DLA Piper Alumni Estate Lawyer Launches Trustate, a Startup Designed to Ease the Burden of Executors Tasked with Settling an Estate

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Experienced estate attorney Leah Del Percio has launched a tech-enabled services platform to make the estate settlement process more efficient and less draining, both financially and emotionally.

“We believe we can save our average client up to $10K in fees and over 250 hours of time compared to traditional services. Most importantly, we give people the peace of mind and space they need to grieve. Helping people manage through that grief is the part I take the most pride in.”

After serving more than a decade as a high-powered lawyer for the likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and DLA Piper, Leah Del Percio today announced that she is hanging up her law hat to launch a new venture aimed at disrupting the estate settlement process. Her new business, Trustate (http://www.mytrustate.com), is a tech-forward service that is taking a new approach to helping executors manage the complex, expensive, and emotionally draining process of closing out the estate of a deceased loved one.

“After experiencing crisis and hardship at an early age, I developed a deep-seated desire to help people during their most critical times, and losing a loved one is the ultimate challenge,” Del Percio said.

Historically, estate lawyers have charged hourly legal fees to just to provide guidance to executors on how to navigate the convoluted and unnecessarily complex process of settling an estate. The average executor spends close to $10K on legal fees alone while still allocating over 500 hours of their own time to complete the process. The biggest problem with this model is that almost all of the work after someone passes away is administrative in nature and requires no legal work whatsoever. Lawyers have been slow to change their model, and at an average billable rate approaching $400/hour, who could blame them? But increasingly, more and more are recognizing the need for change to stay relevant. With limited ability for these firms to pivot, Trustate has become a natural fit for law firms and wealth managers to outsource their administrative workload, allowing lawyers to reduce overhead costs and focus more on planning. Trustate prides itself on the ability to serve both individual executors but also provide a white-labeled service package to an array of institutional clients including banks, trust companies, accountants, and law firms.

“I knew something had to change. Technology is here to stay and is something that we all should be embracing as a way to provide a better experience and more wholistic service to our clients. I noticed a broken system, one that has thrived for decades on a model that incentivizes work to be done as inefficiently as possible and saw an opportunity to do my part to change that.”

Trustate is taking on a new approach to other startups that are rethinking the business of estate settlement. Rather than providing do-it-yourself software or cumbersome task lists to executors, Trustate is betting big on the fact that people still want a customized, high touch, white-glove service, especially during their most vulnerable times. Trustate provides simplified roadmaps and end-to-end estate services including identifying and marshaling assets, managing paperwork and mail, closing out subscriptions and accounts, bookkeeping, negotiations with creditors, coordinating asset and estate sales, and communicating with government agencies and beneficiaries.

“We have built a software platform that allows us to more efficiently, and with a greater degree of accuracy, complete administrative tasks on behalf of our clients. And we can step in at any point of the process. The result is that we can focus more time on providing a fantastic service that not only provides a helping hand to people at their darkest hour, but is also incredibly scalable.”

“We believe we can save our average client up to $10K in fees and over 250 hours of time compared to traditional services. Most importantly, we give people the peace of mind and space they need to grieve. Helping people manage through that grief is the part I take the most pride in.”

One thing is for certain, disruption is coming to the legal field. Last year, legal tech startups raised an eye-popping $1.5B in venture-backed funding, by far a record for the sector and Del Percio believes that this combination is a winning formula. With no hourly fees, and no out of pocket expenses, Trustate is positioning itself to be a force to reckon with in the fast growing world of legal tech.

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Leah Del Percio
Trustate
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since: 06/2020
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