Estateably vs Emergent Probate and WindUp: Comparing Estate Administration and Accounting Software

Estateably vs Emergent Probate and WindUp: Comparing Estate Administration and Accounting Software

The Estateably Team
October 12, 2023

In this comparison, we will examine two software solutions: Estateably & Emergent and WindUp products. Both solutions are designed to solve similar problems for estate practitioners but have different features and pricing structures. In this analysis, we will compare each solution's features, cost, support, and pros and cons to help determine which is the better choice for your needs.

Feature overview:

Form automation:

Estateably automates all required probate forms, precedent letters and federal notifications to administrate an estate file. New form changes are closely monitored and instantly available in the application weeks before they come into effect to ensure no service interruption to clients.

Emergent automates the process of completing probate forms required for administration in Ontario. However, when there are changes to these forms, they may not be immediately reflected in the software, and manual updates are required on each computer where the software is installed. This can lead to delays and disruptions in the administration process.

Task management:

Estateably comes with an out-of-the-box administration task list for easy reference throughout a file's administration. Within tasks, it is possible to leave notes and create to-do lists in addition to assigning tasks to specific team members, setting deadlines and creating reminders to avoid anything slipping through the cracks. Estateably also offers the ability to manage all tasks you have assigned to yourself across all matters to manage your or your practice's work better.

Emergent provides task management features with a section for taking notes, allowing users to keep track of relevant information related to a matter.

Beneficiary management:

Estateably provides input for all beneficiaries, co-executor and any relevant parties for the estate. Whenever possible Estateably auto-fills information such as address lookups for any contact. Estateably also automates all required charitable organization information (registration number, address and more) when a charity is listed as a beneficiary of the Estate.

Emergent requires manual input of information about estate beneficiaries, which is then used to populate the necessary forms and letters.

Inventory automation:

Estateably provides all the inventory management functions needed to go through probate and administration with an added emphasis on automation where possible. Currency conversions are automatically calculated based on the transaction date or the date of death, as required, and integrated stock price lookups save hours of manual research and maintenance through the matter's administration.

Emergent offers a comprehensive inventory management module that requires manual updates, securities lookups, and currency conversions to function properly.

Estate accounting:

Estateably provides all accounting functionality needed to perform estate accounting with additional automation to save professionals hours of manual input every month. Notably, our PDF extraction can scan client bank statements, extract transactions, and automatically upload them into the application. Take a look at DocuVision in action here.

Emergent separates its accounting offering into a separate WindUp product, which provides a comprehensive accounting experience with some features that Estateably does not cover including stock splits. However, their solution requires manual input of all transactions with little automation for getting data into the platform.


Estateably reports are available for every application section and can be generated with customized sections and date ranges with a single click. Informal reports can be customized to be generated on your firm's letterhead. Full passing of accounts reports can be generated with a single click in both Word and PDF formats.

Emergent can generate formal and informal reports, but customizing these reports can take a significant amount of time. Larger reports may also take longer to produce. Additionally, the reports produced by Emergent are not available in Word format, so users cannot make changes to the reports after they have been generated.


Estateably is a cloud-based application, meaning it can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet. Your entire firm can access files as needed and assign multiple users as collaborators on a given file.

Emergent files can only be accessed on computers where the application is installed, and there is limited or no ability to collaborate on these files across the practice.

Notice to creditors:

Estateably's notice-to-creditor solution provides all the same functionality as Emergent for a more cost-effective $145 per notice and affidavit.

Emergent integrates with Dye & Durham's NoticeConnect for notice to creditor publication for a more expensive $190 for a notice and affidavit.

While both solutions offer a similar scope of features, Estateably provides greater automation across all features, saving professionals time on mundane, repetitive tasks. Emergent does offer some additional features for estate accounting. Still, Estateably is rapidly adding functionality to match WindUp's offering.


Estateably is priced on a per-file basis, which allows professionals to pass costs back to the estate if desired. There are no setup, installation or subscription fees for the estate administration product. Basic files start at $99, and accounting can be added for $99.

Emergent Estate Administration product is priced per file, starting at $165 per file with a one-time $450 onboarding and setup fee.

WindUp product is also priced per file, with simple accounting files starting at $725 per simple accounting file (under 150 transactions) and over $1,000 for complex matters.

If price is an important factor, Estateably provides the most value with a similar feature set.


Estateably offers a variety of support options, including a comprehensive online knowledge base and email support. Demos and guided onboarding are available for new users. Estateably also has a 4.8/5 rating on Capterra, with most feedback centred around superior support and responsiveness.

Emergent has a limited online knowledge base and provides paid customer support through a hotline. It does offer email support, but response times may be slower. The company also offers on-site training in certain regions.

Overall, Estateably has a more comprehensive, available and cost-effective support plan for your firm than Emergent.

Pros and Cons:

Estateably has several pros:

  • Robust form, letter and precedent automation
  • Easy-to-use estate accounting with automated PDF transaction extraction
  • Automation of holdings calculations
  • One-click formal and informal reporting (accounting, EIR, passing of accounts)
  • Save costs with Estateably Notice to Creditors compared to NoticeConnect

However, Estateably also has a few cons:

  • Switching active files over to Estateably can be time-consuming (But the support team can help!)
  • No integration with NoticeConnect
  • Stock split accounting functionality

Emergent has the following pros:

  • Robust form and letter automation
  • Comprehensive estate accounting

However, Emergent also has some cons:

  • Lack of automation of inputs
  • Reports can take significant time to generate
  • On-premise solution limits collaboration and accessibility
  • Unsatisfactory customer support

Additional Considerations:

Cloud-based vs on-premise:

Estateably provides a modern, cloud-based solution with inherent benefits for client data and application security. All Canadian customer data is stored and backed up in the cloud, with all data exclusively stored and managed in Canada.

The notable benefits of using cloud-based software include the following:

  1. Accessibility: Cloud-based software can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, allowing you to work from anywhere and on any device.
  2. Automatic updates: The provider automatically updates Cloud-based software, ensuring you always have access to the latest version and features.
  3. Data recovery: Cloud-based software stores data in the cloud, which means it can be easily recovered in the event of a disaster or data loss.
  4. Security: Cloud-based software is typically more secure than on-premises software, as it is managed by a team of security experts and is regularly updated to address any security vulnerabilities.

Additionally, Estateably is SOC2 Type 2 Certified, one of the highest compliance standards for software solutions. Read more about data security and privacy at Estateably here.

Emergent is an on-premises software solution, which can be disadvantageous in several ways:

  1. Limited accessibility: Emergent can only be accessed from the device or location where it is installed, which may be inconvenient for businesses with remote workers or multiple locations.
  2. Limited updates: Emergent is not updated automatically by the provider, so businesses must manually install updates and pay for new versions.
  3. Maintenance: Emergent requires ongoing maintenance and support, which can be time-consuming and costly.
  4. Disaster recovery: Emergent storage of data on local servers, making it more vulnerable to data loss in the event of a disaster or data breach.
If data security, availability, and reliability are important concerns for your practice, consider using a different software solution, such as Estateably, designed to address these issues.

Operating system compatibility:

Estateably supports any operating system as it is available in the browser. We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox and supporting Microsoft Edge.

Emergent only provides support for applications running on Microsoft Windows.®8.1 and 10.


After evaluating the features, cost, support, and pros and cons of both Estateably and Emergent and WindUp, it appears that Estateably is the better choice for a modern firm. It offers a wider range of features, a more user-friendly interface, and is more cost-effective for professionals and their clients. While Emergent has been a popular choice for professionals in the past, Estateably now offers similar or superior functionality while providing a modern, secure solution for managing all of a practice's files.

However, it is important to consider your firm's specific needs and requirements before deciding. If you have any additional questions or concerns, consult with other professionals or try a demo to determine the software's value for your practice.

If you're interested in getting started with Estateably you can sign-up here, or book a demo with our team to learn more about how we can help save you time on your next estate matter.

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