Unlike the other states’ laws, Louisiana law is derived from Napoleonic code. This makes Louisiana estate planning law very different from the laws of the rest of the country, and WillMaker doesn’t address Louisiana’s unique requirements.
We do not currently have a Macintosh version of WillMaker. However, you can use your Mac to make your will using Nolo's web-based Online Will, where we offer essentially the same will that you can make with WillMaker. You complete Nolo’s online will through your browser.
Willmaker 2016 is Windows 10 compatible. However, Willmaker 2015 has not been fully tested for Windows 10, so while we do not know of any issues with Windows 10 so far, we cannot verify that it will be fully compatible. Pre-2015 versions of Willmaker were created before the release of Windows 10 and are not designed to work on Windows 10, so those older versions are not compatible.
All 2013 and later versions of Willmaker will work on Windows 8.0 and 8.1. Pre-2013 versions of Willmaker were created before the release of Windows 8.0 and 8.1 and are not designed to work on either Windows 8.0 or 8.1. However, Windows 8.0 and 8.1 users should be aware that the Willmaker program requires .NET Framework to be installed in your Operating System and there is a known issue per Microsoft with some Windows 8.0 and 8.1 machines not being able to install this module "on demand."
Click here to read the Microsoft Support article discussing this issue:
Some Windows 8.0 users may experience an inability to install the Willmaker software, despite having .NET framework installed. If you experience this, please upgrade to Windows 8.1 and make sure .NET framework is installed, which should then allow you to install Willmaker.
Click here to read the Microsoft Support article on upgrading a Windows 8.0 system to Windows 8.1:
Nolo cannot offer any support for the installation of Microsoft's .NET framework nor of Windows 8.1. so if you're not comfortable nor familiar with troubleshooting such processes, we suggest you seek the assistance of a qualified computer professional.
If your permanent residence is outside of the United States, you should not use WillMaker. If you are out of the country temporarily –- for school, a job or because you serve in the military, you probably still have ties with a particular state that make it your legal residence. In that case, you can still use WillMaker. For example, if you were born in Wisconsin, lived there for many years, are registered to vote there and receive mail there in care of your parents, who still live in Milwaukee, then Wisconsin is your legal residence for purposes of making a will even if you are spending three months on sabbatical in Europe.
If you’re not sure where you legally reside, consult a lawyer.
Yes, WillMaker is intended for individual family use, and will make more than one of any document. You can make a Will for yourself, your wife, your brother, your parents, etc... The only document that you can only make one of is a Living Trust. The program comes with a link that allows you to activate ONE free Online Living Trust after installation.
To start a new document in Willmaker after creating a document, click on the orange "New Document" button next to the words "My Documents" in the My Documents screen within the software.
No, each of you must make your own will, even if you both agree about how your property is to be distributed. There is solid legal reasoning behind this rule. Joint wills are intended to prevent the surviving spouse from changing his or her mind about what to do with the property after the first spouse dies. The practical effect is to tie up the property for years and make it impossible for the surviving spouse to react to changed circumstances. Also, many court battles are fought over whether the surviving spouse can revoke any part of the joint will. That’s why joint wills are very uncommon these days. If you want to restrict how your property can be used after your death, or make special provisions for children from a prior marriage, using a trust is usually a better solution; see a lawyer for specifics.
You and your spouse can easily create identical wills -- that is, two separate wills in which all the provisions (such as beneficiaries and children's guardians) are the same. If you want to do this, look for the button provided on the Congratulations screen at the end of the will interview.
No. You must sign your will in front of two witnesses, but no state requires that a will be notarized to be valid. However, some states allow you to attach a self-proving affidavit, which must be notarized, to your will. A self-proving affidavit is a separate document, signed by your witnesses, that makes it simpler to admit your will to probate after your death. If your state offers this option, your WillMaker will will print out with a self-proving affidavit. Read more about self-proving affidavits in the WillMaker Legal Manual.
Pour-over wills transfer property to a trust after death. Most people who make pour-over wills leave most or all of their property through a living trust or through other beneficiary designations (such as life insurance), so that very little property ends up passing through the will. You can use the WillMaker will as a pour-over will. To do so, name your trust as beneficiary of the will, using the trustee's name and the name of the trust. For example: "John Doe as trustee of the John Doe Living Trust, dated January 1, 20xx."
The property you leave through the will may have to go through probate when you die. Because living trusts are designed to avoid probate, if you leave too much property through your will, you may end up thwarting your own intentions. Before you make a pour-over will, be sure you know how much property your state allows you to pass through your will without triggering probate proceedings. (You’ll find more information about pour-over wills and probate in the WillMaker Legal Manual.)
WillMaker allows you to name three levels of executors –- your first choice, one alternate executor and one second alternate executor. It is best to name just one person for each level of alternate.
The WillMaker will allows you to name two coexecutors to serve together. But think twice before you do this. Coexecutors may act without each other's consent -- and, if they ever disagree, your estate may be the loser because of lengthy probate delays and court costs.
If you’re really set on naming more than two people to serve together as executor, see a lawyer.
A clause that deals with what will happen if spouses die at the same time is sometimes referred to as a “common disaster” clause. The WillMaker will does not use a common disaster clause. Rather it provides for such an event using two common tools –- alternate beneficiaries and a survivorship requirement of 45 days. The will states that if your beneficiary does not survive you by 45 days, then the gift goes to your alternate beneficiary.
Here’s an example to show how this works to provide for a common disaster:
Harry and Wilma are in a fatal car accident. Wilma dies immediately, and Harry dies a few days later. In each of their wills, they left everything to the other with a survivorship requirement of 45 days. Wilma named her sister as her alternate beneficiary and Harry named his son from a prior marriage as his alternate beneficiary. Because Wilma was already dead when Harry died, his property goes his son. Because Harry did not outlive Wilma by 45 days, her property passes to her sister.
The result would be the same even if Harry and Wilma died simultaneously or if it could not be determined who died first.
No. You cannot make a bequest that will take effect only if a certain condition occurs –- for example, "$5,000 to John if he stops smoking." Such conditional bequests are confusing and usually require someone to oversee and supervise the beneficiaries to be sure they satisfy the conditions in the will. For example, when and how could an executor decide that John had really stopped smoking? To use WillMaker, you must be willing to leave property to adults outright; you cannot make them jump through hoops or change their behavior to get it.(You can, however, appoint an adult to manage property you leave to children or young adults.) If you really want to make a conditional bequest, seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney.
You are not generally required to leave property to your children. (There are a few exceptions; for example, in Florida, your primary residence must go to your spouse or minor children.)
It is important, however, that you at least state each child's name. If you don't, it may not be clear whether you intentionally left a child out of your will or whether the child was accidentally overlooked (called "pretermitted," under the law). Children unintentionally omitted from your will -- usually because you made your will before they were born -- may have a right to claim a share of your estate.
No. The management provided under WillMaker is not sufficiently detailed to provide for people with special needs. If you need this type of management, see Special Needs Trusts: Protect Your Child's Financial Future, by Stephen Elias and Kevin Urbatsch (Nolo), or consult an attorney who specializes in dealing with the needs of people with disabilities.
Nolo software (regardless of whether it is download software or on a CD) is NOT Mac-compatible. If you are using a PC, please continue reading below.
Setup should launch automatically after you insert the software CD. If it doesn’t, do the following:
You can register by choosing Online > Online Registration and following the directions that appear on the screen. If you experience problems registering, please contact us.
Registering enables you to receive technical support.
To read the Legal Manual in PDF format, you must have Adobe Reader installed. You can download the current, free version of Adobe Reader for your Windows operating system from www.adobe.com.
Yes, just SAVE the first download onto a CD or flash drive, and copy it onto your other computer, and RUN.
If the code imprinted on your postcard is not being accepted, please double check that you did not enter the O as a zero. All zeroes will have a slash through the middle and all Os (as in Oscar) are shown as just ovals with no slash.
In the START menu, scroll all the way to the right. If you do not find the icon there, search your computer by going to the START menu and typing "Willmaker". Windows 8 will show you what it finds. Once you see the Willmaker program, "Pin" the icon to your Start Menu by doing a single right-click on the icon and choose "Pin to Start" from the bottom menu.
Before you uninstall, make sure you have backups and/or printouts of your documents. For more on finding backups, see "Does WillMaker make backups of my documents?"
To uninstall the program:
Windows XP: go to Start > Programs > Quicken WillMaker (year) > Uninstall Quicken WillMaker (year).
Windows Vista and Windows 7: go to Start > All Programs > Quicken WillMaker (year) > Uninstall Quicken WillMaker (year).
Windows 8: right click the Quicken WillMaker (year) app, click Uninstall and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you can't find the uninstaller, try one of these methods:
Install and run Willmaker. From the topmost menu, choose ONLINE - YOUR ONLINE LIVING TRUST - GET STARTED. Once activated, return to your Online Living Trust by signing into your Nolo.com account here and looking under "My Online Products".
At this time, Willmaker is not compatible with Adobe Reader DC (although our programmers are working on it) so you can access the files in 2 ways:
1. Go to the file itself, located in C:/Programs Files/Quicken Willmaker Plus (year)/ or, on 64-bit computers, C:/Programs Files (x86)/Quicken Willmaker Plus (year)/ The following are the file names to look for:
2. You can go to https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/install-reader-xi-windows.html to install Adobe XI instead.
For your protection, WillMaker automatically creates a backup copy of your WillMaker File every time you work on it. This file is kept in a folder in your My Documents (Windows XP) or Documents (Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8) folder called "Nolo Documents Backup." We suggest copying these backup WillMaker Files to an external medium (backup storage, external hard-drive, flash drive or CD/DVD) and storing them in a separate location. You can also change where WillMaker stores backups.
To protect against inadvertently overwriting a backup, the program won't let you open a WillMaker File while it's stored in the Nolo Documents Backup folder. If there's a problem with your original WillMaker File, and you need to use the backup, copy the backup from the Nolo Documents Backup folder to a different location.
Generally, you do not need to change any of the default formatting of your documents. Nolo legal editors have checked the documents and verified that signature lines and witness lines appear as they are supposed to.
That said, the program does allow you to change the font, line spacing and margins of your documents. Choose File > Print Options or select Print Options from the Print Preview screen. Make your adjustments in the Print Options window and click OK. The changes will appear in the preview of your document.
To restore the default settings at any time, return to the WillMaker program window, choose File > Print Options. When the options dialog comes up, click the Use Defaults button.
You can also export your document to a text file and edit your document in a word processor (see below), but it is safer to format your document using the options within WillMaker.
To see an example of a completed document:
This will open a completed version of the document, using fictitious data. Your actual customized document might look different, based on the interview answers you provide.
The appearance of a completed document in WillMaker's Print Preview window might not exactly match the appearance of the printed document -- line breaks, page breaks, and the number of pages may differ in the actual output from the printer. Be assured that the document you print out is accurate and legally valid.
Nolo has made every effort to ensure that WillMaker documents will print correctly regardless of the printer you use. Nonetheless, printer anomalies can occur. If you encounter any problems when printing your documents, you can export your document to PDF and print it from Adobe Reader. Please contact us to report the problem so that we can investigate and fix the problem, if possible.
The output of most documents depends on the answers you give in the interview. So, for most forms, you must complete the document interview before you can print out a document.
If you decide to change answers for a completed document, you may need to step through the entire interview and review all of the interview screens before you can print out that document.
No. Your Nolo software creates custom documents based on your responses to document interview questions. There is no blank template that can be printed. If you just want to see what a document looks like, you can view a document example (described below).
To print out a draft version without including signing instructions:
Exclude the signing instructions only if printing a draft copy. If it's the final version, print and read the signing instructions.
To print with each page clearly labeled as a draft:
To print with each page clearly labeled as a duplicate:
After you've completed a document, you can export it to PDF.
To export your completed document:
Legally, there is no file name configuration you need to follow. Otherwise, give your files unique names. This way, you won't run the risk of overwriting a previously exported file.
WillMaker does not allow you to make substantial changes that might affect the validity of the document. If you want to change the wording of your document or the order of its clauses, see a lawyer.
Select File > Print Options. Then, click the Use Defaults button to reset your print options.
There can be several reasons for this.
Printer driver. You may have the wrong printer driver selected. Check your printer setup and go to your printer manufacturer's website to make sure you have the latest printer driver.
Interference by other software. Some programs alter the printer setup with special format commands or fail to reset a printer to its default settings when finished. Try resetting your printer by turning it off and then on again before printing from WillMaker.
Network printers. If your printer is part of a network, the network itself may have special commands. Your system administrator may need to alter some settings.
Make sure you have the current version of your software by running Web Update. For more on running Web Update, see "How do I keep WillMaker current and up to date?" below.)
Get the latest printer driver. Check your printer manufacturer's website to make sure you have the current version of your printer driver.
The program's registry settings may be corrupt. To fix it, start the program while holding down the CTRL key. Doing this will reset the program's registry settings to their default values.
Many documents have lines of "////" at the end of a page; these are called hash marks. Hash marks are both a precaution and a legal necessity -- they prevent someone from inserting additional contract language into a blank space in a document after you have signed it. Specifically, hash marks are used when the page that precedes the document's signatures contains less than a full page of text. WillMaker has built-in formatting that forces certain blocks of text to stay together on the same page.
Occasionally, the program miscalculates the length of the hash marks, leaving you with a page with very little text except the hash marks. You can usually fix this problem by making slight adjustments to your print margins in the Print Options dialog. (For example, the standard bottom margin is 0.45 inch; changing it to 0.6 inch will usually correct the problem.)
If you are running Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8: Due to increased security measures in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, when the update finishes you will see a user access control dialog. Click Continue (on Vista) or Yes (on Windows 7 or 8) or enter an administrator password as prompted.
If you use a firewall and security application and receive warnings, you'll need to "allow" or add "fl.nolo.com" to the trusted site list.
If, after adding fl.nolo.com to the trusted site list, you still are unable to complete the update, you may need to turn off your firewall program. Once the update is downloaded and installed, you can turn your firewall back on.
If you are a Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3 user, the built-in Windows Firewall feature could prevent you from using Web Update. When you use Web Update, if you see a Windows security alert that asks you whether you want to block or unblock your Willmaker program's Internet connection, select unblock. Once you have unblocked the Willmaker program, you should be able to download future Web updates.
If you are trying to update behind a corporate proxy server and get various error messages, you won't be able to use Web Update. Web Update was designed for the home user with a basic firewall. Unfortunately, we cannot support proxy servers and other corporate VPN security configurations.
If the problem persists, please contact us and include the following details to expedite a solution.
Registered users of the 2015 version are eligible for technical support through December 31, 2015. Registered users of the 2016 version are eligible for technical support through December 31, 2016. If you have not yet registered your software, start WillMaker, select Online > Online Registration, and follow the directions that appear onscreen.
Step 1. Review the information that came with the program.
The following resources may help:
Step 2. Run Web Update.
We may have already detected the problem and corrected it in the latest version of the program. To make sure that you have the latest version, run WillMaker and select Online > Web Update. If you don't have Internet access, contact Nolo's technical support staff. (See step 3.)
Step 3. Contact Nolo's technical support staff.
If the problem persists, please contact us. Please provide as much information as you can about the problem, including:
The following information about your computer may also be helpful:
Product support (including Web Update) for WillMaker 2015 is available through December 31, 2015. Product support (including Web Update) for WillMaker 2016 is available through December 31, 2016. Be sure to register your product to qualify for special upgrade pricing.
Nolo is unable to answer legal questions. But you will find extensive legal information in the Legal Manual that is included with WillMaker. The Legal Manual is accessible from the Help menu.
If you need to talk to a lawyer, Nolo’s Lawyer Directory can help you find one.
Laws change frequently, and we update our products accordingly. It is very important that your legal software be up to date to ensure it is making valid documents. We strongly recommend that users of older Nolo estate planning software upgrade to the most current WillMaker.
Visit our online store to order the current version of WillMaker.
No. Keep your old version of WillMaker until you have successfully converted and opened all of your documents files with the current version.
Before installing the new version, back up your WillMaker documents files to a CD, flash drive or other external medium. Next, install the current WillMaker, start the program and open one of your older WillMaker's document file.
When you first open a file created with an older version of WillMaker, a "Pre-(current year) Documents.pfl" file is automatically created in your Nolo Documents Backup folder. This file can be helpful if you've signed or amended a living trust using a pre-(current year) version of WillMaker. (See below.)
It's possible that some of the documents you created with the older version won't appear in the current Willmaker's My Documents screen. If a document is missing, we've either made substantial revisions to it or deleted it altogether. [You can always open those older documents in the version of the program you used to create them.] In addition, you may need to review document interviews you'd completed in previous versions before you can print out old documents using the current WillMaker.
Document and WillMaker File files from older versions can be used with the current version of WillMaker. When you open an older-version file, your preexisting documents are put into your "Nolo Documents Backup" folder.
The current version of WillMaker does not contain a living trust module within the software. Instead, it comes with an free activation of Nolo's Online Living Trust. If you made a living trust with WillMaker 2007, 2008 or 2009 and you want to amend your trust, you may do so with the same version of the program you used to make the trust. (For help opening your trust document with an older version of the software, send an email to Nolo Technical Support.) If you want to make a new living trust, you can do so using Nolo’s Online Living Trust
To keep your program up to date, periodically run the Web Update feature of WillMaker. Your software will receive only updates for the product year (i.e. Willmaker 2007 can only receive updates released in 2007; it will not be able to receive any updates released after 2007). After the product year has passed, you will want to consider purchasing the newest Willmaker. Within the program, select Online > Web Update. Your computer needs to be connected to the Internet to run Web Update.
Start WillMaker and select Help > About WillMaker (year) to see the version number. To see version info for specific program files, click the Version... button.
If you can't get the program running, navigate to the program folder for Quicken WillMaker (year) and find the "QWP.EXE" file. Right click the file, select Properties, and click the Version tab, where you'll find it listed.
This error message comes up when a crytographics cache file in your operating system becomes corrupted. This may happen as a result of the installation of a Microsoft update. Here is a Microsoft Community Forum post which describes a fix for both error messages, which come from this same issue.
If you're not comfortable or familiar with troubleshooting such processes, we suggest you seek the assistance of a qualified computer professional. Nolo will be not able be to provide any further assistance about the process detailed in the Microsoft forum.