• Quicken Willmaker at Nolo.com

    The Quicken Willmaker is a software product for sale by Nolo, a California based company specializing in publishing legal resources. The Willmaker program allows you to load the software onto your computer that will walk you through the steps required to create a Will. The software can be compared to Turbo Tax or H&R Block Tax Cut to help you prepare and submit your taxes. In the same approach as those popular products, the Quicken Willmaker will walk you through a variety of step-by-step questions in order for it to prepare a Last Will and Testament for you. Once you have completely addressed the questions, the software will allow you to save and print your new estate document. The document is perfectly legal and valid in all states with the exception being Louisiana (they follow French law down there and Nolo has a different option for that state). You would then take the document to your bank or some place that has a notary and sign the document there. The original document would be kept in your home and you would provide a copy to your executor. So, the primary advantage is that for an inexpensive cost ($40) you have software that will completely create legal documents for you. Further, whenever you have a baby, remarry, or simply have a change that you want reflected in your Will, all you have to do is go through the software again. I particularly liked this advantage when compared to the purely online resource that you enter personal information into and it sends to you in the mail your finished documents.

    A very helpful section for me was the regarding naming a guardian and distributing assets to minors. I had a number of incorrect notions about how this part was addressed and the Willmaker made it significantly more understandable. The education process that the step-by-step questions provide is quite valuable in and of itself.

    In addition to the Last Will and Testament, many other documents are included, such as: a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will (Advanced Medical Direction for a terminal situation). A complete list of the included documents is below.

    Now, one change from years past is that The Quicken Willmaker software doesn’t have the the information included within the program to create a Revocable Living Trust to avoid probate. However, with the purchase of the software, you would gain access to their online tool to create the Revocable Living Trust (a $170 value). If you live in a difficult probate state (such as CA, FL, IL, among others) it can be wise to have a Revocable Living Trust in addition to just a Will.

    So, in summary, the Quicken Willmaker is a great resource to inexpensively prepare a family estate plan. You would be well served by it.

    Here are some of the valuable features:

    * Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
    * Final Arrangements
    * Health Care Directive (Living Will & Power of Attorney)
    * Information for Caregivers and Survivors
    * Revocation of Health Care Directive
    * Revocation of Power of Attorney
    * Will
    * Affidavit of Domicile
    * Employee Death Benefits Letter
    * Executor’s Checklist
    * Executor’s Letter to Financial Institution
    * General Notice of Death
    * Information for Caregivers and Survivors
    * Notice to Creditor of Death
    * Authorization for Foreign Travel With Minor
    * Authorization for Minor’s Medical Treatment
    * Child Care Agreement
    * Child Care Instructions
    * Elder Care Agreement
    * Housekeeping Services Agreement
    * Housesitting Instructions
    * Notice to Put Name on Do Not Call List
    * Pet Care Agreement
    * Subscription or Membership Cancellation Form
    * Temporary Guardianship Authorization for Care of Minor
    * General Bill of Sale
    * Limited Power of Attorney for Finances
    * Notice to Terminate Joint Credit Card Account
    * Promissory Note (Balloon Payment)
    * Promissory Note (Installment Payments)
    * Promissory Note (One Lump-Sum Payment)
    * Promissory Note (Payments of Interest Only)
    * Revocation of Power of Attorney
    * Security Agreement for Borrowing Money