Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for New Users
QE takes the security of user data very seriously, using best practices, encryption, ongoing security audits, and upgrades to guard against intruders.
Our estate information fields are all optional; you decide how much or how little detail you’re comfortable storing in the cloud. Learn more about Privacy & Security Of Your Data.
For those who prefer to use hardcopy to organize their estate, check out "My Estate Binder".
No. Your confidential information resides under a password that you set, and reset if you’ve forgotten it or want to change it.
QuickEstate™ provides a framework for organizing and settling estates. We have no interest in our users’ underlying estate information.
Not at all. You’ll require internet access, but no special technology skills. If you use email and search for information online, you can use QE.
We’ve spent a lot of time and money refining our user interface such that individuals and professional advisors tell us that QE is very easy to use. Our intuitive, “fill in the blanks” format will allow you to get started with no prior knowledge.
Information saves automatically, errors can be quickly corrected, and deleting items, or the entire estate file, is easily done.
We provide paid users with a “Cheat Sheet” that gives a quick tour of the app and our support team is happy to help. Ask us anything!
QE provides all possible fields of help to your executor, but you decide how many to fill in.
No need to rifle through files or financial statements. Input the basics of who and what’s involved, adding more details as you go. The more information you provide, the faster and easier it will be to settle your estate.
Most files can be populated with general information, of immediate value to your executor, in one hour or less; longer for complex estates.
Every 2-3 years, or in the event of a life changing event such as a death, divorce, sale of a business.
Our reports can be printed, reviewed and quickly updated in the app when needed. The information is not time sensitive until you die and, because it’s not used to make financial projections, asset and debt values do not have to be precise; some users even leave them blank.
No. We’ve investigated account aggregation software to auto populate user financial data and have discovered that it’s of no real value, unwieldy and expensive. Here’s why:
Account aggregation software covers a small number of financial assets and debts vs. the 42 different types of widely held financial and non-financial assets and debts covered by QE. It links to some financial institution accounts, but not all, and it doesn’t provide market values on real estate, benefit plans, or personal use assets such as collectibles and vehicles.
Account aggregation software continuously updates market values, but because QE is not used to make financial projections, daily updates are not necessary. If you choose to record market values in QE, ballpark estimates will do, and they only have to be updated every 2-3 years. Some users don’t input any market values. Of greater value to your executor is a complete list of the assets or debts you hold and where they can be found.
After you’re gone, for probate and tax purposes, your executor will have to establish exact date of death market values by contacting your financial institutions and having other assets appraised. Unfortunately, account aggregation software cannot provide a report showing the value of each asset and debt on your date of death.
Of greater value to your executor is a record of the cost bases of your assets, because trying to establish costs after a person has died can be a nightmare. Account aggregation software does connect with the cost bases of assets at financial institutions, so it’s of no value.
No. We do not hold itself out as experts or provide investment, life insurance, legal or accounting advice.
The Estate Organizer compliments the work of your advisors as you build an estate. Organized clients, who are on top of their finances, enjoy better results and lower fees.
The Estate Executor Toolkit makes your executor an informed decision maker so they arrive at legal and accounting meetings well prepared, reducing time and professional fees.
Your executor must notify QE of your death. After they provide documentation verifying your death and identifying them as your bona fide executor, we will transition your Organizer file to the Estate Executor Toolkit and give them access.
If you have not pre-paid for the Estate Executor Toolkit, your executor will need to purchase it at the current price. The cost is chargeable back to the estate, so in the end, your executor pays nothing, and it’s tax deductible by the estate, further reducing the cost.
No. Most people don’t know that a valid Will is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to settling an estate. The Will is a blueprint that governs the distribution of your assets, but it does not tell your executor how to do the job.
QE provides a framework to collect information that will be needed by your executor then gives them step-by-step advice and the tools to do the work when the time comes.
We recommend investing the money to have an experienced estate lawyer draft your Will, power of attorney and any other estate documents.
Technically, any lawyer can draft a Will, but your well-intentioned buddy, Bob, who is a different kind of lawyer, may not know what estate questions to ask. A poorly crafted Will can be as bad as having no Will at all; it happens all the time.
If your estate is super small, with very few financial, service provider accounts and beneficiaries, or if you’re on a tight budget, a reputable online Wills kit may work.
Either way: just do it!
Learn more about Dying Without a Will.
We purposefully do not provide probate forms: persnickety legal documents that vary widely by jurisdiction and by who and what’s involved in the estate.
If there’s one mistake on one form, the entire probate application may be rejected by the Court and need to be refiled, tying the executor’s hands for weeks or months. Lawyers, who are not experienced in the nuances of probate, have their applications rejected all the time, and have to learn on the estate’s dime. It happens a lot.
We recommend using an experienced estate lawyer with an experienced estate paralegal, who has a high probability of filing the application correctly the first time.
Your executor can make the probate application themselves. If they are legal forms savvy and detail oriented, they can download the forms and fill them in with help from clerks in the probate office. It may take more than one try to have the application accepted, but it can save the estate 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars in legal fees.
QE prepares executors for probate by telling them what information to gather before making the first appointment with a lawyer, reducing time and costs. If the executor shows up unprepared, the lawyer has to keep coming back, week after week, asking them to get this or find that information, charging fees for their time. This happens all the time.
The Estate Organizer lays out all the information your executor will need for probate, substantially reducing the time and cost of the process, whether they hire a lawyer or do it themselves.
Once probate is granted, our Estate Executor Toolkit guides the rest of the work.
QE was created with the view that your hard-saved estate dollars should not be used to pay a clerk, with too many files on their desk, 100’s of dollars per hour to complete simple tasks that an executor can do themselves in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost.
QE neither holds itself out as legal experts nor is it to be considered a substitute for legal advice. If there are legal issues with the estate, we recommend using an experienced estate lawyer. Learn more about Executors: Before Going to a Lawyer article.