” while others you will input information.
Read the helpful hints as you go along that appear with a “Gentreo Note.”
Read the Descriptions on Each Page
Depending on the answers you provide, you may come across longer descriptions. Read through this information and make sure you understand it.
You will need to make some decisions along the way, such as what specific gifts to leave to people, who to nominate as the guardian of your minor child, and whom to appoint as your personal representative.
Print Your Documents
When you finish, you can download your documents. Then you can print them.
Read the Finalization Instructions
Gentreo provides you with specific instructions on how to make your documents official, such as having them witnessed and notarized. It also gives you instructions on how to share your documents with others.
Return to Your Dashboard and Prepare another Document
Return to your dashboard and prepare the next document of your choosing. There is a helpful progress bar on the right side of your screen to show where you are at in the process.
It will also remind you to upload your finalized documents.
You can also store and share other external documents and upload documents from your digital vault, making it easy for your appointed agents to manage your healthcare and financial choices.
Gentreo Consumer Reviews
Better Business Bureau
Gentreo does not currently have a Better Business Bureau rating.
Users like how quickly they can get their estate planning documents in order and being able to immediately download them. They also feel peace of mind of knowing that the documents are safely stored, including family archives like important documents and photos.
Gentreo includes a “contact us” link on its site and a phone number to reach customer support. Gentreo offers a 15-minute free session with a customer service agent for those who have questions about the software,
For those who need legal advice, Gentreo offers partner attorneys who will provide their services at a discounted rate.
Gentreo Pros and Cons
- Affordable. The cost to create a will is much more affordable than hiring a lawyer. You can also create essential estate planning documents for $100.
- User friendly. The program is easy to use and the site uses layman’s terms. You can draft a will within 20 minutes and other estate planning documents in as little as 5 minutes.
- Instant download. Once finished, you can instantly download your documents and take the next steps to make them legally binding.
- Detailed directions. When your documents are ready, a letter details your next steps to make them legally binding and provides suggestions about to whom to give your documents and how to store them.
- Lack of customization. Gentreo only allows you a few options for dividing your estate in a will and does not yet offer the ability to make a trust.
- Limited ability to leave instructions. You cannot leave detailed instructions on how your property should be managed because you cannot make a trust and the power of attorney provides broad powers with no option to remove certain powers. However, the health care power of attorney provides greater flexibility for detailed instructions.
- Annual charge. Gentreo automatically renews your membership each year unless you cancel.
Gentreo Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I change my documents at a later date?
Yes. You can make changes any time while you have an active membership.
- How secure is Gentreo?
Gentreo allows you to safely secure your documents and uses encryption.
- Are the documents state-specific?
Alternatives to Gentreo
|Gentreo||Trust & Will||Quicken WillMaker Plus||US Legal Wills|
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.