Nolo’s Living Trust is a time-tested revocable living trust that distributes your property and keeps your estate out of probate after you die. The experts at Nolo designed this living trust to be easy to use, but if you have any technical concerns or questions about how to use the software, you will likely find help on this page.
For general questions about trusts, including questions about making your Nolo’s Living Trust, see Nolo’s Living Trust Q & A.
To start the program:
Each person or couple who uses your copy of Nolo’s Living Trust should have their own “Nolo’s Living Trust File.” That way, your information – like your name, address, and who is your spouse—does not get confused among users.
These files have the extension ".pfl" and they are saved separately to your computer in a location that you can specify.
Nolo’s Living Trust uses the name you enter in the introduction to create a Nolo’s Living Trust File for you.
If you decide to create additional Nolo’s Living Trust Files, you can return to the "Enter Your Name" screen. To do this:
Unless you specify otherwise, the program names the file "Nolo’s Living Trust [year] File of [name you entered].pfl" and saves it to your Documents (Windows 7, 8, and 10 and Mac) folder. It also creates an identical backup file to use if a problem occurs with the original file.
Each time you start Nolo’s Living Trust , the program opens the Nolo’s Living Trust File that was open the last time the program was used. You can't have more than one Nolo’s Living Trust File open at a time so, if you open another Nolo’s Living Trust File, the program closes the one that was open.
How you open a Nolo’s Living Trust File depends on how recently you've used it.
To open a Nolo’s Living Trust File you used recently:
The program opens the Nolo’s Living Trust File you selected.
To open a Nolo’s Living Trust File that hasn't been recently used:
Whenever the program creates a Nolo’s Living Trust File, it also creates an identical backup copy of it. Each time the program saves data to your Nolo’s Living Trust File, it also saves the same data to your backup Nolo’s Living Trust File. This backup can come in handy if a problem ever occurs with your original file.
Unless you specify otherwise, Nolo’s Living Trust stores backup Nolo’s Living Trust Files in the Nolo Documents Backup subfolder of your Documents folder.
You will be unable to open a Nolo’s Living Trust File stored in the Nolo Documents Backup folder. This prevents accidentally overwriting your backup Nolo’s Living Trust Files. If you encounter a problem with a Nolo’s Living Trust File and need to open its backup, you will first copy the backup and paste it into another location.
To open a backup Nolo’s Living Trust File:
To restore a backup of a Nolo’s Living Trust File on the Mac, use Time Machine. You will need to have Time Machine set up in order to do this.
To open a backup Nolo’s Living Trust File:
If you have used Quicken WillMaker, you can import your WillMaker contacts into Nolo’s Living Trust by using Nolo’s Living Trust to open your WillMaker file (.pfl).
To do this, follow the directions for Opening a Nolo’s Living Trust File, above. Before you start, know where to find the .plf file you want to open. If you don’t know where it is, use the Windows Search feature to search for all files on your computer with a ".pfl" file extension.
If your computer has multiple users, you may want to ensure the privacy of your Nolo’s Living Trust documents by assigning your Nolo’s Living Trust File a password. Once you've done so, no one can unlock your Nolo’s Living Trust File without knowing the password.
To lock the currently open Nolo’s Living Trust File:
The next time you open the Nolo’s Living Trust File, you'll see a Nolo’s Living Trust File Locked dialog box before it opens. You'll then enter the password and click OK to open the file.
To prevent unauthorized users from viewing or changing your documents, your locked Nolo’s Living Trust File is encrypted. If you've forgotten your password, you will not be able to open your Nolo’s Living Trust File.
Nolo cannot help you unlock files that have been locked with a password. We suggest you enter a hint to help you remember it. If you are afraid of forgetting your password in the future, try using other security alternatives. For example, you may want to copy your Nolo’s Living Trust File to a or USB flash drive and erase the original from your hard disk. Then place the flash drive in a safe or safe deposit box.
Tip: Choosing your hint. When you choose your password, make your hint as useful as possible. For example, instead of "name of favorite horse" for your hint, say "name of favorite horse (no caps or abbreviations)" to help you remember you spelled it mistered instead of, say, MrEd. After your Nolo’s Living Trust File is locked, you open it by entering the correct password first. While you can unlock a Nolo’s Living Trust File and change its password (see below), you can only do so when the Nolo’s Living Trust File is open.
To unlock an open Nolo’s Living Trust File:
A dialog box will confirm that your Nolo’s Living Trust File is now unlocked.
To change the password assigned to an open Nolo’s Living Trust File:
We do not advise you to edit your document in a Word Processor (like Word), but you can.
One of the most valuable features of Nolo’s Living Trust is that the program does the work of creating a trust for you. It takes your information and – according to your preferences -- enters it into a time-tested system and produces a standard and consistent legal document that adheres to your state’s laws.
There is rarely a need to modify document after it is created, and doing so opens the possibility of introducing errors and confusion.
However, if you find that you must edit your document by hand, here is how to do it:
If you do export your document to text, you may need to insert hash marks between some pages. The instructions that print with your text document explain this. Read them carefully.
Again, do not export your document to text unless absolutely necessary. Nolo’s Living Trust offers a substantial range of formatting options for fine-tuning your document's appearance. To use them, on the Preview and Print screen, select File > Print Options. You can use it to adjust fonts, page margins, line spacing, and footer format.
When you make Nolo’s Living Trust, you can return to it at any time to make changes to it (or revoke it).
If want to make changes to a living trust that was made by a lawyer or a different program, you cannot use Nolo’s Living Trust to modify your trust. Instead, you can use a trust amendment (available from Nolo) or get help from a lawyer.
No matter how you made it, you can revoke your trust at any time using a trust revocation.
Read more about Amending or Revoking a Living Trust.
If nothing on this page addresses your concerns and you’re still having technical difficulties, contact Nolo Technical Support:
When you contact Nolo Technical Support about a problem, please include the following information in your email:
If you're not sure which model of computer you have, how much RAM it has or which version of the operating system it's running, see below.
How you find information about your computer system depends on which operating system it's running.