Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 - published by Nolo - is the latest version of the hugely popular software which allows individuals to create wills and other estate planning documents from the comfort of their home. The use of an interview format leads you seamlessly through each stage at your own pace, while all the legal queries you might have should be answered in the included legal manual. And if they aren't, a team of lawyer-editors are standing by to make sure your documents are legal to your state.
With Nolo having published do-it-yourself legal software since the 1980s, it has accumulated all the experience and expertise required to feature in any list of the best online will makers. And if you’re also looking to better manage your money in the round, Quicken comes out top in our shortlist of the best personal finance software too.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: What's included
If estate planning is on your agenda, Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 provides the opportunity to produce all the documents you should need to create a will, living trust, health care directive, financial power of attorney, and more. In fact, the software includes over 35 documents, all aimed at helping you to plan your estate in preparation for death or incapacity, and to protect your family, pets and property.
Among the estate planning documents that Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 provides, you will find:
- Legal Will
- Revocable Living Trust
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
- Final Arrangements
- Health Care Directive (Living Will & Health Care Power of Attorney)
- Information for Caregivers and Survivors
- Letter to Survivors
- Property Worksheet
- Revocation of Health Care Directive.
To help those who will manage your affairs, the program includes all the forms and instructions that your executor will need to do their job too, such as checklists, letters, notices and claim forms. And for extra peace of mind, there’s a host of practical forms aimed at keeping your family safe and ensuring the smooth running of your home in your absence, including authorizations and agreements, promissory notes, limited powers of attorney, and child and elder care forms.
To ensure no one from your family is left out, you can also decide who should get your pets after you die, and leave their new owners instructions and money to pay for expenses that come with caring for them.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: What’s new?
To make sure the Quicken WillMaker & Trust software remains current, Nolo’s attorneys constantly review the package and enact legal updates to ensure the documents produced are valid in the eyes of the law.
At the same time, each new version of the program includes new features and tweaks aimed at improving the experience of users. For 2021, these changes represent more of a finetune than a full on overhaul, but should help those using the program nonetheless.
The biggest changes this year have been to user interface, with subtle amendments made to the interview prompts and supporting information, a modified layout for small screens, and error messages now being shown in-line with the area of concern. Other minor, but perhaps useful updates include the option to use percentages or fractions to specify shares, and improved calendar and date widgets.
The documents that need it have been updated too, to keep them current and improve their clarity, while the legal manual and signing instructions that come as part of the software include new information about storing legal documents. An eBook exploring special needs trusts for protecting children is included too.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: Getting started
Before you can begin planning your estate, you’ll need to download the Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 software to your computer - both PC and Mac versions are available, so be sure to select the correct one for you. Once installed, the program is ready to lead you through the myriad of options that are available to you.
To get you started, there’s a simple information gathering quiz, where you’re asked about your personal situation - are you married, do you have children, own a home, and so on - so that the program can then guide you towards the documents that will be appropriate to you. Any suggestions that are made are compiled into a checklist that you can work your way through at your own pace. Nothing in the way you’re questioned is overly intrusive or forced, and if you decide a certain document is not for you, then you can leave it untouched.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: Usability
Whichever document you decide to work on first - and a will is usually top of the list - the process is broadly similar, with an initial heads up on the information you’ll likely need, accompanied by reassurance that if you don’t have everything to hand immediately, you’ll have plenty of time to gather it as you go along. Each document has its own checklist too, so you know the stage you’ve reached and those you’ve completed - you can quickly and easily go back and revise any completed section at any time too.
Where you’re asked for information, a detailed explanation as to what is required is displayed right next to it, for easy reference without having to click completely away. The gentle interview approach will guide you and you’ll find plenty of legal and practical help along the way. And if you need a more in depth explanation, there’ll also be a link direct to the relevant chapter in the legal manual, so you should never need to hunt around for information for yourself. When it comes to ease of use, it's up there with Legal Zoom.
At the heart of Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 is making sure you have all bases covered - so when creating a will, if you decide to leave everything to your young child, the program will ask whether they might need someone to manage the property for them.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: Completing your will
While the options are extensive, if you know exactly what you want from your will, and it is a relatively straightforward scenario, the documents that you need to print off and be signed (in front of witnesses) can be produced in a matter of minutes. The document prints also include detailed instructions explaining how to make sure your will is legal, stored safely, and kept up to date.
In terms of the legality of your documents, you’re asked at the very start for the state and county where you live, so that the program can tailor its questions and prompts to ensure that your final documents meet the laws specific to your state. Indeed, a team of lawyer-editors are constantly working to ensure each document reflects the law of any given state, and as long as your computer is connected to the internet, your program will update automatically to include all the latest legal and technical changes.
The only state not covered by the program is Louisiana, where estate planning laws are markedly different to the rest of the US. For extra peace of mind, if you want a lawyer to review your will, there’s also the option to search Nolo’s Lawyer directory for free.
Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 review: Price
Coming in at $99.99, Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 is not the cheapest online will maker around - in our opinion, Law Depot offers great value if you're on a budget. However, if you compare the cost to what you would pay a legal professional to plan your estate, it remains very reasonable indeed, and you can revise and update your will whenever you like.
In addition, Quicken WillMaker is intended for individual family use, meaning you can make a will for yourself, your spouse, your brother, your parents, and so on. Add in all the additional documents that the software allows for you to prepare, and the resources and guidance that are inherent too, and Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 represents great value for money.
Should you buy Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021?
As seems to be the case every year, Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 remains the benchmark to which all other online will makers should aspire. There’s a comprehensive range of document options, and a quietly efficient information gathering process that means you’ll be directed towards those that apply to you. The form filling that is necessary when it comes to estate planning is handled beautifully too, with guidance and explanations both readily available and clearly explained.
The price might be a little higher than some online will makers, but with Quicken WillMaker & Trust 2021 you’re paying for the best state specific guidance that there is. And once you’ve completed your will, you can use the software to help the rest of your family get their financial affairs in order too.