Inspirational Women Leaders Of Tech: Tara Faquir and Leah Del Percio of Trustate On The Five Things You Need To Know In Order To Create A Very Successful Tech Company

An Interview With Penny Bauder

Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine
11 min readFeb 3, 2022


Know when to cut your losses and move on. When a feature rollout just simply isn’t working, abandon ship and move on. No point putting a square peg in a round hole.

As a part of my series about “Lessons From Inspirational Women Leaders in Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Leah Del Percio and Tara Faquir.

Leah Del Percio and Tara Faquir are the founders of Trustate, an Estate Administration Tech company that is changing the landscape of estate administration.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Leah: I am a trusts & estates lawyer, and saw a gap in my industry where most people, after experiencing a death in the family, weren’t getting the value they desperately needed from their estate attorney, and that their attorney would often spend a lot in time and overhead to meet the needs of their estate administration clients. I knew that we could build a product to help lawyers get back their time so that they could focus on their actual legal work while still meeting all of the other needs of their clients.

Tara: Prior to Trustate, I was in an enterprise sales role and have always been entrepreneurial. I also knew the struggle of this process first hand as a busy professional who was juggling helping a close family member with the estates of my two grandparents and working full time. We hired a lawyer, and found it hard to see the value the lawyer provided.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

Tara: When we first launched the business, we set out to validate two things: (1) that grieving families desperately needed a solution to this problem; and (2) that the businesses who serve these families (wealth management firms, banks, insurance professionals, lawyers) also desperately needed a solution to this problem. We succeeded on both fronts. What became most interesting was that though our initial customer research had shown that lawyers were the least receptive to our product. However, over time as we began to grow, organic inbound unsolicited inquiries from lawyers started to steadily trickle in.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Leah: I got on a sales call with an estate lawyer and mistakenly thought that he was someone else. I asked him all about his long career as a writer/contributor to Forbes, as well as his practice in a completely different state than where he was actually located. He looked at me like I had two heads, and then I realized he had a doppelganger and I was mixing them up. We ended up getting a significant amount of work from him, so I guess he couldn’t have been too offended by it!

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Leah: March 2020 triggers unique memories for everyone across the globe. It was the point in time that the entire world seemingly stopped. For me however, March 2020 was the moment my world began spinning. My family of three became a family of four and when my “big idea” became a mission to change how people deal with the administrative burden of losing someone. While the world was going through so much pain and turmoil, my mind was filled with such drive and inspiration to help those suffering. To many on the outside, it seemed crazy to abandon every law students’ dream and start over after completing several specialized degrees in law and becoming a successful trust and estate attorney with a growing client base in one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world. To me, this path felt like a high paying dead end job. If ever there was a right moment to read the writing on the wall, this was that moment. Amidst the fogginess of the pandemic, this burning desire to build a business and help those who were suffering a loss was clear as day. As the day I was scheduled to return to work approached, I knew if I didn’t take the leap into entrepreneurship now, I would sit on my dream for more years to come. So, I leapt.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Tara: I was in a networking meeting and an early client of ours was in attendance. He was a busy lawyer who needed help with a close loved one’s estate. During the meeting, I gave my elevator pitch for Trustate, and he messaged me after that we needed to speak immediately as he had some problems with our pitch and messaging. My blood ran cold and I became worried that he wasn’t happy with our tools. Once we had our 1:1 meeting, it turns out, he was so “over the moon” happy with our tools, that he felt we were grossly underrepresenting our value. Though he was grateful to Trustate for our help, we were so thankful to him for being able to eloquently express how meaningful our tools were at this difficult time of need. Getting this type of feedback has been the ultimate pat on the back and confirmed for us just how remarkable and valuable these tools really are for lawyers and their executor clients.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Leah: “Do it now, deal with the fear later.” I am fascinated by by how fear affects human behavior. We are all motivated/demotivated by it a lot more than we give it credit for. Too often, we believe that if we remain stagnant, we will avoid all of the things we fear in life. What we fail to recognize is that inaction is what we should fear. Not doing anything out of fear often brings about far worse consequences than simply jumping in and doing the “scary part.”

Tara: “Control the controllables.” I think all too often we try to control everything and create more work and potentially more problems than we started with. I try to think through every situation and highlight what is controllable in a situation and what is not. If you lend your energy to what is actually within your control, it is amazing how your time starts to open up.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?

Tara: We have solved the problem of estate administration. Estate administration is the process of closing out someone’s affairs, accounts, and assets after they pass away. This is an expensive pain point for their trusted advisors, including their probate/estate lawyers, that is a drain on costs and can expose that professional to malpractice and reputational risk, as well as cause them to lose clients. We have built tools for those probate/estate attorneys and advisors to use that turns that pain point into an incredible opportunity to grow their revenue and improve their relationship with their clients.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Leah: Two things that makes our company stand out — first, our talented and mission-driven team and second, the face that they are solving a very difficult problem. We have tried to create an inclusive and open culture and environment where each employee can be curious, learn new things, and shine in doing so. This is necessary to tackle the huge problem we are solving, where solutions can sometimes vary from state to state. One of the most rewarding parts of leading that team has been gettin to witness their growth into these incredible subject matter experts, and seeing the compassion they bring to the results they deliver. This is definitely felt by Trustate’s end clients, who often request to pay more at the close of the estate.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Tara: Our latest project involves releasing new technology exclusively to estate and probate lawyers for commercial use. We knew having lawyers bring the gift of doing all of the had work and tasks for their clients, at the click of a button, was the right customer segment to offer our rollout of direct-use tools. The risk mitigation we can provide them with on this difficult work is revolutionary and we are excited to get these tools out to them.

Let’s zoom out a bit and talk in more broad terms. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in Tech? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?

Leah: We are dissatisfied with current “women in tech” landscape. However, incredible growth opportunities tend to arise from dissatisfaction with the status quo. We see so many more women joining technical teams and creating innovative new products and service when given the opportunity, which is so exciting to us. Women are generally very strong and among the tough cohort that “gets going” when the going gets tough. It is so critical for us to be great leaders that enable our diverse teams to flourish and shape the future.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?

Tara: “Mansplaining” — Quite often, women are underestimated by their male counterparts. This causes certain ones to explain extremely elementary principles to women colleagues thinking that they are being “helpful.” This extends from VCs, to vendors, to even other founder colleagues. We are usually 11 steps ahead, so while the other party is busy explaining something we already understood and have mastered, we’ve spent the time coming up with multiple solutions.

Leah: Lack of Female Co-Founder Role Models — When Tara and I set out to grow our friendship into a business partnership, the first thing we did was look for other female co-founders to reference, even for simple things such as figuring out what would make for a good headshot pose with two women in it. We had a LOT of trouble finding any references. The media still tends to only pay attention to the scandal-ridden female co-founders who provide social media fodder and have “catfights.” That is definitely not our style, and not how we plan to lead a company. Thankfully, over time, so many incredible professional women-run teams with serious businesses appeared from the shadows. Healthy and thriving business partnerships built on support, trust and unity exist between women, but the media pays no attention to them. One of our goals is to change this conversation.

What would you advise to another tech leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?

Tara: Change the customer segment and reassess whether you still have product market fit. Sometimes the product needs to change, sometimes the market needs to change. It is a delicate balance and can often be a moving target at an early to mid stage company. I do a lot of customer interviews and sales meetings. The information I receive from them is worth its weight in gold — often more valuable than the sale we closed. Get out there in your market and have calls and meetings with your market. You will often be surprised at what you find.

In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?

Leah: Find their biggest pain point and become their “Tylenol.”

Based on your experience, can you share 3 or 4 strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?

Tara: I have three:

  1. Constantly inquire and interface with the consumer to get feedback on what worked, what didn’t work, and how you could improve.
  2. Look for patterns in user-ship all the time. Those patterns are there, no matter how early stage you are.
  3. Know when to cut your losses and move on. When a feature rollout just simply isn’t working, abandon ship and move on. No point putting a square peg in a round hole.

As you likely know, this HBR article demonstrates that studies have shown that retaining customers can be far more lucrative than finding new ones. Do you use any specific initiatives to limit customer attrition or customer churn? Can you share some of your advice from your experience about how to limit customer churn?

Leah: If you provide value to the customer, you will not have to worry about churn. Focus on value. All innovation should have a clearly defined value proposition.

Here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful tech company? Please share a story or an example for each.


  1. Find a problem where people are screaming for a solution.
  2. Research the problem and deeply understand all sides of it, from every stakeholder’s perspective.
  3. Figure out a theoretical but technically feasible solution.
  4. Implement a part of that solution yourself and provide it to people.
  5. Scale and monetize it.

Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Leah: We are so fortunate to get to live our movement, each and every day. Our company’s mission is to radically improve the way people deal with the loss of a loved one on a mass scale so that people finally have the emotional space they need to cope with their loss, without the paperwork headache. We didn’t accept “no” for an answer and built our own revolution.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

Tara: Sarah Blakely. Her story is inspiring for so many and one I have followed for many years. I would love to meet her in person one day.

Leah: James Dyson. His story is by far one of the most inspiring I’ve ever heard. Talk about resolve! Not to mention that I am a huge fan of his products.

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!



Penny Bauder
Authority Magazine

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts