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Release Notes for 6-in-1 Version 2021-070

6-in-1 Estate Administration Software, v2021-070, March 11, 2021

We’re delighted to announce the first major release of 6-in-1 Estate Administration Software for 2022.

v2021-070, Released on 3/11/2021:

Password:  showtime

Administrative and IT personnel and “self-help” users:  please see installation instructions/reminders at the end of this e-mail.

Always close 6-in-1 (standalone on your desktop, or FileMaker Server on your server in multi-user scenarios).

Marty O’Toole Retirement
Marty O’Toole had a 20-year career as a podiatrist before joining us in tech support in 2000.  Until his retirement in 2020, he spent 20 years applying his renowned bedside manner to 6-in-1 users who were his “patients” as he tried to diagnose what ailed them.  He mastered the registry; he conquered the installers; he became a world-class expert on FileMaker Server; he packaged up the software multiple times a year;  and he trained countless users on how to press Next, Next, Next, Accept, Next, Finish.  On one support call (of the thousands that he handled over 20 years), he told one user that “About taxes, I know nothing.”  We couldn’t help but observe that he was underestimating himself.  He actually knew very little.  We always appreciated the good humor and great competence with which he did his job, and will miss him!  If you have a Marty story or testimonial you would like to share, we’ll include it in the batch we’ll present to him at his delayed retirement party:

Andrew Cummings (Marty 2.0)
Most of you who have interacted with us over the past months have gotten to know Andrew Cummings, an opera singer (baritone) originally from Maine, then Quakertown PA, and now Yonkers NY.  Vince and Anne Lackner hosted him for six weeks in June/July of 2015 when he performed for the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (now Pittsburgh Festival Opera), then twice more in the next three years.  It turns out that, in addition to playing a spectacular version of the barber in “Sweeney Todd:  The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, he had been using FileMaker for some 24 years (since he was 17).  He brings a big personality and an amazing array of technical skills to the job.  Among other things, he has been instrumental in building the automatic License Key update feature introduced in this current update.  We welcome Andrew to the team, and look forward to seeing some more of his dazzling innovations.

FileMaker 11 vs. FileMaker 19
Two sets of users:

A.  FileMaker 11 (Windows):  Follow the usual installation instructions (below)

B.  FileMaker 19 * (Windows and Mac):  Unzip the file into your EstateNN folder into your active data directory.  Then launch 6-in-1 to allow the update to occur.

*  FileMaker 19:  Windows Server 2019 and the Mac OS of recent years have “outrun” FileMaker 11 (become incompatible).  Accordingly, over the past several years, we have been migrating these firms to FileMaker 16/17/18/19, the last of which is 10 years newer than FileMaker 11.  The rest of our user base will be hearing more about this in the months to come.

Update instructions for FileMaker 19:  There is no “installer” yet for these installations. After you close 6-in-1 (and stop the FileMaker Server service, if applicable), just unzip the downloads file into your estates file (usually Estate19, but could be Estate18, or Estate17, or even Estate16), and overwrite any conflicting file names.  This will not delete any of your data.  Then launch “6in1 for Data” (from a desktop icon), or FileMaker Pro and the Opener file.  This will run the update.  Once it is finished, close FileMaker Pro.  Then restart FileMaker Server (if applicable), then relaunch 6-in-1 (after the appropriate waiting time for server installations, noted in the “6-in-1 Download and Installation Instructions” at the bottom of this e-mail).

Seventh Release This Season
2021-070 (03/11/2021)
2021-067 (03/08/2021)
2021-059 (02/28/2021)
2021-054 (02/23/2021)
2021-050 (02/19/2021)
2021-049 (02/18/2021)
2021-046 (02/15/2021)

Starting with the first release on 2/15/2021, 6-in-1 download and launch counts for users of these 2021 versions are as follows:

Firms:                                       257
Users (via “Device ID”):           567
Launches (6-in-1 opened):   7,633

We have followed the same update procedure for at least the past 14 years (starting with a 6-in-1 update e-mail sent on 2/20/2007).  We’re glad that those who needed the 2020 forms software earlier in the season were able to find the links on our website starting on 2/15/2021.

We have been slightly delayed with this e-mail notification for the following reasons:

1) FileMaker 19:  More and more firms running this version.  Thus, we’re currently managing two versions, reconverting our master 6-in-1 from FileMaker 11 to 19 as needed.

2) 709:  Re-engineered this year to make it 5-10x faster.  It now includes as many as 18 years of gift tax returns (2003 – 2020), so the restructuring was necessary.

3) NumberCruncher:  This estate and financial planning tool (with 115 modules) was first created in 1984 by Steve Leimberg and Bob LeClair, based on VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet ever invented.  Since that time, Leimberg & LeClair (now Leimberg, LeClair & Lackner) has grown the user base to 3,500 firms with 4,200 users.  These users include the IRS, 80+ of the country’s largest 145 law firms, and 30+ of the country’s largest CPA firms.  Upon the 11/30/2020 retirement of Kathy Maphis, who ran the Leimberg office for 25 years, we took over operations effective 12/1/2020 and moved them to the Lackner Group offices in Carnegie (Pittsburgh).  Modernizing all of the Leimberg systems during December and January kept us hopping!

Current 6-in-1 includes the following:

19 versions of the 706 (1997-1999, 2001-2013, 2017-2019).
Supports estates going back to 10/9/1990.
19 versions of the 1041 (2002-2020)
18 versions of the 709 (2003 – 2020)
231 versions of the State Fiduciary Income Tax Returns
(2002 – 2020; NC 2006; VA 2005)
12 versions of the Inventory (12 states)
12 versions of the Accounting (12 states)
9 U.S. miscellaneous forms (SS-4, 56, 843, 2848, 4421,
4810, 5495, 8821, 8822)
11 NC Probate Forms
15 PA Probate Forms

Annual Changes to 100+ Tax Return Pages
Each year, there are a thousand or two items that have to be changed, then tested, throughout the software to reflect changes required in the 100+ tax return pages that we support.  Thus, it’s a highly iterative process that lasts from September until all forms are released by the IRS and state departments of revenue in final form sometime in February or even into March.

2021 Update (for 2020 forms)
This version includes the following approvals for 2020 forms:

e-file:          1041

Note regarding 2018 and 2019 state e-file:  The 2020 schema
included two new fields.  These fields interfered with processing
of 2018 and 2019 returns, leading to state rejections.  We have
fixed this with several users over GoToMeeting.  This update
contains that fix.

Paper file:  1041, 709 (no new 706 for 2020)

e-file:          CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, OH, VA

   Paper file:   CT, DE, IL, IN, MA, NJ, NY, OH, VA, WI

Watermarks:  Removed from all K-1s or their equivalents
Main pages display “Client Copy”*

* You may remove, but be SURE that you do not paper file any returns before we have confirmed state department approval:

CT (4101), DE (4102), IL (4103); IN (4104); MA (4105), NJ (4107); NY (4108), OH (4109), VA (4111), WI (4112)

Brief highlights of the 2021 updates

1.1  License Key:  For all releases starting with 2/15/2021, License Keys will be updated automatically once we receive your renewal.  Gone are the days of needing to e-mail or text or call you with License Keys, or sometimes all three.

1.2  Update Notifications: Brought right to your 6-in-1 License Key and Main Menu screens.  Whenever an update has been posted, your next launch of 6-in-1 will compare your current version with the latest version.  You will see a message at the top (in green letters) that an update is available.  The version number and revision date of your current version (very top) will turn red to alert you that you are no longer running the latest release.

1.3  Release Notes.  Also brought right to your 6-in-1 Main Menu screen (bottom).  This will alert you to changes made in later releases.

1.4  Privacy Notice.  Bottom left of your License Key screen.  This lists the data (none of it Personal Information) that we gather every time that you launch 6-in-1.  This allows us to improve the software and your overall experience, as well as determine at any given time what operating system and what version of 6-in-1 you are running.  This is what allowed us, for example, to provide you with the statistics above about the number of firms, unique users, and 6-in-1 launches to date.  The unique user count is based on the “Device ID”, an encrypted version of the hard drive serial number that the IRS requires us to include with every e-filed 1041.

Forms (including federal inflation adjustments)

2.1  706:  Exclusion $11.58M (2020) and $11.7M (2021)
No new 706 released for 2020
Significant refinement done in the portability area, to
handle two parallel sets of numbers (actual amounts
and amounts suppressed on schedules for portability)

2.2  709 for 2020:  Exclusion $11.58M (20120 and $11.7M (2021)
Annual exclusion $15K (2018 – 2021)
Now 5-10x faster
Alt-Click allows for virtually instant navigation from
page to page, worksheets back to main, and year
to year across all 18 years (2003 – 2020)

2.3  1041 and related forms and instructions for 2020 (e-file and paper filing)

New lines
Page 2, Line 17 (Refundable credit for qualified sick and family leave)
Page 2, Line 18 (Deferral, relating to Schedule H)

Excess deductions
Based upon final regulations issued on 9/16/2020, excess deductions (with limitations) have been reinstated, retroactive to tax years starting in 2018

(1) Section 67(e) Expenses (Schedule K-1, Box 11A):  Correspond to
1041, Lines 1214, and 15a.  Reportable on 1040, Schedule 1, Line 22.

(2) Non-Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions (Schedule K-1, Box 11B):
Correspond to 1041, Lines 10 and 11.  Reportable on 1040, Schedule A,
Line 9 (Interest) or Line 10 (Taxes).  Subject to the limitations applicable
to interest and tax deductions.

Not Allowed
(3) Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions:  Correspond to 1041, old Line 15c.

Final Regulations on Excess Deductions:

2.4  State Fiduciary Income Tax Returns for 12 states (eight of them include e-file):  CT, DE, IL, IN, MA, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, and WI

2.5  PA-1500 (03-19):  Revised in March 2019 but not released to developers or the public until 9/27/2019. In November 2020 we learned that the Department was now preferring use of this form in order to expedite processing and to reduce errors.  This version (and related forms) includes the following:

(a) Page 1:  Checkboxes:  re-arranged

(b) Page 3:  Four new lines for Receipt Numbers for prior payments.
Three new checkboxes for options on how to handle
overpayments (leave on account, refund, or mixture of

(c) Schedules F and G:  New column for last four digits of (bank) account

(d) Schedule AU (Agricultural Use Exemption) (09-19)

(e) Schedule C-SB (Qualified Family-Owned Business Exemption (04-19)

(f) Schedule C-1 Closely-Held Corporate Stock Information Report

(g) Schedule C-2 Partnership Information Report

(h) REV-1313 Application for Refund (07-19)

(i)  REV-1845 Notice of Intent to Enter Safe Deposit Box (12-19)

(j)  REV-1846 Extension to File (04-19)

2.6  Miscellaneous:  Updated US 2848 and US 8822.

2.7  DecoupleCruncher

(a) Year 2021 Added to Dropdown Year Menu

(b) Exclusions for 2021 (changes in blue)

CT:   $7,100,000
DC:  $4,000,000
HI:    $5,490,000
IL:    $4,000,000
MA:  $1,000,000
MD:  $5,000,000
ME:  $5,870,000
MN:  $3,000,000
NY:   $5,930,000
OR:  $1,000,000
RI:    $1,595,156
VT:   $5,000,000
WA:  $2,193,000


[repeated from February 2020 update notes]

PA-1500, Allocation of Assets
Allocation to Tax Classes.  We have revised how allocations to tax classes work.  Previously, if the decedent was married at death, we would allocate all unallocated assets to the spouse (0% rate), otherwise to lineal heirs (4.5% rate).

Allocate to Highest Tax Class First (New).  Now, however, we allocate all unallocated assets to the highest tax class for which you have entered a beneficiary in the Beneficiaries database.  This provides you with “guardrails” so that, if you fail to allocate all pre-residuary gifts (bequests, joint, transfers) and/or 100% of the residue, we will assign any unallocated assets first to the 15% tax class (if any), then to the 12% tax class (if any), then to the 4.5% tax class (if any), and finally to the 0% tax class.  This way, any incomplete allocations will tend to overstate the tax due, not understate it.

Insolvent Estates.  Also, we have added logic to handle insolvent estates, where the joint assets and/ transfers exceed the net probate estate available to pay expenses.  Normally, you would reduce the allocations to joint owners and transferees in the Transact file (in the “Allocations” screen – yellow button).  But even if you don’t, we will reduce the amounts allocated to joint owners and transferees in the Tax Allocation screen of the PA-1500 (Pre-Residue section at top) by the amount of the shortfall.  We will allocate the shortfall (as a reduction) to Schedule G transferees first, then to Schedule F joint owners.  You can, however, allocate more to Schedule F joint owners, which will reduce the allocations to Schedule G transferees accordingly.  See the section on the right side of the Tax Allocation screen in the PA-1500.

Odd Pennies, Rounding, etc. When you have two or more beneficiaries receiving shares of assets, there can be minor variances because of rounding.  For example, three beneficiaries splitting 1.00 in equal shares will get .33 each.  This generates a .99 total, with a variance of .01.  If the sum of variances is .99 or less, we will disregard this variance and display nothing in the 15% tax class that would otherwise display this variance.

Filter by Pre-Residuary vs. Residuary and by Tax Class.  In Beneficiaries, clicking on the “PA” button or the “NJ” button (upper right, to the right of the “2 Beny Shares/706” button) takes you to a grid showing the allocation of assets on a beneficiary-by-beneficiary basis.  There are three “Views” of this grid (#1, #2, #3).

In the upper left corner of these Views are new “filter” checkboxes:

PreResiduary vs. Residuary
Tax Class:  0%, 4.5%, 12%, 15%, Exempt (PA)
Tax Class:  AS, AO, C, D (NJ, View #3 only)

Check various combinations of these checkboxes to narrow the set of beneficiaries who will be displayed in the grid.  Note that the numbers at the bottom adjust to reflect the totals for just the beneficiaries who appear.

PA-1500, Parental Transfers to Minors:  Note this new tax class, which applies if all five of the following conditions are true:
1) PA decedent
2) Decedent died on/after 1/1/2020
3) Child is under the age of 22 on the date of the parent’s death
4) Decedent had one of the following relationships to the child:
(a) Natural parent
(b) Adoptive parent
(c) Stepparent
5) Transfer is to or for the use of the child

We have added logic to the Beneficiaries file that handles this new tax status.  We are also marking all eligible minor beneficiaries with a bright yellow highlight.

We have also added a new View #3 to the Beneficiaries file, with a more explicit display of how the burden is borne separately for tax generated by the pre-residue vs. tax generated by the residue.

Finally, we have even added an option (right side of View #3) that will “equalize” the net amounts to children (minors and non-minors), in case parents want this result despite the new law.  This entails allocating enough more to the non-minors so that, net of tax, they will get the very same net share that minors get free of tax.

Technical Notes
Please pay careful attention to the 6-in-1 Download and Installation Instructions at the end of this e-mail.

For multi-user installations, please remind your IT experts (who may not be reading these e-mails) that it takes a full 25-30 minutes for users to regain 6-in-1 desktop access after the FileMaker Server service has been restarted (after the update). We receive frequent calls from users who launch 6-in-1 and receive a blank gray screen. The most common solution is to wait the full 25-30 minutes before re-launching 6-in-1.

Also, be sure to turn off any anti-virus software, including BitDefender, before you run the update.

6-in-1 Download and Installation Instructions 
Be sure to close 6-in-1 before installing the update.

Please remember to disable any anti-virus software during the installation of 6-in-1 upgrades, then re-enable it when you are finished.

Download link:


Click on Standalone or Server.

The password is showtime

Standalone. Click on the link, choose Run (or Save), and follow the prompts.

Server. In addition to closing 6-in-1 at all workstations, be sure that you stop the FileMaker Server service on the network. You should also review our updated FMS11_Instructions_2018_04_05.pdf file available on our Downloads, Server page.

When you are finished with the installation, you must (a) restart the FileMaker Server service and (b) wait for at least 25-30 minutes (while all 6-in-1 files are opening on the server) before trying to access 6-in-1 from any workstations.

For FileMaker Server 19, the wait time is dramatically shorter (10-15 minutes).

Note #1. The software will import your data from prior returns into the newest software. It will not overwrite your data. Unless otherwise stated, all 6-in-1 updates are cumulative.

Note #2. Your screen may go “white” for several minutes or more at the end of the upgrade. This is expected. Please wait until the screen returns to its normal condition before you proceed. We have shortened this step considerably compared with prior upgrades.

The Lackner Group, Inc.

Physical Mailing Address:
Carnegie Office Park, Suite 290
800 North Bell Avenue
Carnegie, PA  15106

v2021-059, Released on 2/28/2021:

Password:  showtime

v2021-054, Released on 2/23/2021:

Password:  showtime

v2021-050, Released on 2/19/2021:

Password:  showtime

  • Update notification mechanism refined
  • Migration preparation tools for 11 >> 19 refined.
  • Several other minor tweaks/fixes.

v2021-049, Released on 2/18/2021:

Password:  showtime

  • Screen zoom control restored
  • Error message on closing eliminated
  • 709:  Logic for GST Exemption used in prior years refined
  • AFR:  7520 rate for March 2021 added
  • Several other minor tweaks/fixes.

v2021-046, Released on 2/15/2021:

Password:  showtime

  • Updated tax forms (all conformed to 2020 versions)
    • US (Approved!)
    • PA (Approved!)
    • NC (Approved!)
    • OH
    • WI
    • CT
    • MA
    • IN
    • IL
    • DE
    • NY
  • Gift tax speed increases!
  • Auto-update for License Keys!
  • And much more…

Completed release notes to come soon… check back in the coming days!

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