Working on a Document Interview

This section of the WillMaker & Trust Users' Manual shows you how to navigate through an interview using the various data entry formats you may encounter along the way. Each document in WillMaker has its own set of interview screens, but they all use the same basic process and formats.

After you start a WillMaker document interview, you will click through the screens, adding the information needed to created your document. Read each interview question carefully and consult the program's help resources (Helpful Information onscreen, the Legal Manual, and this Users' Manual) to help you decide how to answer.

Moving Forward

To move to the next screen in an interview, use any of the following methods:

  • Click Next.
  • Choose Navigate > Next.
  • Windows: Use the TAB key to move the keyboard focus to the Next button, then press the ENTER key or the SPACEBAR. (The keyboard focus is on a button when a dotted outline surrounds the button.)

If the information requested on the current screen is optional, you can go on to the next screen without supplying the information. However, if the information is required, the program won't let you move to the next screen without answering.

If you're not sure how to answer, we suggest you quit the interview and return to it later; when you return, the interview will pick up where you left off. Or you can give a placeholder answer and move on -- but, if you do so, you may need to come back and change several answers later, because later sections of the interview may be determined by your answer.

Moving Backward

To go back to the previous screen in an interview, use any of the following methods:

  • Click Back.
  • Choose Navigate > Back.
  • Press ALT+LEFT ARROW (Windows) or COMMAND+LEFT ARROW (Mac).
  • Windows: Use the TAB key to move the keyboard focus to the Back button, then press the ENTER key or the SPACEBAR. (The keyboard focus is on a button when a dotted outline surrounds the button.)

Caution: Don't lose data when you backtrack. WillMaker may not record what you've entered on the current screen until you move to the next screen. If you enter or change an answer and then try to go back to the previous screen, the program will warn you if your answer or change won't be saved. To save your answer before backtracking, first click Next to move one screen forward; then back up to previous screens.

If you are working on a document that has a checklist, you have an additional method for going backward: Use the checklist to reopen sections of the interview you've already completed. To find out more about checklists, see Using Checklists for Interview Management, below.

Enter-Key Navigation

On most interview screens, pressing the ENTER key triggers the default navigation button, which is usually the Next button. This is standard behavior for both Windows and Mac applications. So, if you are in the habit of pressing ENTER after you type in an answer, you may find yourself jumping to the next screen unintentionally. While typing in data, the only time you need to press ENTER is to start a new line in a text box that allows multiple items. (Pressing ENTER at other times will probably send you to the next screen.)

Revising Answers You've Entered

Because WillMaker sometimes chooses interview questions based on your answers to earlier questions, revising one answer may affect everything that comes after it. So, after you go back to revise a recent answer (using any of the methods described in Moving Backward, above), you'll need to continue going forward, one screen at a time, making any necessary corrections. If the document has a checklist, use the checklist to reopen the section of the interview that contains the answer you want to change, then click forward through that entire section, making changes as needed. (See Using Checklists for Interview Management, below.)

Using Checklists for Interview Management

Skip Ahead: Not all documents use checklists. You can skip this section unless you are creating one of the following estate planning documents:

  • Will
  • Final Arrangements
  • Health Care Directive
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, or
  • Information for Caregivers and Survivors

Only these documents use checklists in their interviews; all others have shorter interviews, so the checklist format isn't necessary.

When you start each of these documents in WillMaker, the first screen is the checklist. This checklist provides an overview of the sections of the interview.

The checklist helps to keep track of which sections of an interview you've completed and simplifies the process of going back to change an answer. Rather than stepping through the whole interview, you can go directly to the section you want to change.

The checkmarks on a checklist show which sections of the interview you have completed. Dots show items in progress. Dimmed items are unavailable for you to work on.

List items are dimmed:

  • to prevent you from working on interview sections out of order, or
  • to prevent you from working on interview sections that aren't relevant to your situation.

WillMaker determines which sections of the interview don't apply to you based on the answers you've given to previous questions. For example, in the will interview, if you say in "2. Your Family -- Children and Grandchildren" that you don't have kids, then "4. Property Management" is dimmed because it's not relevant to your situation.

Working on Document Sections

In most documents that have checklists, you must go through the interview sections in order. However, you can return to previously completed sections (sections with checkmarks) in any order.

The one exception to the above rule is the Information for Caregivers and Survivors form. After completing the introductory section art of this document, you can work on the remaining sections in any order you wish.

To work on a document section listed in the checklist:

Click Next to go to the current section, or

  1. Select the name of the document section in the checklist.
  2. Click to go to it.

The first screen in the selected section of the interview appears. If you select Preview and Print, you may go through a dialog. Then, you will go to a screen where you can preview and print or export your document.

Stopping and Restarting Your Interview

You can stop an interview in progress at any time, either by quitting the program or by navigating to another section of the program.

Saving Your Data

Because WillMaker automatically saves the information you provide on an interview screen when you move on to the next one (unless you've turned off the Automatically save changes feature in the program preferences), you generally don't need to worry about saving data. The program saves all of your documents and contact information in your WillMaker File.

If you have turned off the Automatically save changes feature in the program preferences, you'll need to save data manually at frequent intervals. The program asks if you want to save changes whenever you quit.

To save data manually:

  • Choose File > Save.

To change your preference for the Automatically save changes feature:

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences (Windows) or WillMaker > Preferences (Mac) to open the Preferences dialog box.
  2. Click the checkbox next to Automatically save changes to turn this feature on if it's off (or off if it's on). A checkmark indicates the option is on.

We strongly recommend you leave this feature on.

Completing Your Interview

When you've completed all the interview screens for a document, the program has all the information it needs to assemble and print your document. The next step takes you to the Print Preview screen, which lets you view, print, revise or export your document. This screen appears automatically when you complete the interview -- unless the interview for your document uses a checklist, in which case you need to select Preview and Print from the checklist, then click the Next button.

Click Next and you will go to the Congratulations screen. This screen offers information on next steps and how to finalize your document.