Adding/Editing custom letters/documents

Instructions of how to link Word documents to the LegalEase program.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide word processor support. It is thus advisable to appoint a power user that knows MSWord to attend to adding/editing all the custom documents/letters to the program.

PLEASE NOTE: If you use pre-printed letterheads you may skip the non-applicable steps below. If you use a word-processed letterhead, you need to know where this letterhead is stored (preferably in the LESTATES\LETTERS folder) as well as which word-processor it has been generated in. Furthermore, you need to call up this letterhead, place your cursor at the point on the letterhead where you wish the program to start typing the information and insert a bookmark called START. Then save the bookmark with this amendment. The letterhead must be saved as a document TEMPLATE (.dot or .dotx).

PLEASE NOTE: Only documents created in MSWord 2000 and later will merge with the program. To check which version of these programs you have, run the word processor, click on Help in the menu bar and thereafter on “About MSWord”. Linking your existing documents only need to be done once. We presume that you, the user, have the necessary knowledge of the word processor in which the custom letter/form/document is created and that you know how to insert merge and other fields.

NOTE: When you create a new document/letter you always do so without including the letterhead and without hard-coding any information that can someday change. So at the bottom of the letter, for example, you will not hard-code the name of your firm and the signatory, but would rather use merge fields like this:

Yours faithfully



Or something similar to that which will have the effect you are looking for. To add a new document click the “Edit custom docs” button and the following screen is displayed:

Now click on Insert and

  1. select the language in which the document / letter will be
  2. give it a description that all users will recognise on the list of letters to print
  3. give it a Word name complete with the extension (.doc before Word 2007 and .docx if you have Word 2007)
  4. indicate that the word processor is Word 97 or any later version
  5. indicate if you want it to be printed on a letterhead

Then click OK the save it and immediately the following screen will appear:

Click OK. Word will be opened and a blank document, already saved in the correct place and already having the name you previously gave it will be displayed on your screen:

Use Alt+Tab (or click on the icon on your task bar) to switch between Word and LegalEase in order to insert merge fields and type text in your document / letter alternatively. If you already have the body of the document saved elsewhere and you want to link it to LegalEase, open that document in MSWord too and copy and paste the body into this new blank document. Then, to avoid confusion, close your old document. Now you still have to replace the old data (which you routinely deleted in order to replace it with another estates data!) with merge fields so that LegalEase can do this job for you! Switch to LegalEase to insert merge fields.

Use this new screen to insert merge fields into the Word document:

  1. Please your cursor in the Word document where you want the merge field to be inserted
  2. Alt+Tab to go back to the list of merge fields in LegalEase
  3. Select the correct merge field name from the list (or type it in) and then click the “Insert” button
  4. Alt+Tab to go back to the Word document. Carry on typing the text until the next instance where you require a merge field and repeat the process.

The selected merge field is inserted into the document:

During the process of editing custom docs you must NOT close a document in Word called “Document in unnamed”. This is a system document and will close by itself.

Closing it will cause the insertion of merge fields to malfunction.

Once you are done, save and close the new document and go back to LegalEase. Close the merge field screen. Click on the Back button. Click on the Exit button. The document is now available for future use. If you are on a network it will be available for all the other users too.

If a list of information relating to a specific field is required in one document/letter, add the extension _ALL to the name of the merge field in the document/letter. When you print the document/letter, you will be prompted to select, from a list, the data you wish to merge into the document and the program will list the information automatically. For e.g. if a letter is designed to the bank requesting them to close all the deceased’s accounts and the deceased happen to have more than one account at that bank, you would require the program to list the account numbers on one line. In such an instance the merge field in the master letter will be CLAIMREF_ALL. When you print the letter, the program will prompt you to select the relevant account numbers from a list and will then only list the selected account numbers in the letter.

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