This is an easy-to-use and fast way for you and other members of your household to create your own advance directive, also known as a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, living revocable trust, and all the other must-have documents you need to protect you and your family. It?s as easy as 1-2-3?simply personalize, print, and protect.
Suze Orman and her own estate trust attorney have created the most state-of-the-art documents found anywhere. There are more than $2,500 worth of estate documents in this kit. Why pay thousands of dollars when you can get the same documents in this kit!
This kit includes:
? More than 50 state-of-the-art documents ? Free automatic on-line updates ? Verbal and written instructions taking you step by step through the four must-have documents ? Password protection securing multiple users? information ? A tutorial that shows you everything you need to know ? 10 electronic books
PC and Macintosh Compatible . . . and good in all 50 states!
Suze Ormans Will & Trust Kit The software did not work.I could not load it up. Even my son, who is a computer science major could not get it to work....more info
simplistic This is okay for people who have never been exposed to wills or trusts. Does not allow you edit easily or transfer docs to legal size etc like Willmaker. I'm sure it has to do with compromising their advice but you just don't have any leeway whereas other programs flat out tell you that if you modify their language it's your responsibility. Probably ok if you know NOTHING about trusts and still want to investigate doing them yourself. I expected more....more info
Looks good.. haven't gotten around to completing the will yet Will know in a month or two when I do the actual Will papers.. and will probably update with more at that time.. looks pretty good so far.....more info
A difficult job made do-able It is more fun to eat live snails than to sit down and do trusts and wills, not to mention the dreaded Advanced Directive.
Everyone puts off this very necessary chore because they know that going to an attorney is expensive and that all this is necessary because of death, a subject we avoid when possible.
Now there are many software programs that promise to make it possible for many people to do this work at home and without the expense of an attorney. Be aware, though, that attorneys say that people trying to do it themselves can make expensive mistakes and that the fee for professional services is money well spent.
I suspect that many people with uncomplicated estates can probably do ok with a software program, but that complicated estates really need an attorney. The question of what is fairly simple and what is complicated can only be answered by the individual.
Even if you have doubts about doing it yourself, it makes sense to get a program and do it anyway. You will know the kind of questions you have to answer and generally get an idea of the process. Then you can go to an attorney with some backround that will make the process easier, maybe saving an hour or three of expensive attorney time.
The Orman program is heavily advertised and Suze herself is kind of a celebrity. It is also reasonably priced and the advertisements seemed realistic. I went with Suze and successfully filled everything out, got the appropriate forms witnessed and notarized and copies sent to relatives, doctors and hospitals. Felt a lot better afterward as I am sure most people do.
A will is like having a colonoscopy. Everyone knows they should have one, but put it off as long as possible. I was forced into action because I was facing a serious time in the hospital and thought that if I left feet first, that my wife and kids would have a terrible time dealing with stuff a will would make easier. All turned out well, but I am really glad I did the paperwork and do not have to think about it unless things change.
The advanced directive, in case some people don't know, is a legal document that allows a hospital to cut off life support when you are brain dead in case your spouse is not available to give the word. This is not an uncommon occurrence as you could both be dead or incapacitated in a crash, for example. You can be free to go without interference from politicians who think they can raise the dead or from relatives who can't make the decision. Doctors know when it is time.
The Orman program is probably about as simple as it can be, but it deals with legalities, life and death, money and real estate and other property. That is all hard stuff. Attorneys will likely charge close to $2000 to do this because it takes hours of work. So, it is not an easy even for professionals. I managed to complete everything in about five hours. Those that have used tax software will find the process familiar.
Suze gives you stuff to read and also does a voice-over in some cases. Other experts also chime in now and then. I thought this was going to be annoying, but actually found it to be useful. I do suggest earphones or decent speakers if you are forced to operate in a noisy environment.
In California, at least, some of the forms need to be witnessed and notarized. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries, so you have to get two strangers to sign some ominous documents for someone they do not know. I was lucky to find a couple in the hair salon next door to the notary. This is not the fault of Orman, but still you have to line people up. You might call the notary for advice. Stupid requirement.
There are multiple forms, several pages each. You need to make copies for relatives, your doctor and hospitals. That adds up to a lot of copies and a lot of paper that needs to be accurately collated. I suggest you get a stapler and a bunch of manila mailers that are addressed.
You also need cover letters. For example, the copy of the advanced directive that goes to your doctors should have a cover letter explaining that you are sending the directive so it will be in their files in case the need should arise to use it some day.
I also emailed my relatives and told them their will and directive copies were coming and what my general expectations were. I guess it is more traditional to keep it a secret until the end. Depends, I suppose.
Oh, and one of the forms is a narrative that details the disposition of your property. For example, you could say that aunt Mary gets your collection of pornographic statues, Uncle Bill gets the tv and so on.
So, it took me all day to complete the program, get witnesses and notary, collate and mail everything. That is about as fast as possible I think. Afterward, I felt relieved and accomplished. I had more than one drink in celebration.
There is nothing as nice as getting nagging odious tasks done. And the colonoscopy saved my life, so there.
I gave Suze five stars. I have not compared her program to any of the others. The legal requirements are the same and I figure Orman is in a position to hire competent legal and technical people. There is no way to know if everything will go smoothly for my heirs. One could hire an attorney to look it over and that shouldn't take too long.
The program does a good job of guiding you through a complex procedure. You still have to make decisions, of course, but the fact that this all went smoothly and everything printed was very impressive. This was done on a Mac, which is good since programs like this are usually ported to Windows first. Now that Macs also run Windows makes it even more likely to work for you on any computer.
I am impressed with this program and recommend it. I doubt that there is any way to make a will/trust/directive program any easier and I trust that the people behind it are competent. So, five stars....more info
Will and Trust Kit Overall the Will and Trust kit is very easy to use. It is a bit glitchy on the Mac, but when I switched to the PC I was able to produce all the documents I needed. What I like most is that after creating the Trust document, the program walked me through funding the trust. It does not matter how much you know about Wills and Trusts, all you need to know is who you want to get what when you die. As a bonus you get the Living Will document. This is something I wish my father had when he was sick and finally died....more info
PC WORLD SAID SUZE'S WILL & TRUST KIT IS THE EASIEST TO USE I purchased this product after reading a review in PC World that comparing the top seeling Will & Trust products. PC World said "Suze Orman's Will and Trust Kit is not only a great value, but the easiest of the three will-preparation packages I tried." For those of you who want to see the whole article here is the link: http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,120377,00.asp
I love this product, in one afternoon I had all documents as did my Mom and Dad -- the program allows multi-users at no extra fee. The best part is the audio that is included in the program where Suze and her trust attorney, Janet, talk you through the whole process. Suze asks Janet the questions I would ask and ones I wouldn't have even thought of asking.
I had no printing issues at all so for those of you who posted a negative comment about not being able to print -- are you sure the problem is not your computer -- if you have an older computer you may need to upgrade especially if you have anything earlier than windows 98 second edition. If the program had a printing issue don't you think PC World would have mentioned it in their article and not said it was the easiest to use....more info
saved $1000's - easy to use I purchased the product and within 2 hours I had my Will , Trust, and Durable Power of attorney for health Care Completed and I knew my family was taken care of. The Product was extremely easy to use and I saved thousands of dollars by not having to go to an attorney.
Incredible Value and useful guidance After watching the awful legal and family fight over Terry Schiavo, I decided to create a living will for myself. I started by looking at my parents documents which are 10 years old and discovered that they are almost worthless and non-notarized documents in today's standards, especially as they are interpreted in Florida which is where we all live.
So I went up to one of those internet websites offering free sample documents and filled it in and showed it to a lawyer friend. He pointed out several instances of how it wouldn't have the desired effect today. The issues of withholding nutrition, hydration and the appointment of an agent were all silent amongst other problems.
Then I heard about this product and decided to give it a try - especially after hearing that an attorney charges $300- $600 to create and monitor living wills / advanced directives for legal changes. I spent a total of an hour with the software, installing it, letting it update itself over my internet connection when asked, and then going right to the advanced directive document. At the end of the hour I had created my own document - then in another half hour I had new documents for my parents including letters to their doctors. I think that is pretty fabulous for a $20 investment. I really like the fact that you can setup multiple users with their own information, its great for a family.
The information spoken in the narratives can also be printed out with the documents, this is a great feature and one I appreciate. It made explaining things to my parents very easy - all they had to do was read it at their leisure.
I am now working to set up my own revocable trust and will.
Instead of printing directly to my printer, I print to my Adobe Standard / Adobe PDF writer-printer (not available with free Adobe Reader). This way, I have access to my documents for quick printing (and sharing by e-mail) without having to navigate through the program later. This also works with Microsoft Office Document Imaging if you have Office 2003.
I particularly like the fact that when you open the program, it automatically searches for new updates on their website. So I plan to open the documents in Suze's program every few months to see if there have been changes to the language in the documents. If there are changes, I'll save them to new pdf documents. And I don't have to pay anyone to compare my document to regulatory and legal changes!
This program is installed on both my XP Pro and my parent's older XP Home system and it worked great on both of them.
I saw some unfair negative reviews on Amazon today and thought what is wrong with these folks? A $20 product with a no-holds barred money back guarantee?? 3 people got a living will out of it in an hour and a half. No one can expect everybody's personal and financial situations to be covered absolutely in any software product. For those with exceptional circumstances, you really have to hire an expert-attorney.
I'd say this software is nothing short of fantastic!!!
Worthless Product I agree with the person who said the product has many bugs. My problem was that I could not print any of the documents. I was very disappointed and Suze Orman's people only told me "we are looking into the problem." If I cannot print the documents they are worthless to me and my family.
I ultimately got my money back (less shipping and handling) so therefore I lost time and money. Don't waste your time and money. Suze - GET IT TOGETHER BEFORE SELLING THOUSANDS OF THESE THINGS!
Software has several bugs I entered all data to create a Revocable Trust. I found several bugs in the program: total value of the estate was not counted properly, and the printout had several text areas completely white. Also I could not create a read-only pdf format that is easy to store and print.
Liked voice of Suze and others in the background and their clear explanations. Need to fix the bugs however. Much cheaper than Quicken WillMaker Plus, but the Quicken product looks more robust....more info
Missing the point Suze Orman preaches debt-free, and owning your home outright; however, I think this is a strategy to stay in the middle class. She misses the crucial component of leverage. She misses the golden opportunity that is available when you leverage home equity (either owner or non-owner occupied) to build personal wealth. She discourages universal life policies because she considers them a waste of money, but forgets that many universal life policies have, over the last 50 years, not only beat inflation, but also returned higher rates than the average 30 year loan (even though I would assume she would advocate the 30 year fixed loan -- a horrible long-term strategy). She pushes outdated concepts that may keep peoples' heads above water, but will bring them to the inevitable solution that we refer to as middle (or perhaps upper-middle) class....more info
Suze Orman's Will and Trust Kit I bought this on March 19 and they(Suze's Protection Team) still haven't fixed the problem that I can't print any of the forms, they are using a program called PrintOmatic which is a piece of crap.
You also have to have Internet access to use this product, they don't tell you that before you buy it.
I'm still waiting for a fix or to get my money back, today is 04/25/95. ...more info
Answer to Reviewer Who Said Program Was Too Simplistic I work for Suze Orman and I wanted to address the issue brought up by the reviewer who said the program was too simplistic. Suze and her staff regularly read the reviews posted on amazon.com and whenever possible we incorporate suggestions on how to improve the Will & Trust kit in product updates that we offer for free. The reason you can not save the legal documents into another format to edit is that in our experience most people without a legal background make mistakes when they edit a legal document that renders the legal document invalid. When the program was created we purposely did not allow legal documents to be saved into another format for your own protection. But one of the great features of the program is through Protection Help you can send an e-mail when you have an issue or question with the product. All questions regarding the legal documents or legal questions are reviewed by Suze's trust attorney and in many situations she has been able to suggest choices you can make within the program that will allow you to accomplish your goal. In other cases Suze's trust attorney has worked with our programmers to add enhancements to allow more choices within the program based on e-mail suggestions we have received from users -- these enhancements are then posted in a free update for all users....more info
A bit too simplistic As long as you fit neatly into the offered catergories, this software works very well. The problem for me is that I needed to make some changes to the finished document. There is no way to change it within the software and you cannot save the document in another format to change using a word processor. So, you either print it exactly as the software produces it, or you're out of luck.
I would rate this software 4 1/2 stars if you could save the document to .doc or .rtf format....more info
I Would Recommend this Kit to Anyone Suze and her attorney have put together a comprehensive, simple, and easy kit for you to protect yourself while you are alive (should anything ever happen, there will NOT be a question as to what to do) as well as for when you pass over.
Just make sure that you take the paperwork to an attorney, have it all notarized. Then keep in a safe place, and let your most trusted friend or relative know where it is.
The info in this kit would cost you thousands. It's good in all 50 Sates, and more important than anything, your wishes will be honored no matter what happens.
Barbara Rose, author of "Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE" and 'If God Was Like Man'
Editor of inspire! magazine
not great but not bad either I love Suze, beleive me I do but this will/trust kit is a bit too simplistic. It's dosen't take into account that perhaps your significant other does not live with you so when I entered the name only my addess would come up. I went through and completed all the wills and trust etc.... but have not gotten around to getting them notorized. Her information about having to "fund" a trust was invaluable a lot of people I know who had trusts did not realize this either. I wish the kits gave the user more ability to change certain things and not be limited to setting up a will or trust in just the way Suze says. For example I could not figure out how to leave a percentage to some people and an exact dollar amount to others. It might be in there but I could not find it....more info
Excellent Product The instructions in this product are to the point and easy to understand. The documents are easy to print. It is very thorough covering all aspects of estate planning. I used all of the documents and highly recommend it to others. ...more info
Problems Printing Will! Add me to the list of people who could not print their will.
I had it all filled out and ready to print, and then nothing! Well, I did get one or two sentences to print before it just started producing blank pages. Tried it again a few more times, same thing. What good is a will if you cannot print more than a couple of sentences?
It's not like I'm computer illiterate or ran out of ink. Solving computer/technical issues for my clients customers is how I bring home the bacon. This includes printing problems. This software is sadly lacking. Save your money! ...more info
Suze Orman Customer Support I am a representative from the Customer Support team for Suze Orman. I noticed a recent review from a customer who expressed his dissatisfaction with the Will & Trust Kit product because of a printing problem he experienced on his Windows ME operating system.
I wanted to reassure this gentleman (and everyone else) that the Will & Trust Kit software definitely DOES work with Windows ME. Our team has performed thorough tests of this software on virtually all variations of computer systems to ensure its proper operation. In fact, there are many other Windows ME operators for whom the software works very well. In certain cases, however, difficulties may be experienced because of compatibility issues with other programs (like firewall or antivirus software) installed on a specific computer. Situations like these are unique and may require personalized, case-by-case attention to resolve them. This is where the Suze Orman Customer Support team can help.
If you are an owner of the Will & Trust Kit and are experiencing such problems, we encourage you to contact the Suze Customer Support team through the special "Protection Help" response feature on Suze's web site. You can find out how to gain access "Protection Help" by going to the HELP section in the Will & Trust Kit software or by refering to Suze's "welcome letter" that came in the box when you purchased the software. Instructions on how to gain access to "Protection Help" are also printed on the face of the CD-ROM.
We will be happy to help you resolve any problems and to answer any questions that you might have regarding the operation of your Will & Trust Kit software.
Will NOT work with Windows Me Even though this software is touted to work with Windows Me, it doesn't. I suppose this would be a decent enough product, if I could only print my documents. I couldn't. Those of you with Windows XP may not have any difficulty.
I even tried the work-around offered by Suze's technical department. No go with that either. Supposedly you can download a program to turn your documents into a PDF file, and then print them from that. The suggested program wouldn't create the PDF files properly.
Needless to say I was quite disappointed with this purchase. At least Amazon was kind enough to refund my money. ...more info
Suze Orman's Will and Trust Kit It is an excellent item-we used it to complete our wills without
any trouble-the explanations and comments were very clear and understandable....more info
Wonderful Alternative to Expensive Lawyers! This is a fantastic program! My husband and I were leaving for vacation and wanted to have a will and power of attorney in place before we left. So, instead of paying a lawyer hundreds of dollars, we decided to try out Suze's program. We weren't disappointed. We were able to crank out all of the essential documents for the both of us in less than 30 minutes. If you're thinking about having these documents prepared by a lawyer, I would suggest that everyone should take a look at this first!...more info
suze ormans will and trust kit I have purchased suze ormans will and trust kit and have found it to be a fantastic offer in contrast to what a person would be expected to pay to hire an attorney.....and it is also amazingly easy to use....anyone who would pass on such an offer I believe could definately live to regret it, I recommend buying this Item today, my rating for this Item is five stars because they dont have six stars avaliable. Bob...more info
RESPONSE FROM SUZE'S TRUST ATTORNEY, JANET DOBROVOLNY, REGARDING USERS CONCERNS Hello, I am the Trust and Wills attorney that worked with Suze Orman to create the Suze Orman Will and Trust kit. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to a user whom posted concerns here.
* He expressed concern that there is a lack of clarity in a section of the will that could cause confusion. The sentence in question is:
"I nominate Mary Smith to act as my executor. If Mary Smith cannot serve then John Smith is to serve as the executor of my will."
The questions is whether the second sentence requires the insertion of a comma to avoid any confusion. This section, as written, is clear and correct. There is no confusion about who is being named as executor. And that is the guiding principle for the courts; is the intention of the person making the will clear to the reader. As written this program I believe you the reader can see that it is absolutely clear.
The poster also pointed out a grammar error in an instruction letter. We thanked the fellow for pointing out that there is a change of tense in the letter. This has been corrected and recently posted in a free update that is included with the program. But rest assured the letter's intent was clear even with the tense issue; I have complete confidence in the content of the letter. The cover letter provided in the program is a courtesy letter, much like a fax cover sheet and has no legal significance. To view the letter please go to: www.suzeorman.com/drletter/
* The same person expressed concern in his original post to the help website, about the use of what he called "boiler plate" language and the inability to delete text from the will document. The specific concerns were two passages dealing with children and minors. The specific wording and inability for users to alter the text was a very deliberate decision I encouraged Suze to make. After much research and consultation, I decided the language with respect to children and minors is absolutely necessary to protect the users of this program. After reviewing countless wills people created using other programs I saw so many errors and omissions due to the changes and additions made by the program users. By making changes, inconsistencies and errors were written into the documents. Those mistakes were enough to make the will invalid. To protect users of Suze's program, and to ensure that the final will that is created would be judged valid, we created a program where the user made selections and answered certain questions that then automatically inserted the correct legal language in their will.
That is why when you select "no children" in the user profile, your document will nonetheless include the sentence: "I intentionally leave nothing to anyone claiming to be child of mine regardless of the validity of their claim." Without such a sentence, if you had a child you did not know about, then that child would be able to take a large part, or even all of your estate upon your death. Sound far-fetched? Well, there have indeed been many famous cases where unknown children have surfaced and made successful claims on estates. I realize this will not pertain to most users, but Suze's focus was to create a program that gives everyone the best legal protection; so that is why it is included.
* There was also concern about the inclusion of a phrase addressing the right for the executor to retain the inheritance of a young person in a custodianship UTMA account. This phrase can save an estate a great deal of time and money. Because of this phrase, the executor will not need to create a guardianship for the minor in the courts which can easily cost $5,000. The provision allows the executor to protect a young person beyond age 18, in some states covering up to age 25. Even if you don't name a minor child as a beneficiary, this phrase can be important. If one of your beneficiaries dies before you, or with you, that person's child or children will often become the beneficiary as a result of the death. Because of this, I encouraged Suze to include the phrase in the program. Again, our goal is to protect everyone from as many possible scenarios based on our extensive real life experience.
I thank you for your concern. Please know that I worked with Suze for months creating and vetting this program to make sure it would truly deliver a valid will to all users. The issues you raise were indeed discussed during the development of this program. The wording we chose was very intentional to ensure that all users had the utmost protections, and that there was no possibility that any user would inadvertently make a change that could render the document invalid.
easy and comprehensive almost always, what is necessary is difficult to achieve. but this product conceptualized and made available by suze to the public made all that is necessary to live a secure life easy and comprehensive. kudos to suze and the team!...more info
Suze Orman's will and trust kit This CD was of little use to me at all. I thought it was going to be a book. It was too complicated to do and I wish I had my money back!...more info
Great Purchase This has been the most practical purchase we have made on Amazon.com. We have two young children who needed legal protection in case of our simultaneous deaths and this product has taken care of it. As a bonus, it saved us hundreds of dollars we would have otherwise spent on attorney fee's. Great product, great price! We highly recommend it. Just be sure to be online while loading it to your computer....more info
Good Advice, but a lot of bugs I agree with previous postings that said that this is a buggy program. In addition, as a single person with no children, the program insists on leaving paragraphs and paragraphs regarding children in the text of the will. Even though I indicate that I have no children when I answer all the questions, the computer still generates these annoying paragraphs. The end result makes it look like a simple, boilerplate document that I buy off the shelf in the office store. I expected more from Suze! :-(
I brought this up with the customer service people and was surprised to hear from Suze's attorney herself. From what I gather from her response, she feels that that information should be in my will as I might have children in the future. (Yeah, me,,, kids...right). She also informed me that having a very personalized program would cost too much, making this product unaffordable. (I could edit out those paragraphs... but wait... I can't.)
Readers should also know that I ran into some grammar and spelling errors in the will and in one letter. I caught a missing comma and a very odd switch from third person to first person in the same paragraph. The attorney dismissed my concerns but implied that she might have someone proofread the documents at a later time.
Therefore, users of this product should check the information over carefully before they notarize it. Users may also want to have an attorney simply look it over to make sure it's OK before notarizing it....more info
Suze Orman Is Fabulous! Suze Orman and her attorney have developed a fabulous CD-Rom that includes everything you need for Will and Trust planning. It is easy to use with clear auditory or written directions and explanations. The customer service is professional, knowledgeable and punctual. They responded to my few questions and gave me wonderful guidance and suggestions. They will refer to an attorney where necessary, but helped me save a great deal of money by working with this program. It's amazing that I received ALL of this for the small price! Suze demonstrates that she really is People First. She is making something this important affordable and safe for people. It is a relief knowing my family and I are safe and protected. I highly recommend this program! THANK YOU, SUZE!...more info
Buggy program, no help if you have problems This is a buggy, buggy program that compounds its own problems by its bad design. Here's the bug I ran into: It insisted that I enter data in categories that didn't fit. I don't have a business, but it wouldn't let me proceed without entering data that doesn't exist. It has NO alternate navigation, NO help buttons, NO documentation, NO e-mail address, NO URL for a Web site. It's unusable and user-hostile.
This shows the limits of programs for idiots: Maybe it's great if you don't hit a bug or a snag. But if you do, it's like they've led you down a narrow path through a canyon, and then dropped a ton of bricks across the path in front of you, with no escape except to back up and walk away.