This article updates the guide published in Trusts & Estates, volume 143 (January 2004) and examines trust and estates software and online resources. In practice, the distinction between Internet-based resources and software continues to blur as more websites offer online calculating programs, data tables and links to substantive resources online.
Discussing software and Internet resources related to trusts and estates is becoming ever more, in Senator Russell Long's felicitous phrase, “like shooting straight at a flying duck.” Calculating and word processing programs are accumulating an increasing variety and depth of features. The publication of programs for the preparation of gift and estate tax returns has undergone drastic shifts in the recent past, particularly after the acquisition of the West Estate Practice System and Probate Software by Thomson/Fast-Tax.
The speed and power of microcomputer hardware continues to be enhanced even as the price of such hardware declines. High-speed broadband linkage to the Internet, including DSL and cable, continues to proliferate. With such access to the Internet, Web resources are as much part of one's computer desktop as the programs installed on the computer.
Simply stated, in the trusts and estates practice, the microcomputer facilitates: (1) computation of taxes and accounting matters, (2) word processing and document assembly1 (3) legal and factual research and (4) the marketing of legal services.
In a more profound sense, the computer revolution has deeply affected the economics of law practice, the speed and methodology of delivery of services to the client and the very culture of the delivery of legal services.
Software has become increasingly interconnected with Internet resources through such facilities as automation of recent AFRs and of other constants required for tax calculation. An example is the Intuitive Estate Planner2 Web page that shortly after Aug. 31 of each year, provides for the following year, the gift tax annual exclusion, Section 2032A Reduction and Secion 6166 two percent portion base, which are derived from the cost-of-living adjustment. Help systems continue to increase in substance, both internally within a system and through links to other relevant websites.
TABLES ON THE INTERNET
AFR Rates-links to various tables: American College of Trust and Estate Counsel public area at www.actec.org/public/links/default.asp?category_id=209.PS 58 rates and Tiger Tables website at www.tigertables.com/ps58.htm.
Quarterly Tax Interest Rates: Intuitive Estate Planner, “Federal Interest Rates on Tax Under-payments” page at www.west.thomson.com/estate/planner/cpi.asp and Dan Evans “Interest on Underpayments and Overpayments of Federal Taxes” at www.evanslegal.com/-dan/underpay.html.
Consumer Price Index Table for adjustments required under IRC Section (1) (f)(3): Intuitive Estate Planner, Consumer Price Index Table page at www.west.thom-son.com/estate/planner/cpi.asp (updated for 2005 adjustments).
ONLINE COMPUTATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Links to a variety of sites providing online calculation and demos, or temporary free trials, of tax and finance-related computational programs may be found on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants site at www.aicpa.org-/pubs/jofa/apr2004/phel_ex1.htm. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel public area Topical Index, www.actec.org/public/links/default.asp?category_id=102 contains links to other calculating programs and technology resources. The following computational and presentation programs are available online (free unless otherwise stated), either through downloading from the Internet or direct operation on a website.
Bureau of Public Debt Online Savings Bond Calculator for computing the value of EE, E, I bonds and savings notes and Savings Bond Wizard software for the inventorying and valuation of United States Savings Bonds is available at www.publicdebt.treas.gov/sav/savprice.htm.
The website of the Bureau of Public Debt at www.publicdebt.treas.gov/ also has details regarding various U.S. savings bonds, including the new Series I inflation indexed bonds. Includes forms for loss, request for reissue, savings authorization, etc., and tables in PDF format for Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The Treasury Direct Web site at www.savingsbonds.gov/, includes technical information, forms and online purchase of savings bonds.
Pine Grove Software at www.pine-grove.com/financial%20calculators/simple%20interest.htm offers the Loan*Calculator!Plus for Windows program (delivered by downloading from their website) that calculates compound interest including days between dates. Free to non-commercial users, with a price of $24.95 for an upgrade to its more full featured AmortizeIt! program, if the program is going to be applied to commercial use, including tech support and discounted updates.
CHARITABLE PLANNED GIVING CALCULATORS
The GiftLaw Calculator is a free online planned gifts calculator for professionals that follows the IRS format (from Crescendo Interactive, Inc.). The Texas A & M Foundation implementation of it is at www.giftlaw.net/giftlaw.jsp?-WebID=GL1999-0091 (click on GiftLaw Calculator on the left side menu). Capital Trust charitable tax deduction calculators using GiftLaw are at www.giftlawcalc.com/-link.jsp?WebID=2001-0018.
University of Georgia Planned Giving Calculator does basic calculations for charitable trusts, gift annuities and pooled income funds at www.alumni.uga.edu/-giving/plan.html.
PhilantroCalc for the Web at www.pcalc.ptec.com-/hosts/977504798/advancedMenu.html includes basic online calculators for charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts and charitable remainder unitrusts.
Interest.com Mortgage and Financial Calculator at www.interest.com/hugh/calc/shareware/ presents a variety of online and shareware loan and mortgage calculators.
Mortgage-Calc.com www.mortgage-calc.com/ includes various online mortgage, financial and basic amortization calculators.
Open House America at www.openhouse.net/calculator.-html presents a simple online calculator that prepares a loan amortization schedule based on monthly payments.
Time Value Software has the ultimate online amortization program at www.tcalc.com/tvwww.dll?CalcLoan. It does sophisticated loan amortization calculations and amortization schedule preparations. A great example of a Java-based calculator.
FINANCIAL, RETIREMENT AND IRA CALCULATIONS
Annuity.com has financial calculators for annuities, including switching annuities, savings goals, future values and tax deferred accounts at www.annuity.com/main/calculators.cfm.
Bankrate.com furnishes a variety of online calculators at www.bankrate.com/gookeyword/rate/calc_home.-asp?link=2 including mortgages, small business (profit margins and internal ratios), credit cards, CDs (laddering, interest, investment and savings goals).
CalcTools.com makes available online calculations using the Brentmark Roth Conversion and Minimum Distributions calculators at www.calctools.com/Online-Intro.htm.
CCH Calculators website at www.tax.cchgroup.com/taxcalcs/q3default.asp?gpalooknfeel=q3tads has several free calculators, including amortization, savings bond valuation, income rate phase-out and a basic IRA accumulations calculator.
Forbes.com discusses and analyzes a number of on-line Roth IRA calculators available from various financial firms and insurance companies at www.forbes.com/1998/11/17/feat.html.
Interest.com at www.interest.com/hugh/calc/ presents a variety of online mortgage, interest compounding and amortization calculations.
Motley Fool Calculators at www.fool.com/calcs/calculators.htm does an online comparison of conventional and Roth IRAs, with an explanation and graph for calculating the results of converting a conventional IRA to a Roth IRA. Includes extensive personal financial calculations like amortizations and retirement projections.
The Social Security Administration site, www.ssa.-gov/planners/calculators.htm, does basic online calculations of social security benefits available to an individual and offers a more detailed calculator to download.
TAX CALCULATION TOOLS
1040 Tools at www.1040tools.com/ is divided into Consumer Tools and Professional Tools. The Consumer Tools are free to anyone visiting the website and include a Quick Alternative Minimum Tax Estimator, Quick Federal Tax Calculators for individual and corporation income tax, simple loan amortization calculator based on monthly payments, Social Security estimator based on DOB and annual income, present value and future value calculators. The Professional Tools include an IRD calculator and a minimum required distributions calculator. The website also calculates the cost basis of mutual funds using the average cost single category method, by means of its mutual fund basis calculator. For the latter calculation, you enter the date acquired amount of the original investment (as well as any subsequent investments or sales); it calculates the basis, including dividend reinvestments of the fund. The database covers over 7,500 funds as far back as 1985. The Professional Tools permit 20 free uses with registration and are available for an annual fee of $19.95 thereafter. The mutual fund basis calculator is charged at $19.95 per use after the first 20 uses.
Excel Estate Planning Templates at www.trustsandestates.net/Excel.htm include Forms 706/709, GRATs and MRD calculations for downloading. From Noel C. Ice, an extensively published, estate-planing and probate law attorney at Cantey & Hanger LLP, Fort Worth, Texas.
Insure.com at www.data.insure.com/life/taxtool.cfm is an online tax tool for life insurance and annuities that demonstrates how to calculate the tax implications of surrenders, dividends, loans and exchanges for all types of life insurance and annuity products. This website includes a state-by-state list of insurance companies with ratings.
Fidelity Investments online basic estate calculator for single and married persons, allowing entry of asset and deduction classes and growth projections, is at www.web.fidelity.com/EstatePlanning/tools/tax/-taxCalc.jhtml.
GRAPHIC PRESENTATIONS AND DOCUMENTATION ON-LINE
IRS — Slide Show on Pension Planning at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/forum1.pdf. The IRS has prepared a slide show for public information on qualified plans and IRAs. Caution: It's not yet updated for the 2002 final regs. (PDF format may easily be adapted to PowerPoint.)
Capital Trust Company of Delaware at www.ctcdelaware.-com/pts_home.asp offers many Adobe Acrobat and Word summaries on basic and advanced estate-planning techniques, with diagrams, which are useful for client explanations. PowerPoint presentations are also available. Professionals may register for free. Go to the Site map for a list of files to download.
Bourland, Wall & Wentzel at www.bwwlaw.com/seminars.htm has PowerPoint presentations on charitable tax planning and business succession planning, including the use of family limited partnerships and charitable trusts, for downloading.
Here are selected programs that assist with basic estate and gift tax calculations, demonstration of estate-planning concepts as well as other estate-planning needs and other tax calculations (most recent versions and release dates as of this writing are identified to the extent available):
PROGRAMS FOR BASIC T & E PRACTICE-RELATED TAX CALCULATIONS
Advanced Planning Solutions: Separate modules for business valuation, evaluation of buy-sell alternates and estimation of value of key employees including alternate funding solutions; basic calculations of comparative estate plans and basic charitable planning calculations. Kettley Publishing, P.O. Box 81648, Newport Beach, Calif. 92660. Tel: 800-777-3162. Cost, $349 for one module and $829 for all three.
Website: www.kettley.com/products/aps/. (Demo available for download.)
zCalc2004: A software add-in to Microsoft Excel that builds more than 50 specialized functions into Excel for use in preparing spreadsheets to analyze income, estate and gift taxes — including GRATs, GRUTs, QPRTs, CRTs and minimum distributions. Previously prepared spreadsheet templates are available for download from the zCalc website. Lexite Development, LLC, 824 East Rand Road, Suite 280, Arlington Heights, Ill. 60004. Tel: 847-255-9807. Fax: 847-255-9839. Estate Planning Edition Cost, $295, with yearly update $150.
Website: www.zcalc.com/index.html. (All zCalc products are available for 30-day trial.)
NumberCruncher, V. 2004 for Windows: Does automatic calculation of data required to zero-out a GRAT, computes the value of life estates and remainders up to three lives, computes charitable trusts up to five lives, and calculates probability of survival to a specified age for up to 10 lives. Constructs appropriate bar or pie graphs for selected valuation and estate tax calculation components, as well. Calculates GRATS, GRUTS, charitable trusts, P.S. 58, Section 529 qualification, Present and future value, IRR, annuities and includes financial planning tools and techniques. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010, Tel: 610-527-5216, Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost, $395.
Tiger Tables V. 2003: Calculates life estates, remainders, annuities, unitrust and pooled income factors up to 10 lives, and life estates and remainders. Lawrence P. Katzenstein, TSP Software, Suite 700, 911 Washington Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63101. Tel: 314-231-2800. Cost, $199, one user. Additional network user licenses $79 per user.
CHARITABLE-PLANNING CALCULATIONS AND REPORTS
Charitable Financial Planner, V. 2004: Addresses charitable gift and trust calculations, GRATs, GRUTs & QPRTs, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuity, deferred gift annuities — calculates related income tax effects. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131. Cost, $349.
Website: www.brentmark.com/. (Downloadable demo available.)
Crescendo Pro: Calculates deferred gift remainder values with several lives; results of gifts, gift vs. sale, bargain sales/ comparative planning of sales vs. deferred trusts; capital replacement trusts; and comprehensive estate-planning calculations. Includes a variety of flowcharts, graphs, narrative plan summaries and drafts of documents. Publisher also issues Cresendo Lite, which includes just the basic charitable transfer calculations. Crescendo Interactive, Inc., 110 Camino Ruiz, Camarillo, Calif. 93012. Tel: 800-858-9154. Fax: 805-388-2483. Cost, $995, annual maintenance $495.
Website: www.crescendointeractive.com/cres_home.jsp. (90-day free trial available for any Crescendo products.)
Crescendo Estate: Includes the hallmark features of Crescendo Pro, GiftLaw Pro, integrated graphs and flowchart illustrations, charitable trust documents and a comprehensive tax planning library. Crescendo Interactive, Inc., 110 Camino Ruiz, Camarillo, Calif. 93012. Tel: 800-858-9154. Fax: 805-388-2483. Cost, $300, annual maintenance $300.
NumberCruncher, V. 2004 for Windows: Standalone charitable trust calculations including NIMCRUTs and FlipCRUTs. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010, Tel: 610-527-5216. Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost, $395.
PgCalc Planned Giving Manager: Calculates remainder values for all planned giving transactions including gift annuities. Compares various gift scenarios. Projects plan benefits over time. Prepares proposals, graphs and reports, and other estate planning calculations and presentations. PG Calc Incorporated, 129 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Tel: 617-497-4970. MiniManager version does gift calculations and comparisons. Cost, $495. Full version $1,295.
IRA/Pension Distribution Planner — Windows: Generates retirement cash flow schedules and calculates minimum distribution requirements. Denver Tax Software, P.O. Box 5308, Denver, Colo. 80217-5308. Tel: 800-326-6686. Fax: 888-326-6686. Cost, $149.
Pension and Roth IRA Analyzer, V. 2003.11 (released 9/22/03): This program comprehensively evaluates pension/profit sharing plan distribution strategies, including minimum distribution rules. Generates extensive comparative graphs and reports. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Tel: 610-527-5216. Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost, $395.
Website: www.leimberg.com. (Also available from Brentmark Software).
Pension Distributions Planner, V. 6.34 (released 8/4/03): Generates schedules of pension plan distributions, including minimum distribution requirements and handles multiple beneficiaries. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131. Cost, $249.
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL PLANNING, DOCUMENTS AND VALUATION
Business ValueXPress: Business valuation and deal structure software that facilitates business valuation and provides objective valuations equating to real-life actual transactions. Integrates price, terms and deal structure, and uses optimization techniques to satisfy the needs of all parties to an M&A transaction. Includes cash vs. financed valuation, stock vs. asset purchase valuation, mezzanine equity determination and goodwill calculation. Adhikari International Inc. 175 Olde Half Day Rd. Lincolnshire, Ill. 60069. Tel: 866-BVX-VALUE. Fax: 1-847-438-1835. Cost, first year license, $500, annual license $600 thereafter.
Website: www.businessvaluexpress.com/. (30-day free trial available.)
Estate Profiler Pro V. 2.3: Financial modeling software illustrating estate asset growth, future asset transactions and income tax effects on estate accumulation, coupled with basic calculation of the effect of gifts, charitable remainder trusts and estate taxes for various years of the future projection. Includes pie charts, line charts and annual tabulations for various portfolio alternatives. Priced at $10 per client record, based on the number of allowed client records purchased from the publisher upon registration of the program. The Center For Estate Planning LLC; P.O. Box 4236; Salem, Ore. 97302. Tel: 866-375-2589.
Website: www.CenterForEstatePlans.org. (Demo limited to one client record is available.)
Financial Analyzer II: Computes gross amount received under life insurance contracts per Internal Revenue Code Section 72 rules, cash flow and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) analyses, depreciation schedules using various methods, calculators for determining investment yields, sophisticated amortization schedules and refinance calculations, calculations of gross profit margin and markup and time value of money calculator. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Tel: 610-527-5216. Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost, $129.
Tvalue, V. 5.0: Amortization calculations — very fully featured — addressing irregular payments, changing interest rates and PV/FV calculations. Time Value Software, 4 Jenner St., Suite 100, Irvine, Calif. 92618. Tel: 800-426-4741 or 949-727-1800. Fax: 949-727-3268. Cost, $149 single user edition ordered online.
Valuation Manager Pro, V. 2.0: Helps to manage the entire valuation process and valuation analysis; allows for consideration of myriad approaches; incorporates use of best practices; simplifies the documentation of notes and worksheets that support decisions and approaches; provides presentation quality reports, graphs, charts and schedules for inclusion in reports; gives upload access to eight useful databases (purchased separately), to facilitate a more comprehensive analysis and save time on data input. National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, 1111 Brickyard Road, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106-5401. Tel: 800-677-2009 or 801-486-0600. Fax: 801-486-7500. Cost, single user $795, multi-user $1,295.
PROGRAMS FOR INTEGRATED ESTATE PRACTICE AND FINANCIAL CALCULATIONS
BNA Estate Tax Planner: Extensive estate tax planning calculations, integrating a number of planning devices into the tax computation. Includes elaborate flowcharts. Cost, $995 single user version, $195 for one to nine additional users and $97.50 per user for 10 to 50 additional users. BNA Software, Circulation Department, P. O. Box 40947, Washington, D.C. 20077-4928. Tel: 800-373-1033. Fax: 800-253-0332.
Website: www.bnasoftware.com/products/egt/ETPlanner-/ppf/intproductid/4/. (Demo version available)
Estate Plan Plus and Visual Estate Plus: Comprehensive estate-planning calculations including FLPs, GRATS, GRUTS and QPRTs and charitable trust analysis. Computes interrelated marital and charitable deductions. Offers visual displays of various estate-planning concepts. Check for pricing. Formerly ProBate Software, acquired by Thomson/FastTax in 2004. Tel: 888-706-1041, Ext. 18778.
Intuitive Estate Planner, V. 8.0 (released October, 2004): Comprehensive estate-planning and GST calculations and projections with integration of gifts (both annual and irregular), pension accumulation and distribution calculations (including Stretch IRAs), charitable trusts (including NIMCRUTs and Flip CRUTs), GRATs and GRUTs, planned sales (including SCINs and IDITs), business organization balance sheets, previously taxed property credit with QDOTs, alternative allocations of tax burden, state estate and inheritance tax calculations and much more. Integrates with EVP Systems for online securities pricing. Allows identification of legacies to named heirs, including legacies from the second estate of spouses, and prepares an analysis of inheritance for each heir. Includes detailed legal analyses with links to helpful websites and a client demonstration slide show. Thomson/West. Tel: 800-221-9428. Cost, $895, single user.
Kugler Estate Analyzer, V. 2004.04 (released 9/22/04): Basic estate-planning and estate tax calculations integrated with GRATs and GRUTs and charitable trust calculations. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131. Cost, $595 with annual maintenance of $199.
Viewplan, V. 4.40: Integrated estate tax planning calculations, including minimum distribution calculations. Has extensive flowcharts and graphs. Cost, $1,000 single user version. Available also in advanced version that calculates and integrates charitable trusts, other split-interest trusts and planned sales devices. Cost, $1,490 single-user version. CCH. Tel: 800-449-8114.
WealthTec: Planning and calculating modules based on Excel spreadsheets using the ZCalc functions. WealthMaster V. 6.5 provides standalone calculations for financial and estate-planning techniques including ILITs, GST planning, GRATs, QPRTs, SCINs, private annuities, IDITs, charitable trusts, Qualified plan and IRA distributions. Addresses the family financial position, cash flows, stock options, traditional and Roth IRAs, modeling of living expenses, pass through entities, income taxes and asset dispositions. Foundations V. 2.5.4 addresses cash flow and cash management, expense and income analysis; stock options; FLP and FLLC planning; education cost and funding analysis; integrated estate-planning with life insurance, split interest trusts, estate value flows through estates of married persons; display of values passing to heirs and more, with Monte Carlo simulations where appropriate. Counselor consists of PowerPoint presentations with text explaining the nature and implementation of a variety of techniques for estate-planning, charitable planning and qualified plans as well as individual retirement accounts. WealthTec LLC, 5919 Perfect Calm Ct, Clarksville, MD 21029. Tel: 433-535-8675; Fax: 443-535-8676. Cost, $1,495.
Website: www.wealthtec.com. (Offered on 45-day free trial.)
PROGRAMS TO HELP PREPARE ESTATE AND GIFT TAX RETURNS
Brentmark 706/709 System is estate and gift tax return preparation software. A 2003 Form 706 System update has been released. The Form 709 System update (v. 2004.00 for tax year 2003) was released in a Windows version on 3/31/04. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131.
BNA Estate and Gift Tax 706 Preparer and 709 Preparer (Jan. 9, 2004, BNA Software released the 2004.1 update of Form 709 Preparer): Forms 706 and 709 automated preparation. BNA Software, Circulation Department, P. O. Box 40947, Washington, DC 20077-4928. Tel: 800-373-1033. Fax: 800-253-0332. Form 706 Preparer, Cost $695, with additional licenses $165 each. Form 709 Preparer, Cost $415, additional licenses $75 each.
Website: www.bnasoftware.com. (click on Products/BNA Estate and Gift Tax Solutions).
Document Production System (DPS 8.0): Prepares Forms 709 and 706 and various state estate and inheritance tax returns. A list of documents available for each state may be viewed on the publisher's website. Advanced Logic Systems, 558 28th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50312, Tel: 800-454-7703. Fax: 515-282-7706. Pricing for an annual license varies by state and firm size and may be viewed on the publisher's website.
Website: www.dps8.com/. (Free evaluation copy available.)
Fiduciary Practice System: Programs for fiduciary accounting, federal 706 and state inheritance/estate tax, federal 1041 and state fiduciary income tax, federal 709 gift tax and scheduling. FPS is a comprehensive suite of products that work together as an integrated system or can be used independently as standalone products. Fast-Tax, 2395 Midway Road, Carrollton, Texas 75006. Tel: 888-706-1041, Ext. 18778. Contact publisher for pricing.
Website: www.fasttaxtrust.com/fps.htm. (For details of the transition of the West Estate Practice System,including 706 preparation, 709 preparation and FATE, to the Fast-Tax Fiduciary Practice System see www.fast-taxtrust.com/fpsnews.htm#p3. The Pro-bate Software system is also in transition to Fast-Tax; see the transition Web page at www.fasttaxtrust.com/fps_probate.asp.)
Lackner 6-in-1 Estate Administration System (Windows/Mac Version 6.10 — Officially released in November 2004): A “one-write” system for the collection of data relevant to the administration of an estate, and the generation of reports and tax returns from that data. It includes 706, 709, 1041, state death tax, inventory, accounting and state fiduciary income tax modules. Data is entered in a single database that is drawn from for the operation of each module without the movement of data through a separate import step. Pricing is based on the number of users and the specific modules that are needed. The 706 module, for example, is priced at $750. A package of the State Accounting, State Inventory and State Inheritance/Estate Tax, 706, Form 1041 and State Fiduciary modules would be $2,000. Each user license includes a copy of FileMaker Pro, which is installed on the user's workstation. FileMaker Server software is available for an additional $430 in order to network two or more users. The Lackner Group, Inc.; Carnegie Office Park, Suite 290; 700 North Bell Avenue Pittsburgh, Penn., 15106. Tel: 800-709-1041.
VALUING SECURITIES AND GOVERNMENT BONDS
Appraise: Valuation request may be submitted by online form, mail or fax. Pricing per IRS estate value regulations for mean price and average over non-trading days. Also permits evaluation of securities directly over the Internet through their Appraise.Asp software. Charged per item looked up. Evaluation Services, Inc., 180 Old Tappan road, Old Tappan, N.J. 07675. Tel: 201-784-8500. Fax: 201-784-9685.
EstateVal, V. 7.0.4: Performs securities portfolio valuations online with pricing per IRS estate value regulations for mean price and average over non-trading days, compliant with IRS valuation regulations. EVP Valuations & Pricing systems, Inc., 1640 5th St., First Floor, Santa Monica, Calif. 90401. Tel: 310-394-4909. Fax: 310-394-4909. Software is free with charge made for each item valued.
Wallace Estate Pricing Service: Software for obtaining online securities values. May be subscribed to on CD-ROM from Financial Data Services, Inc. Priced by number of entries valued. Tel: 800-762-5468.
EE Bond Deluxe for Windows, Version 23: Franklin Liebsley, MMR Software, P. O. Box 34619, Bethesda, Md. 20827. Comprehensive U.S. savings bond pricing covering EE, E, S and I bonds. Cost, $19.95, supplementation is $10.00 annually. Website: www.mmrsoft.com includes FAQs and discussions of various aspects of U.S. savings bonds as investments, as well as offering inexpensive valuation programs valuing U. S. savings bonds, including EE, E, S and the new I bonds, coins, stamps, and baseball cards. The EE savings bond program has an initial purchase price of $14.95. The related website www.savingsbonds.gov/ includes technical information and forms and allows online purchase of savings bonds.
Savings Bonds Toolkit: Organizes, manages and values a client's savings bond portfolio. Assists in retitling bonds by automatically filling in and printing the government reissue forms including Forms 1455, 1851, 1938, 4000 and 5387. Licensed for $199, download $179. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131.
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION AND TAX DEFICIENCY INTEREST
Brentmark Asset Transfer System, V. 2002.11 (successor to the Henson's Transfers program): The program facilitates the manage estate assets by simplifying the tasks related to transferring and retitling assets. Cost, $595 with annual maintenance of $195. Brentmark Software, 3505 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 212, Orlando, Fla. Tel: 800-879-6665 or 407-679-6555. Fax: 407-679-1131.
ACTEC Fiduciary Accounting Templates for Quicken: From the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Elaborate chart of accounts and prepared reports following the National Fiduciary Accounting Standards. Requires Quicken to be installed. Cost, $65. Order from www.actec.org/public/ShowResourcesPublic.asp.
TaxInterest: An IRS interest and penalties calculator from TimeValue Software, 4 Jenner St., Ste. 100, Irvine, Calif. 92718. Tel: 800-426-4741. Cost, $129.00.
IRS and State Interest and Penalty Calculator: Calculates state and federal deficiency interest and penalties. Denver Tax Software, P.O. Box 5308, Denver, Colo. 80217-5308. Tel: 800-326-6686. Fax: 888-3266686. Cost, $129.
Inter-Est V. 3.0 (tables last updated 9/10/04): Computes comprehensive federal interest calculations, various interrelated tax computations, GST direct skip, tax and expense apportionment, gift tax credit, Section 6166, PTP credit and 706NA calculations. Cammack Computations Co., P. O. Box 725, Cleburne, Texas 76033. Tel: 800-594-5826. Fax: 817-645-8273. Cost, $695.
Trust Terminator, V. 8.0: Designed to facilitate the paperwork involved in the closing administration of a trust following the death of the grantor. State specific. Allows the practitioner to create a database of contacts and merge that information with the various checklists, letters and forms provided with the program. Available free standing or as part of the Cowles System. Cowles Legal Systems, 3410 Sky Park blvd., Eau Claire, Wis. 54701. Tel: 800-366-1730. Fax: 715-835-7792. Cost, $2,990.
Website: www.cowleslegal.com/. (Online or demo CD available.)
GRAPHIC PRESENTATION PROGRAMS
Toward a Zero Estate Tax: Slide presentations on estate tax, planned giving, planned sales, FLPs and other estate-planning topics. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Tel: 610-527-5216. Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost $249.
Website: www.leimberg.com/. (Click on PowerPoint Presentations.)
Charitable Planning: Gifts That Give and Gifts That Give Back: Slide presentations on techniques for charitable giving and charitable trusts. Leimberg Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. Tel: 610-527-5216. Fax: 610-527-5226. Cost, $249.
Website: www.leimberg.com/products/powerpoints/. (Click on PowerPoint Presentations.)
Crescendo Presents: Planned giving and estate distribution slides and presentations. Crescendo Interactive, 110 Camino Ruiz, Camarillo, Calif. 93012. Tel: 800-858-9154. Fax: 805-388-2483. Cost, $150.
Website: www.crescendointeractive.com/cres_software-_presents.jsp. (90-day trial version available.)
WealthWise (V. 1.1 released in 2004): PowerPoint Presentations integrated with dynamic graphics based on zCalc calculations, and including text descriptions of estate-planning concepts. Covers Marital and Credit Shelter planning, GST, FLPs and LLCs, Asset Protection, Charitable Trusts and other planned giving techniques, GRATs and GRUTs, and Planned Sales. WealthWise, LLC, 35 Ridge Road, Chappaqua, N.Y. 10514. Tel: 917-658-3283. Cost, one user, first year $495, 2-3 users $695, 4-5 users $845; annual renewal is half of first year charge.
Website: www.wealthwisellc.com. (Demo copy available.)
zCalc Presentations: A series of PowerPoint presentations covering a variety of estate and charitable planning topics. Content created by Howard Eisenberg of WealthTec. Lexite Development, LLC, 824 East Rand Road, Suite 280, Arlington Heights, Ill. 60004. Tel: 847-255-9807. Fax: 847-255-9839. Cost, $395 for one user.
Website: www.zcalc.com/index.html. (You may obtain a 30-day demo of any zCalc product.)
DOCUMENT ASSEMBLY PROGRAMS
Document Production System (DPS 8.0): Prepares estate-planning (wills, trusts, POAs etc.), corporation, LLC and charitable organization documents. State-specific for 50 states. A list of documents available for each state may be viewed on the publisher's website. Advanced Logic Systems, 558 28th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50312, Tel: 800-454-7703. Fax: 515-282-7706. Pricing for an annual license varies by state and firm size and may be viewed on the publisher's website: www.dps8.com/. (Free evaluation copy available.)
Drafting Wills and Trust Agreements on Ghostfill, V. 1.0: By Michael L. M. Jordan. Creates simple wills, long-form wills, pour-over wills, mirror image documents for spouses, revocable trusts and client explanations. Generates forms, summaries, synopses and flowcharts. See the Ghostfill website at www.ghostfill.com/. Price Varies. Thomson/West, 620 Opperman Dr., P.O. Box 64779, St. Paul, Minn. 55164-0779. Tel: 800-762-5272.
Lawgic Publishing Company (state-specific, available for New York, California and Florida; plus Georgia's wills and trusts and California's marital settlements and pre/post marital agreements). Includes wills, disability planning documents and a number of trusts (revocable trusts, insurance trusts and various grantor trusts) as well as ancillary documents and client letters. Individual state modules are prepared by distinguished practitioners in each included state. Basic Will & Trust system $995 (single user license) or $1,500 for a full version (single-user license). The basic version does not feature certain trusts used in larger cases (can be converted to the full version at any time for $500). 7200 Redwood Blvd., Novato, Calif. 94945. Tel: 800-952-9442. Fax: 415-898-8875.
Trust Plus®: Cowles Legal System. Based on a proprietary engine. Produces basic wills and both revocable and irrevocable trusts. Included, among other documents, are state specific powers of attorney and living wills. The documents are prepared by moving through a series of phrase, or paragraph designations, selecting which you chose to include and filling information where prompted. The Cowles Legal Systems website also offers significant resources, including a forms exchange library (supplied with user forms), substantive information, and even marketing materials. Cost, $3,990. Cowles Legal Systems, 3410 Sky Park Blvd, Eau Claire, Wis. 54701. Tel: 800-366-1730. Fax: 715- 835-7792.
Wealth Counsel: Automated creation of wills, trusts, charitable planning, limited partnerships and other estate-planning documents and checklists. Uses document assembly through Hot Docs and Word. WealthCounsel, LLC, 17441 SE Walta Vista Drive, Portland, Ore. 97267. Tel: 888-659-4069. Fax: 888-629-0290. Initial cost is $3,900 and a monthly subscription of $390 is required.
Wealth Transfer Planning: By Jonathan Blattmachr and Michael Graham. Automated assembly of estate-planning documents and limited partnerships. Forms include wills, trusts, advice memoranda, client-convenience documents and other related agreements and materials. Built on the SmartWords platform. Interactive Legal Systems, P.O. Box 710, Sparks, Md. 21152. Tel: 888-315-0872. Fax: 410-472-0609. Individual license $2,995, Network License $3,595 (one workstation, $295 for additional workstations) includes 12 months of content updates with annual renewals required thereafter.
- The Software Guide in this article summarizes the features and procurement information of popular document assembly programs. For an analysis in greater depth of platforms for automated drafting of documents and document assembly programs, see Jason E. Havens and Dennis Toman (edited by Joseph G. Hodges, Jr.), “Technological Tools for the Estate Planning Professional,” 6 J. Prac. Est. Plan. (CCH) 15 (Feb./March 2004) available at www.jasonhavens.net/-Havensarticle.pdf. For a further discussion of document assembly programs and techniques see Hodges, and Havens, “Deftly Drafting Estate Planning Documents,” 18 Prob. & Prop. 35 (July/Aug. 2004), available at www.jasonhavens.net/DeftlyDrafting.pdf.
- The author is a co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner software.
SOFTWARE GUIDES ONLINE
Some key websites that contain helpful lists and reviews of software applicable to the trusts and estates practice:
Estate Planning Practice Tools, including lists of publications on estate-planning technology and estate-planning technology vendors and links to them (from Jason E. Havens). See 2. “Publications on Estate Planning Technology” and 3. “ Select EP Technology Vendors.”
Updated lists of all types of software useful in the trusts and estates practice, with detailed procurement information (from Daniel B. Evans). Replaces Appendix A, Software for an Estate Practice, of “Wills, Trusts and Technology: An Estate Lawyer's Guide to Automation” (ABA, LPM Section 1996).
The Technology-Probate Columns from the ABA/RPPT Section Probate and Property magazine, by Daniel A. Evans. Covers selected T & E software and internet resources.