I strongly advise AGAINST purchasing Quicken Willmaker Plus 2010 because it does NOT allow for a basic and very important OPTION of choosing a PER STIRPES distribution of assets for contingent beneficiaries.
Most on-line Willmakers offer this option and even help a purchaser know what PER STIRPES means and how to set it up, but Quicken Willmaker Plus 2010 does NOT explain or offer the PER STIRPES option.
The PER STIRPES option typically protects grandchildren in case an adult child beneficiary dies BEFORE the person making the Will dies AND the person making the Will does NOT have the capacity (e.g., having Alzheimer's) or time to write a new Will each time a grandchild is born.
If this sounds complicated, let me please walk you through an example.
Most peole want their children to be beneficiaries of their estate, and if one of the adult children dies before the person making the Will, most people want the portion, that would have been inherited by the deceased child, to pass to that adult child's children (i.e., the grandchildren).
So, let's say you had four adult children, and you wanted each to receive one-fourth of your estate. If one of the adult children died before you, you would probably want that child's one-fourth benefit to be distributed to that adult child's children. With a PER STIRPES option, this would be EASY to accomplish even if more grandchildren are born after the Will was made.
But, this option is NOT available with Quicken Willmaker Plus 2010. Instead, Quicken requires you to SPECIFICALLY NAME EACH of the grandchildren as contingent beneficiaries and to prepare a NEW WILL EACH TIME you have additional grandchildren.
When I questioned NOLO about this problem, it was their position that a new Will MUST be written each time a new grandchild is added to the family. Not true! That position may help NOLO sell more software, but NOLO's approach has a fatal flaw. That is, the person writing the Will may not always have the legal capacity (e.g., having Alzheimer's) to write a new will when a new grandchild comes into the family. Simply having the PER STIRPES option would completely resolve this problem.
NOLO has NOT provided a reasonable solution because a Will should be able to accomplish the testator's goals through REASONABLE LIFE EVENTS such as the birth of a new grandchild if a person making could loses legal capacity to make a new Will.
I would discourage anyone from buying this product until Quicken adds the PER STIRPES option for contingent beneficiaries.
The Wall Street Journal has recently rated several on-line Will programs, such as Legacy Writer, and ALL of the rated programs include the normal PER STIRPES option. I would encourage readers to look for other options until NOLO provides a reasonable product.
In speaking with NOLO, they have assured me that I can return the program for a full refund, and I have sent it back to them today with the required receipt from Amazon and my explanation of the problem. I am confident that they will quickly honor their money back guarantee, but I will post if there are unusual delays.
Please take your time and find the software that can do everything reasonable that you need.
When I am looking at a new product on Amazon, I usually start with the one star rating and see if the concerns are reasonable so I hope that you find this explanation helpful.
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