Author Topic: Will/Trust Maker Software?  (Read 1811 times)

JenniferW

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Will/Trust Maker Software?
« on: February 06, 2022, 07:21:03 PM »
Should I spent $100 or so to make my own simple trust /will?  or Spend the $1200-2000 for an attorney?

Which software is best?

moustachebar

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2022, 08:27:28 PM »
I was able to get the book and software at the library. Fully functional.

As to whether book or attorney, probably depends on complexity, how much research you can stand (lots of books, lots of very good threads on bogleheads), and the amount of risk you think you're taking on.

As so often with professionals, it's also kind of a crapshoot finding an attorney who knows their stuff. I found that by reading and using the book (and other books) I realized that acquaintances had had some estate planning done (features of which they told me about) that their attorneys had made mistakes on.

You also see people saying to use the book and have an attorney review the product. I'd rather just have a good attorney write it in terms they are used to using. Doesn't seem cheaper either.

Main thing seems to be to get it started and get it completed. I've used the book to get something in place. I kept it simple. Over the next three years I'll try to network to find a good attorney, which I expect will be an involved process. I'll be glad that I already have at least something in place when I do that.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2022, 09:10:00 PM »
My lawyer charged me 300$ for a simple will for my dad. I think a simple one should not cost 1200$. If it is complex enough that it is going to cost you 1200$, then maybe you should think twice about what the consequences might be if it gets screwed up.

fraylock

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2022, 09:14:12 PM »
I spent $0 and modified a template I found online, then had it notarized at the bank.  I'm not an attorney so can't really tell you if this is the right approach, but it seemed pretty straight forward, though we don't have any complicated bequeaths.

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2022, 02:28:34 AM »
My trust will be pretty simple.  I just want the house in it.  The house is worth $100k.  The trustee after I pass will be the same as the beneficiary.  I have no children. It seems straightforward.  I want all my property in the house alogn iwth my car to go to him as well.  If he isn't alive then I want my brother as trustee and beneficiary.

I already have all the checking, savings and retirement accounts setup for beneficiaries so I guess I don't need to mention any of those in trust or will.  But the software will guide me I guess.. on that.  I have a list of accounts I keep in my estate folder so my heir can access all those accounts easily.  I told him where the folder was .. will contain will, trust, account info with balances, alogn with any special instructions or letters.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 02:32:12 AM by JenniferW »

moustachebar

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2022, 07:55:47 AM »
Seems pretty straightforward. I think the book will help you decide if you need a trust at all, or if it can/ should be a trust created by the will.

In some states I believe you can have a house and or car transfer on death as with bank accounts or retirement accounts.

I ended up flagging common errors throughout the text and as described to me by various sources, then reviewing my work.

Greystache

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2022, 08:08:15 AM »
I tried setting up a living trust with a DIY template. Where I hit the wall was when it came time to transfer my assets, mainly my house, into the trust. I ended up getting a professional to create and fund the trust.

seemsright

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2022, 08:45:47 AM »
My trust will be pretty simple.  I just want the house in it.  The house is worth $100k.  The trustee after I pass will be the same as the beneficiary.  I have no children. It seems straightforward.  I want all my property in the house alogn iwth my car to go to him as well.  If he isn't alive then I want my brother as trustee and beneficiary.

I already have all the checking, savings and retirement accounts setup for beneficiaries so I guess I don't need to mention any of those in trust or will.  But the software will guide me I guess.. on that.  I have a list of accounts I keep in my estate folder so my heir can access all those accounts easily.  I told him where the folder was .. will contain will, trust, account info with balances, alogn with any special instructions or letters.

There is most likely more to this than just transfer assets. Paying for a attorney in your state will make sure it is all done the way it legally needs to be done. The attorney is going to be able to help with estate taxes and the like. There wont be any probate, or questioning of your wishes. And you will be able to get health care directive which might come in handy later in life.


The cost of a attorney is really not that bad. We had to talk to multiple lawyers when FIL passed away and his estate is a nightmare that we are not touching with a 1000' pole. He could have solved it cheaply with one attorney.

Estate planning is NOT a DIY task.

Sibley

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2022, 08:54:07 AM »
The consequences of not handling your estate planning right will fall upon the people left behind when you're dead. IE, you can do absolutely nothing and it won't impact you. So then the real question becomes how much do you hate the people who will have to deal with your estate?

I personally don't hate my sister. Except for the part where I'm sticking her with all the responsibility when I die.

Dee18

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2022, 09:06:31 AM »
+1 to using Transfer on Death for your home if your state allows it.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter5-1.html

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2022, 09:54:27 AM »
I'll just hire an estate attorney, one that is highly recommended by others I trust.  I rather just pay the $1200 and have it donee right then worry if my heir is getting the 100K home and perhaps $200k assets in banks/investment accounts.

moustachebar

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2022, 08:06:23 PM »
Totally reasonable. Perhaps the book and forums can help with being informed as you choose your attorney. Did luck!

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2022, 08:34:42 PM »
I was able to get the book and software at the library. Fully functional.
..
Main thing seems to be to get it started and get it completed. I've used the book to get something in place. I kept it simple. Over the next three years I'll try to network to find a good attorney, which I expect will be an involved process. I'll be glad that I already have at least something in place when I do that.

I decided I'll take this approach for now.  Get something in place soon so I can find a trustworthy (no pun intended) attorney.  Probably going to use Quicken Willmaker & Trust for now as they have up to date state forms.

+1 to using Transfer on Death for your home if your state allows it.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter5-1.html

Thanks for sharing this.  I found out that Oklahoma does allow TODD (Transfer on Death Deeds).  (And the Quicken Willmaker & Trust software can generate this new deed I believe, for my specific state of Oklahoma.)

For now I'll just setup the home in a TTOD deed to a single heir -- that's how I wanted it anyways. 

I'll also have a will as a backup in case my TTOD heir dies.  My heir will be the executor of the will but if that person dies then I'll make my brother the executor and heir.   If the TTOD heir dies, before I die, then I'll make sure to make a change a re-file with the county clerk making my brother the new TTOD heir.

I have all my checking & savings accounts, U.S. Savings Bonds, retirement & investment accounts all setup to POD to my heir.  Some accounts allow for secondary beneficiaries in case primary beneficiary dies, but most just have a single POD; so I'll just make sure to update all these accounts and the TTOD if my primary heir dies or if I change my mind.

The Will will be for all the personal property in the house and car, which aren't worth a lot and I doubt they'd even have to go through probate.  At most my total debt upon death will be like $1000 in credit card debt for the current month since I buy everything on credit card for cash back bonuses -- paying them off in full each month.  (For now I have $41K in mortgage debt but plan to pay that off in full over the next 3 years; hopefully I don't die before then because I fear mortgage company trying to foreclose on home before my heir can gather up the remaining cash to pay off the mortgage.)

I might setup a trust later.. especially if I want to start adding an additonal $10k per year into Series I Savings Bonds.  I might use quicken for this as well, I dunno.  Check out this link with more info on investing an additional $10k into Series I Savings Bonds: https://thefinancebuff.com/buy-more-i-bonds-treasury-direct-trust.html

---

I just need to get somethign in place now and so TTOD on home and POD on all the accounts seems like it would work well since it'll all going to one heir.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 08:44:23 PM by JenniferW »

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2022, 09:14:10 PM »
Wow the TODD (Transfer on Death Deed) process looks very simple.  Oklahoma SA&I Form 246.  Just fill out the blanks, get notarized and take to the county land register.

https://www.sai.ok.gov/Search%20FormsPubs/database/TransferOnDeathDeed.pdf

Looks like I don't need Quicken Willmaker and Trust software for this.  This is something I can do for now, really easily and quickly until I get a living trust setup later.  (If I even need to.)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 09:52:20 PM by JenniferW »

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2022, 05:07:45 PM »
In addition to the TODD above, which I just wrote up and am going to get notarized, I just hand wrote a quick 1 page holographic will.  State of Oklahoma allows them and I used a 1 page template from OKLaw.org -- 100% confident I wrote it up correctly and followed all the rules outlayed there.  https://oklaw.org/resource/making-your-own-will.

I am happy to get at least something in place which covers all my assets without much work for the heirs :)  All my bank, brokerage, investment, retirement, savings bonds etc are all POD.  Deed is TOD as well.  And the will covers the car and the rest of the stuff in the house -- which is worth less than $50k so won't have to go through probate.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2022, 05:12:50 PM by JenniferW »

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2022, 10:17:10 PM »
Totally reasonable. Perhaps the book and forums can help with being informed as you choose your attorney. Did luck!

Which book are you referring to?

BeanCounter

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2022, 06:44:17 AM »
Not an attorney but I've been through this myself unfortunately, a few times.
POD and TOD are the correct and simplest ways of setting up your estate. Especially if you have a single heir. Make sure to include your vehicle as TOD. It's a shame to go to probate court just to get the title to the car. Make sure you have a will to back up your wishes just in case you miss something and then the heir can use that in probate.

It is very unlikely that you need a trust or that you will ever need a trust. Trusts are expensive and they are legal entities that have their own costs for management and taxes for as long as they exist. The primary reasons people set up trusts is 1) for assets that will transfer to minors, 2)to control money from the grave, or 3)to avoid estate tax (which is currently at $11M per individual so not a problem for 99% of ppl)  IMHO- 1 is the only GOOD reason for a trust, and maybe 2 if the beneficiary has a disability that would require them to need help managing their inheritance.


MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2022, 02:26:47 PM »
Get your will done by a lawyer, itís not that expensive. Wills are rarely simple and can be challenged when money is involved and this programs donít cover everything. I get it, youíll be dead when the shit hits the fan but donít do that to anyone you intend to receive anything in a will.

JenniferW

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2022, 02:54:49 PM »
Get your will done by a lawyer, itís not that expensive. Wills are rarely simple and can be challenged when money is involved and this programs donít cover everything. I get it, youíll be dead when the shit hits the fan but donít do that to anyone you intend to receive anything in a will.

I wrote a holographic will using a template from my state.  It's very simple.  A total of less than 10 sentences.   Everythign else of value I am gonna TOD/POD.  The Will, will cover all my personal property within the home.

Retirador

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2022, 09:28:41 PM »
My trust will be pretty simple.  I just want the house in it.  The house is worth $100k.  The trustee after I pass will be the same as the beneficiary.  I have no children. It seems straightforward.  I want all my property in the house alogn iwth my car to go to him as well.  If he isn't alive then I want my brother as trustee and beneficiary.

I already have all the checking, savings and retirement accounts setup for beneficiaries so I guess I don't need to mention any of those in trust or will.  But the software will guide me I guess.. on that.  I have a list of accounts I keep in my estate folder so my heir can access all those accounts easily.  I told him where the folder was .. will contain will, trust, account info with balances, alogn with any special instructions or letters.

+1, our living trust is setup in this manner too because our situation is not complex. After getting free consultation with 3 different lawyers, all 3 recommended that we only put the house in the trust, and designate beneficiaries using the bank and brokerage firm's own forms.  We also created a 'pour over will' that will put any assets we acquire subsequent to the creation of the trust into the trust. For both, I used Quicken Willmaker Plus.

My county recorder's office has detailed instructions on what form to use and citations from the state revenue and taxation code that should go on the grant deed. An employee of the county recorder's office also provided minor feedback and corrections when I filed the notarized grant deed. The transferred of  title from us to our trust was successful because it did not trigger any documentary and transfer tax. I sent a copy of the declaration of trust and recorded grant deed to the mortgage company, and they accepted it and confirmed the trust as a successor in interest.

GilesMM

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2022, 07:01:26 AM »
A simple will (e.g leaving everything to one entity with no possibility of dispute from anyone else) closely following the rules in your state might be ok via software, but a trust is almost impossible.  I would definitely hired an attorney with lots of experience in this area.  I have found those who have been writing trust/will/health directive documents for years AND defending them in state court have perfected them to close as many gaps as possible. T/W/HD needs to cover as many reasonable scenarios and contingencies as possible, specific to your situation, in order to be robust.  A badly done document could be worse than none at all.

ender

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Re: Will/Trust Maker Software?
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2022, 09:18:20 AM »
We did ours through a work legal program - it was something like $90/year for legal benefits, so I did those one year to get access to a lawyer and then did it there.